Macabre…ish Horror Review: Fear of the Dark



Fear of the Dark, 2003/ 1 hr 26 min


Twelve year old Ryan (Jesse James) arrives home to find his mom welding in her office in their terrifying basement. And he is rightfully scared to go down there because he is nyctophobic. It’s not just the dark though, it’s what’s in the dark.


He later asks his dad for a guard dog for protection. After getting a no he is distracted by the fact that there’s a girl in the house. His parents are going out for the first time in a long time and he’ll be home alone with his older brother, Dale (Kevin Zegers), who thinks Ryan is abnormal. Dale notices his brother is wounded but though he thinks his kid brother is being bullied, he promises not to tell their parents.


After their parents leave, it starts storming and the lights start flickering and immediately freak Ryan out. While watching cartoons the tv keeps changing to Evil Dead on it’s own. He tells his brother who doesn’t believe him. But then he, Dale, starts experiencing it himself but he reasons it way.


Dale checks the house to put Ryan at ease after they hear something upstairs. But he sees something but won’t accept it. Then the lights go out and house fills with strange sounds. And Ryan sees something. But Dale leaves him anyway to go to the attic for more light. Then the attic hatch slams behind him.


Meanwhile, Ryan suits up with all the lights he can find in the house. Then something tries to get him through the wall.  He’s later cut by a statue that moved by itself. He explains to his brother that the night creatures hurt him sometimes and leaves wounds on his body.


Then all the furniture in the living room is moved but once again, Dale convinces himself not to believe his own eyes. Then there are claw marks on the wall which is promptly blamed on Ryan, even though there’s no way he could have done it. Downstairs, someone or something starts beating on the door. But no one’s there, there are however a crowd of monsters in the hallway waiting to attack Ryan.


Dale finally admits he’s afraid but still insists he never saw any creatures. So they hide under the covers, Ryan says it’s the only thing that will protect them. Dale doesn’t want to believe though. After getting the courage to leave the safety of the covers, he sees Heather (Rachel Skarsten) standing there, she came to check on them and also came close to getting a baseball bat to the head.


She humors and believes Ryan when it comes to his fears and she’s interested in how he protects himself. She also shares her fears with him. And stays until he falls asleep. And when she leaves the creatures lurk then pounces from the darkness into reality.


When Dale goes to the basement to fire up the gennie, he’s forced to believe what he sees. And the only one who believed will have to be the one to save them all.



This teen horror was directed by K.C. Bascombe and this is for those who like a little scare but not the trauma of horror. No blood, no guts, no gore. This is a very slow burn with the annoyance of family members that not only don’t believe the main character but their own eyes. The CG of the creatures is ok but the bug CG is bad. The cinematography is really good though. There are plenty of jump scares and the creatures are really eerie the closer they are too their physical form. The main characters are kids and there are no adult scenes.