FilmDistrict and Miramax today announced that FilmDistrict has acquired all U.S. rights to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and that a wide release has been scheduled for August 12. Produced by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Johnson, the film stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison and Jack Thompson and marks the directorial debut of Troy Nixey. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of a 1973 TV movie bearing the same title, considered by del Toro to be among the scariest ever made. The film was co-written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark follows Sally (Bailee Madison), a young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. Having stumbled upon the mansion's hidden basement, Sally starts hearing voices calling out from the bolted ash pit, imploring her to open it. Sally obliges and unwittingly unleashes something so terrible, so unthinkable, that everyone's life - hers most of all - is placed in immediate and grave danger.
Mike Lang, CEO of Miramax says, "We're very pleased to partner with FilmDistrict to bring Don't Be Afraid of the Dark to U.S. audiences. Guillermo del Toro has crafted a true thriller that exemplifies the type of high-quality films for which Miramax is known. We are thrilled to add it to our growing library and we look forward to maximizing its U.S. theatrical and long-term potential."
"Nixey made a very impressive first film and we are thrilled to be working with Guillermo and Mark Johnson," says Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict. "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark should be one of the most anticipated horror films of the summer, and it rounds out our 2011 slate nicely."
"Miramax has done an inspired job finding the right home for our film that took 15 years to get made. Partnering with Bob Berney is always an exciting privilege and I'm confident that the FilmDistrict team will bring the intelligence, patience, and inspiration to set Don't Be Afraid of the Dark forth into the world in a powerful way," says co-writer and producer Guillermo del Toro.
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is the kind of incredibly unique and very frightening movie that we know American audiences crave," says Bob Berney, President, Theatrical Distribution, FilmDistrict. "The filmmakers and cast have done a brilliant job in re-imagining the original version and I am personally very pleased to be working with Guillermo again."