Essays · Movies

31 Days Of Horror: Afraid Of the Dark

By  · Published on October 31st, 2010

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline.

Synopsis: A young boy named Lucas lives a quiet life with his policeman father and blind mother, but when a madman starts slashing the sightless women in town with a razor, little Lucas’ world becomes a nightmare.

Concerned that his mother and her pretty, blond, and equally blind friend Rose could be the next victims Lucas takes to the streets to try and identify the maniac before he strikes again. His heroic journey brings him face to face with evil… and with the truth. His world, and the film, shifts in a completely unexpected way. And the film’s only half over.

Killer Scene: Lucas has been watching and following various suspects in town, but he settles on the photographer when he sees the man talking with Rose. He follows the pair to a photo session, but when the man starts waving a razor around the oblivious blind woman Lucas takes action… and stabs him in the eyeball with a knitting needle. Lucas has partially blinded the man in an act that opens his eyes to a buried truth of his own.

Kill Sheet

Violence: Blind women are threatened and slashed with a razor. A dog is blinded. A knitting needle pierces an eyeball.

Sex: There’s not much here sex wise, but young Lucas does do his fair share of voyeuristic sightseeing. One of his pervy peeking sessions nets a nice viewing of Rose disrobing for a photographer with a taste for naked blind chicks.

Scares: The film has a couple jump scares, but the real terror here is of the emotional variety. The fear of going blind is what drives both Lucas and the film itself and is effectively portrayed with shadows and false perceptions. That primal fear is combined with the traumas inherent in childhood itself and result in a creepy and sad little film.

Final Thoughts: This is far from a traditional horror film, but it’s also pretty unconventional for a film period. The movie takes a sharp turn about halfway in, and you’ll either go with it or jump off immediately. Hopefully you’ll choose to stick it out though as the twist is just ballsy enough to warrant your interest and eventual respect.

Co-writer/director Mark Peploe does a beautiful job presenting a world where a child’s fears, both real and imagined, carry a dangerous weight. He fills the film with an intricate array of symbols and double meanings that see the thriller aspect present in the first half mutate into something more dramatic and inherently more terrifying. Lucas (a fantastic Ben Keyworth) is a child on the verge of madness, and his sanity depends not only on what he believes but what he sees. And what he thinks he sees.

Pull the knitting needles out of your eyes and take a look at more 31 Days of Horror entries by clicking below:

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.