“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” isn’t the first time the actress has been scared on the big screen.
Katie Holmes wants to scare the hell out of you. But don’t take it personally. She wants to scare everybody. Holmes’s new horror movie, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” hits theaters this weekend, and anticipation for the haunted-house flick is running high. But will the movie get folks to forget about her previous (and poorly received) fright fests?
Holmes horror movies have happened before — and not with good results. In 1998, Holmes starred in “Disturbing Behavior.” The film, which also featured James Marsden and Nick Stahl, focused on a high school where trouble-making students undergo some aggressive “reprogramming.” The film didn’t fare well at the box office, drawing a modest $17,500,000 in domestic sales.
A year later, Holmes again tried to scare audiences with the controversial “Teaching Mrs. Tingle.” The black comedy focused on a would-be high school valedictorian who is so intent on securing the title that she may be willing to kill the one teacher who stands in her way. The film might not have been “bad,” but it did have bad timing. It was released shortly after the Columbine tragedy. The flick earned less than $9 million in the states.
In 2000 came “The Gift.” The film had an all-star cast. Joining Holmes were Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, Hilary Swank, and Greg Kinnear. Sounds like a winner, right? Well, the reviews were decent, but Box Office Mojo reports that the film took in only $12 million in domestic ticket sales. Holmes did deserve credit for playing against type as the aggressive yuppie.
But, hey, maybe the fourth time’s the charm? In “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” Holmes, her boyfriend (played by Guy Pearce), and his daughter (Bailee Madison) move into a sprawling house that holds many secrets, few of them good. The flick has a big media push and can boast that it was co-written by Guillermo del Toro, who unleashed the creepy “Pan’s Labyrnth” and “The Devil’s Backbone” on moviegoers. The man made Ron Perlman a superhero in “Hellboy.” If anyone can make a successful horror movie with Holmes, it’s him.