The involvement of Guillermo del Toro made me want to watch this movie, and the title made me decide to watch this at daytime. Pan's Labyrinth is a great movie and I expected something like that, but it turns out Don't Be Afraid of The Dark's plot is not rich like Pan's Labyrinth. I think Don't Be Afraid of The Dark is equal, maybe even worse, to Mimic, which was made almost 15 years ago.
I enjoyed watching Bailee Madison, though. She plays the main character, Sally, a little girl of 10 or 11 years old. Sally's mother sends her to live with her father, played by Guy Pearce, who I think is wasted here. The father now lives with Kim (Katie Holmes - who looks very thin) and both have been decorating a big Victorian house, once belonged to a famous painter named Blackwood - who mysteriously disappeared in the end of his life (but his disappearance is not mysterious to the audience). Sally is lonely and sad, thinking that her mother has given her away. Then, Sally finds the house's basement. There live little creatures who say that they want to play with her. Soon Sally knows that the little creatures are dangerous, but no one listens to her.
Bailee Madison looks like young Katie Holmes and I think she is more suitable to be cast as her daughter than Guy Pearce's.
The plot needs more character development or side stories, in my opinion. There are also some annoying situations. We kind of want to yell, 'Oh, come on. Why don't you believe her? Can't you see?' Why the gardener keeps shutting his mouth and only says 'you must get her out of the house'? - but not saying the reason? If the monsters are many, then surely Blackwood & his son were not the only ones missing [because those are taken by them would become them]. There should be a rumor spreading in the village about the basement's house. At least the pictures taken by Sally can be a good proof.