Network: ABC
Director: John Newland
Stars: Kim Darby, Jim Hutton, William Demarest

The biggest problem with writer-producer Guillermo del Toro’s new take on Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark is that it’s way too forthcoming about its creatures.

In ’73, director John Newland wisely took the opposite approach. Tasked with a premise that’s inherently goofy (silly-looking, miniature demons torment a housewife), Newland conceived a creepy-old-house flick that’s consistently eerie largely because very little is actually shown. Like the film’s haunted protagonist (played with vigor by Kim Darby), the viewer doesn’t see much of the little ghoulish bastards—she only hears them. That is, until Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’s final act, when the film’s predominantly bleak tone makes up for the monsters’ somewhat laughable design.