I'm trying to trust the wisdom of Guillermo del Toro right now. I really am. I'm trying to trust the man who translated Mike Mignola's Hellboy flawlessly to the screen, and who so deftly brought nightmares to life in Cronos and Pan's Labyrinth. But my faith is being shaken, I can't deny it.
See, I've been buzzing for months now at the thought of del Toro producing a remake of my all-time favorite TV horror movie, 1973's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark--an obscure, brilliant, yet flawed little picture which, in the right hands, could become a masterpiece. Finally, a remake to be excited about? Right??
Then I wake up this morning, an otherwise fine spring day, to discover that The Hollywood Reporter has uncovered the very first casting news on the upcoming project. Guillermo del Toro's remake will star... Katie Holmes.
Yes, Joey Potter from Dawson's Creek will apparently be heading up the long-awaited, 35-years-in-the-making, big-screen adaptation of the movie that has been an obsession of mine since the age of five, and which is largely responsible for my entire horror fascination. Yes, Katie "I Almost Single-Handedly Ruined the First Great Batman Movie" Holmes, owner of one of the most ho-hum resumes of any mainstream Hollywood leading lady.
Granted, she did put in a somewhat interesting performance in Sam Raimi's all-but-forgotten 2000 chiller The Gift, but is this really a woman who screams out "horror"? Supremo nutball Tom Cruise's captive Stepford wife, the chick who's proven that even the classic Louise Brooks bob can be potentially unsexy? Perhaps my Thetan count is simply too high, but what's a dedicated DBAOTD fan to do but despair?
I'm assuming that Mrs. Cruise has been cast in the role of Sally Farnham, played by former child star Kim Darby in the original. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. Sally Farnham was certainly nothing to write home about, on any level, going through the film like a somnambulistic 14-year-old boy. I'll grant you that. But that's the whole point, see, I was expecting a lot more from this big-time remake, especially given the impressive fire power involved.
Maybe I'm overreacting. Yeah, that's the ticket. After all, the part calls for a type that's not unlike the public image Holmes has created for herself anyway, right? Maybe her combination of cluelessness and anhedonia is exactly what got her the part in the first place, and will serve her well in portraying the ill-fated housewife targeted by bizarre, otherworldly creatures. Hey, wait a minute. Ill-fated housewife? Targeted by bizarre, otherworldy creatures? ... Holy Jeebus! She's perfect!
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