Afraid of the Dark



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Time Out says

11-year-old Lucas (Keyworth) is worried that his mother (Ardant) will fall victim to a psychopath who is terrorising West London with a series of razor attacks on blind women. Holding little faith in the abilities of his father (Fox) as a policeman on the case, the boy begins to suspect those around him... Screenwriter Peploe's debut as director is an ingenious psychological thriller that attempts to delve inside the dark recesses of the mind of its pre-pubescent protagonist. To some extent, it succeeds, thanks partly to genuinely touching playing from Keyworth, partly to a script that contrives to endow what is essentially a very simple plot with a wealth of Freudian symbols, cinematic references and narrative twists. It was probably more satisfying on paper than in its finished form, however: several of the performances in the first half are (perhaps deliberately) somewhat stilted, and there's a faint academicism at work which militates against real suspense.


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Release details

UK release:



91 mins

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