Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (1973/Warner Bros. Archive Collection DVD)
C Sound: C Extras: D Telefilm: B-
the legendary Horror TV movies is finally on DVD. The Lorimar-produced version of John
Newland’s Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
(1973) holds up very well and as much as another famous TV Horror film of the
same year, The Night Strangler,
reviewed elsewhere on this site. Kim
Darby and Jim Hutton move into a nice new house, but there is something odd and
wrong with it. The repairman (William
Demarest of My Three Sons) insists
that certain things should be left alone.
Then things get odder for The Farnhams.
suddenly thinks she is seeing things and that maybe the house is haunted, but
there are even stranger things going on and things just get creepier and
creepier as this surprisingly smart and edgy film moves along. Nigel McKeand’s script could have made for a
theatrical feature, but this is how rich in talent the Big Three networks were awash
in at this point.
a TV movie and only 74 minutes, it is far more effective, clever and
suspenseful than just about any of the Horror films being made today. Acting is a real plus and great supporting
cast members include Barbara Anderson, William Sylvester, Pedro Armendariz Jr.
and Felix Silla. This is a must-see for
any serious Horror fan and may be minor classic waiting to be rediscovered.
X 1 image was shot in 35mm film like most of the TV movies of the time and
though this is softer than I would have liked, color can look really good and
Director of Photography Andrew Jackson, A.S.C., an underrated cameraman who
left his mark on TV with work on It
Takes A Thief, The Streets Of San
Francisco and Adam-12. I’d love to see this in HD. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also good for
its age and as good as we’ve heard them, but I believe there could be a little
more room for improvement considering this all seems to come from a
second-generation source, especially with such an effective score by Billy Goldenberg (Play It Again, Sam, Up The
Sandbox, Spielberg’s Duel and
other great TV work). If the music
masters could be found, maybe we’ll get a stereo upgrade.
there are no extras, but here comes the remake, so see it before that happens.
order this and other Archive releases at this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo