I’m tackling a tough genre today! Wait Until Dark is officially categorized under the “Horror” genre…a genre that I am usually NOT a fan of and the last one you would expect to be appropriate for a family movie night. But the innocence of classic movies saves the day again!
Just hearing that a movie is considered “Horror” sends shivers up my spine and usually makes me think of a pointless, horrific movie that would leave me sick to my stomach and having nightmares for a week. If you have similar feelings I would encourage you to keep an open mind as you read this review because Wait Until Dark is definitely an exception.
Wait Until Dark stars Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin and was made in 1967 (right at the end of what I would consider “The Classics”).
At the beginning of the movie we find out that Audrey Hepburn is blind and her loving husband is leaving on a business trip for a few days. She has learned to adapt to her blindness and is perfectly able to take care of herself while he is away…until three men of ill-repute show up at her door. It seems they believe she has some valuable information and begin playing with her mind in order to get it out of her!
This might not sound like your average horror movie but it has been said that the final climax scene is one of the scariest (yet cleanest) of all times! And despite all the comedies and lighter movies I have seen Alan Arkin in, he NAILS the “bad guy” role!
Both Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman and Alan Arkin as a sadistic fiend are EXCELLENT in their roles!
Also, it will keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense the entire time but yet is able to accomplish this without any on-camera gore or inappropriateness.
What I love most about this movie is how it opens up a genre to conservative family movie nights that is usually off the table. Growing up, I loved murder mysteries but the main way I would find ones that were low on violence was to go back to the classics. So if you have a child that is intrigued by suspense and horror but wants to avoid the inappropriate traits that usually come with it, this is a great option!
The only negatives about this movies is that there are two foul words and a couple of scenes that make it clear that something violent is happening but everything takes place off-camera.
With that said, I would still suggest that you wait for the really little ones to go to bed before popping this one in. Directors back then were masters at creating scary scenes without on-camera violence or gore but could still give little ones nightmares.