Thursday, 2 January 2020

Midnight Horror Review - Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Like many. . . many other kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s, I read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy by Alvin Schwartz, which were retold folklores with freaky illustrations by Stephen Gammell. The feature film adaptation was released to theatres back in August. The teasers and trailers looked intriguing. However, I never got a chance to see the movie on the big screen because the one-screen theatre in my small town never got the film. So, I just waited around until it was released on Blu-ray.

Directed by Andre Ovredal and produced by Guillermo Del Toro, the movie is set in 1968 and centers around a group of teenagers who all get chased by bullies into the old Bellows mansion on Halloween Night. Inside the mansion, the stumble upon a book of scary stories that were written by Sarah Bellows, who vanished many years ago. The book has a curse put upon it and it's now writing new stories that come to life.

Stella Nicholls (played by Zoe Colletti) is the main teenager, who just  happens to have a love for horror flicks. Along with draft dodger Ramón (played by Michael Garza), Stella races against time to unravel the mystery behind Sarah's disappearance and find a way to stop the book's monsters from preying on her friends.

Final Thoughts

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark's plot is very similar to the Goosebumps movies, where fictional monsters come out of a book. Only the plot works slightly better in this film, many thanks to amazing cinematography, throwback music, and a creepy atmosphere. The monster effects are great, resembling the original illustrations by Stephen Gammell. I only wish there were more monsters used from the books as only four were used, minus the spiders.

Overall, I enjoyed watching Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. For a PG-13 flick, there are several intense scenes that gave me goose bumps. There were a few slow scenes in the middle that could have been done a little better but as a whole film, it's pretty good; though the clichéd ending that was meant to setup sequels felt a little forced to me. Due to the lackluster box office performance, I highly doubt there will ever be a sequel.

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to watch Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, make sure to watch it late at night with the lights off!

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