20 July 2017
I’ve managed to write a list of films to put into this Film Klub so here we are at it again with two films within one post. The reason for this “double bill” is that sometimes I’ll watch one film and then research other films that might be similar. In this case I had watched the film Afraid Of The Dark (Mark Peploe, 1991) and then months later watched Paperhouse (Bernard Rose, 1988).
Although seeing the two films on two completely separate occasions I was struck by the similar aesthetics and themes running through the both films. In fact, I get a sense of a micro-genre of UK films coming out around this time, when the 80s were ending and going into the 90s — a micro-genre of young adult films where there is a young, child protagonist who gets pulled into a dark fantasy where the child’s mind starts blurring this fantasy and reality. The late 80s UK mini-series Moondial fits into this group as well, but for now we’re just looking at the two films aforementioned.
Afraid Of The Dark focuses around a young boy named Lucas who lives with his family in a neighbourhood in London. Lucas is soft-spoken and has very bad eyesight, therefore requiring him to wear very thick glasses. These glasses have a strong visual element in the film. Both Lucas’s parents and other characters in the film share concern about Lucas’s worsening eyesight. The film progresses into a strange mystery/thriller where Lucas is convinced there’s a murderer stalking in his neighbourhood and plays around with the concept that you’re unsure if this is just in the young boy’s head, or if it’s actually happening. READ MORE