Afraid Of The Dark

This is a disappointing and rather unpleasant, though thoughtfully conceived, first feature by Mark Peploe — cowriter of The Passenger, The Last Emperor, and The Sheltering Sky. A psychological English thriller, it concerns a lonely and disturbed boy (Ben Keyworth) and a slasher who goes after blind people, including the boy’s mother (Fanny Ardant) and a friend of hers (Clare Holman). Nothing is quite what it seems, but without giving away any of the surprises, I can point out that the operative film references — Peeping Tom, The Fallen Idol, Repulsion — are boringly predictable. Coscripted by Frederick Seidel; with James Fox and Paul McGann. (JR)

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