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What a bummer. Last week it was Katie Holmes in “Jack and Jill” — this week it’s Mrs. Cruise again, in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” The former is a comedy and the latter a remake of a horror film (actually a TV movie) from 1973. But whatever the emotional situation or physical location, Holmes remains herself: a slim little mass of nihilistic joylessness somehow mindful of a ¥100-shop home-decor product.

Arguably, her discount aura could mean that she’s tailor-made for B-grade scare movies, but her charms fall short of the kind of charisma needed for a vehicle such as “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” Almost all the action takes place inside a run-down rural estate, there are only three central characters and the plot relies heavily on dialogue and ambience.

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