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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
A gruesome prologue shows the home's deranged first owner, Emerson Blackwood, luring his maid into the dungeon-like basement and performing medieval dentistry on the terrified young woman. As he carries out the atrocity, he explains to the young maid that they, the goblin-like creatures known as Homunculi, have taken his son and will only give him back with teeth. As the young woman screams, whispering can be heard all around the room from the sealed up fireplace. Blackwood makes his way over to the fireplace and offers the teeth in exchange for the return of his son, only to be told his offering wasn't acceptable and he is pulled into the fireplace. The basement is sealed and forgotten over the generations.

The movie then opens with a young girl, Sally Hirst (Bailee Madison), moving into Blackwood Manor, the Gothic mansion being restored by her architect father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes), an interior decorator. Her father is renovating the house they live in, in hopes of having it on the front page of a known magazine. Due to the fact that her mother recently abandoned her, Sally has become a distant child with emotional vulnerability. Although Kim tries to befriend her, Sally alienates herself from her.

One day, Sally hears voices calling her name and follows them - finding a hidden basement with a fireplace that has been bolted shut. She is drawn toward the fireplace, as she can hear voices that beg her to open it, promising friendship. One day she sneaks into the basement to open the fireplace, but her father stops her before she can get the door completely open. The Homunculi escape, however, and begin to torment Sally at night telling her to turn the lights out.

As the days progress, Kim finds one of her dresses shredded. Shortly afterward, a teddy bear that Kim gave to Sally is found destroyed underneath her bed after she yelled for her Dad having been scared by the creatures. Sally claims that someone (or something) else is to blame for these things, but her father does not believe her and is preoccupied with renovating the house. Kim, however, begins to believe her claims, as strange incidents occur more frequently.

Kim then leaves to speak with the house's groundskeeper, who knows the history of the house and was severely injured by the Homunculi for warning the family to leave. She asks him about the house and the truth behind the fireplace. He tells Kim to go to the local library to search for history of the house and the original owner. Upon looking into the history Kim discovers the previous owner's son went missing at a young age. Before his own disappearance, Blackwood ranted about small creatures dating back from the Stone Age that were known to kidnap people, usually children, for the purpose of replenishing their numbers and eating their victims' bones and teeth. Kim looks at Blackwood's images of the creatures, and finds that they match Sally's illustrations and descriptions.

Realizing the danger, Kim attempts to get Sally out of the house, and stay in a hotel. However, before they leave, the creatures cut the house's power. The creatures trap Alex in the garage and try to kill him. They trip Kim as she is walking down the stairs, tie up Sally and pull her into the basement. Kim awakens and is able to cut Sally's ropes before the creatures can pull her into the fireplace. However Kim's leg becomes tangled in the rope. Alex escapes the garage and arrives just in time to see Kim being pulled into the fireplace.

In the epilogue, after Alex and Sally escape, the house goes into foreclosure. They visit it one last time so that Sally can leave a drawing she had made of her and Kim. After they leave, the drawing mysteriously floats down to the basement and into the fireplace. The film concludes with Kim (who has become one of the creatures) and the creatures speaking to each other, patiently waiting for their next victims to move into the house. 

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