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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2011), R [R*] (94.9min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
January 19, 2011
January 22, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2011), R [R*] ... somewhat detailed and intricate story and is as intelligent as a horror flick can be

Production (US): Miramax Film Corp., Film District, Guillermo Del Toro, Necropia/Gran Via
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures
Director(s): Troy Nixey
Producer(s): Stephen Jones, William Hornberg, Tony Williams, Guillermo Del Toro, Mark Johnson
Screenplay by: Guillermo Del Toro, Amtthew Robbins
Based on Teleplay by Nigel McKeand
Cinematography/Camera: Oliver Stapleton
Music: Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Film Editing: Jill Bilcock
Casting: Mary Vernieu, Venus Kanani, Christine King
Production Design: Roger Ford
Art Direction: Lucinda Thomson
Viewed on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

It was time to confirm the mathematical integrity the CAP Analysis Model with another R-rated film so I decided to do so with this film. Remember, since the CAP Analysis Model was developed using G, PG, PG-13 and R-rated features (no NC-17/X rated films), it is occasionally necessary to confirm the CAP model with an analysis of an R-rated film. Besides, how could I otherwise have any credibility to objectively tell you, for example, the content of a PG-13 film is equivalent to the content of R-rated films (an R-13) if I didn't at least occasionally use the model on R-rated films as well? I will, however, tell you I have found that though content of films in the same MPAA rating level have gotten raunchier, it is not because of the scrutiny of the CAP Analysis Model, it is because of the MPAA becoming more and more lenient each year. See our R-13 report for proof of this. Note that the R-13 report will be updated to 2011 this year.

I will start this report with the following excerpt from a discussion in the Impudence/Hate content investigation area that follows this Summary/Commentary section:

"But this is an R-rated film and kids are not supposed to see it." To address that defense of "R" I wish I had a nickel for every minor child I've seen in the audience at R-rated showings. And this is not to mention that the quintessential starlet, Bailee is a child starring in a R-rated film. Sinful demonstrations and/or imagery are sinful whether watched by a child or an adult.

Little Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a child victim of divorce, is thrust into living with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his live-in girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes) in an opulent 19th century mansion while her father and Kim renovate the mansion for sale. Once in the mansion, Sally's curiosity gets the best of her and she explores all the dark corners. Snooping about Sally finds guarded evidence of a basement beneath the mansion. Oddly enough, there is no access to the basement from inside the mansion.

Alex, being an architect soon assesses that the entrance to the basement has been boarded over. After busting through the wall hiding the door to the basement, the family finds artifacts of the previous owner, artist Emerson Blackwood (Garry McDonald) famous for dark Gothic art. But Blackwood's art was not all that was found in the basement.

In the basement is an ash bin closed off with a bolted grating, making it impossible to open the chute without tools. Still snooping, Sally finds there are things behind the grate that talk to her (voices of Grant Piro, Todd MacDonald, Angus Smallwood, Dylan Young and Guillermo Del Toro). Sally cannot leave it alone and steals her father's tools to remove the grate and open the chute. The grate was confining things that should not be loosed. Once the grating came off, the troubles begin. The first of the troubles is the mutilation of handyman Mr. Harris (Jack Thompson) by the things that should not be loosed.

This is a somewhat detailed and intricate story and is as intelligent as a horror flick can be so the brain cannot be checked at the door. But I will not spoil any more of it.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
Violence content starts out with Blackwood chiseling the teeth out of another character's mouth in a prelude of murder. But the greatest violence contribution comes as demon creatures terrorize and attack humans, sometimes intense. There is much more to the violence envelope in this film but to conserve space I ask that you inspect the listing in the Findings section for yourself.

Entertainment violence, in whatever form, takes its toll on the viewer. God warns us of such a property of violence in many verses of His Word, Proverb 16:29 in particular where He warns us that violence is "contagious" and that it can lead one into "the path that is not good." Hundreds of years after God warned us of these properties of violence, man plagiarized God's Word by four professional public health agencies warning us that viewing violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the viewer, especially the young, into real life violence and can lead the viewer into believing that violence is an effective way to settle conflict.

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Young Sally is not at all pleasant to her father ... until she needs him. Several times she is disrespectful and obstinate toward Alex as well as other caregiver authority. Sally is also portrayed as very intrusive and invasive and as one who will not mind her own business. She will not keep her hands off things that do not belong to her. Sally's arrogance leads to cinematic terror, misery and death. Sally (and others), lies numerous times and stomps away at her father's control efforts. Of particular noteworthiness is the arrogance of the filmmakers to place a story child in a "they don't believe me" posture repeatedly, risking emboldenment of viewers, especially youthful viewers by the influence of example. One might think "But this is an R-rated film and kids are not supposed to see it." To address that defense of "R" I wish I had a nickel for every minor child I've seen in the audience at R-rated showings. And this is not to mention that the quintessential starlet, Bailee is a child starring in a R-rated film. Further, Sally's cinematic belligerence and pugnacity is fueled by her absent stage mother treating her by phone as though Sally is an inconvenience. Arrogance is one of the chosen behaviors that God hates. He says so in Proverbs 6:16 - 19. Finally, there are only two uses of profanity in the entire 94.9 minutes of the show but even two is two too many. [Eph. 4:29]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 79 out of 100
As a people we may have come to have contempt for the old school values of sexual purity, but that we have "out grown" them does not negate the consequences of violating His Word with sexually immoral actions and behaviors. Alex and Kim live together, sexually, without being married. Remember, folks. I did not write the Rules. He who spent three days in Hell so you and I won't have to spend one moment there did. God is entitled. And His Word regarding sexual immorality may be summed as "any sexual contact (including sight, sound and touch), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful." Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.

While there is no nudity in this film, Alex and Kim make out in bed in their underwear, ostensibly as a prelude to intercourse. And Alex parades before Kim wearing only a towel.

There is one more item that is rather contentious. Sally is seen in a bathtub and is seen stepping out of it while dripping with suds. This scene is a device to introduce an attack by the demon creatures. Since the intent of the scene is to set up the story to introduce an attack, there are literally dozens of other settings that could have been used as effectively and even more effectively than a little girl in a bathtub. One other setting could have been Sally being forced into the garden fountain with the koi in the basin and the demon creatures possessing the fish to act like piranha. That would have been as cinematically frugal and would not involve a little girl with no clothes.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
The alcoholic content of this film is surprisingly light. Dozens of glasses of alcoholic beverage are seen on a table at the showing party for the mansion and Alex tells one of his guests to "get a drink."

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
This is another area in which assault on morality and decency is heavy. Again I ask that you inspect the listing in the Findings section for an accounting of the content found. There are far too many individual items of assault to even summarize here without taking up too much space.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 79 out of 100
There are two murders: one by Blackwood of his maid and one of Blackwood by creature attack. There are a number of attempted murders and murderous attacks but only portrayal of lethal murders (and suicides) are incorporated into this content investigation area. All attempts at murder and suicide and deaths by police action, war and defensive maneuvers are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime content investigation area.



If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Their findings include:
    --> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    --> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
    --> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
    --> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
    Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • chiseling the teeth out of a live human
  • handling bloody teeth chiseled out of a human
  • animation of a boy being abducted by demon creatures
  • child snooping alone in dangerous territory
  • adolescent stealing dad's tools
  • graphic demon creature attack with tools and blades
  • blood spurting from wounds
  • injury gore, repeatedly
  • demon creatures attacking young girl and three adults with knives and other impalement items, repeatedly, some intense
  • demon creatures doing malicious things, repeatedly
  • adolescent girl running away at night
  • drawings of evil and torture, repeatedly
  • demon creatures causing young girl and woman to fall off stairs to access them with evil intent
  • demons whispering threats to kill and other matters of harm, repeatedly
  • demon creatures swarming over girl and unconscious woman
  • demon creatures dragging bound young girl off to consume her teeth, repeated views
  • demon creatures cutting a man
  • demon creatures abducting adult brutally, breaking her legs to fold her into a chute opening

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • young girl snooping through property not hers
  • adolescent disrespect of father, repeatedly
  • adolescent obstinacy
  • adolescent snooping in unsafe territory
  • adolescent lying, repeatedly
  • adolescent girl opening confinement and loosening of dangerous creatures which in turn causes all the terror, the murder and the attacks
  • adolescent stomping off from father's disciplinary control
  • placing child in unbelievable situations, repeatedly
  • adolescent ignoring caregiver instructions
  • parent treating child as an inconvenience

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 79 out of 100
  • display of cohabitation, repeatedly
  • unmarried couple making out in underwear on bed and as if it is routine
  • adult in towel only
  • adolescent girl in bathtub and stepping out of it

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
  • booze at house showing
  • "Get a drink"

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • offering excised body parts as ransom offering
  • raspy whispers and hissing, threatening adults and calling young girl by name, talking about her, lying to her to influence her to go with the creatures, throughout
  • unexplained pattern in leaves and mushrooms
  • bolt turning on its own
  • unexplained actions, repeatedly
  • unexplained property damage/destruction, repeatedly
  • adolescent girl calling on demon creatures
  • demon creatures skittering about and swarming, repeatedly
  • adult talking to demon creatures
  • adolescent swearing to God
  • particularly invasive imagery of evil (demons up-close)
  • psychobabble
  • tale of demon creatures taking a human life every time they emerge from confinement and feeding on their bones and the teeth of children
  • demon creatures terrorizing and attacking young girl and adults, frequent
  • inexplicable air drafts

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 79 out of 100
  • murder to obtain victim's teeth
  • murder by demon creatures

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-NR
    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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