Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Teaser Poster

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” has been a staple for grade school kids since 1981. For over 35 years, the short stories have been terrifying children with stories like “The Big Toe” or “The Ghost with the Bloody Fingers”. Now, Guillermo del Toro And André Øvredal are bringing the stories to life in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. But does the film benefit from a cohesive story or is the film better of as an anthology film?

The film benefits fine from the cohesive storyline but the lack of character development and substance does bring the film down. Nevertheless, the film is still scary and creepy as hell.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark follows a group of young kids who stumble upon a book of shit stories in an abandoned house. Little do they know that the book is cursed and is picking them off one-by-one.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Jangly Man

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark have given children so many nightmares due to its creepy and scary stories. That same mindset is the entire backbone for the film adaptation. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark not only will scare a new generation of kids but the adults that read the books too.

Much like the Goosebumps film, Scary Stories takes individual stories and tries to connect them into one coherent storyline. But unlike Goosebumps, this isn’t a family-friendly film. If your kids are prone to nightmares, they might want to avoid this film.

But the film also seems to take inspiration from another horror property: Death Note. The idea of having a name written in a book then they die is the entire premise of Death Note. However, the storyline is able to combine these two different plots into something that’s really intriguing.

A lot of stories used in the film are memorable (some say even iconic) so giving the stories a kind of introduction is a good way to prepare people for what’s to come. But even if you’ve never read the books, the stories are still pretty damn scary.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Pale Lady

Producer Guillermo del Toro has his fingerprints all over the various creature designs. Seemingly every single creature is ripped straight from Stephen Gammell’s original illustrations. André Øvredal’s use of atmospheric creepiness also adds to the fear that the film instills.

Unfortunately, the film feels a bit hollow. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark relies a lot on jump scares, yet the film doesn’t do a good job in getting us to care about the main characters in the film. The film simply focuses too much on terrorizing the characters and audiences rather than developing the characters.

It also doesn’t help that a majority of the young cast doesn’t quite bring much to the table either. Zoe Colletti and Michael Garza bring screams and emotion to the film. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is feature some questionable acting.

Overall, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a film that’ll prey on your inherent but irrational fears. There is a lot to like visually from the film. However, the film’s lack of emotional substance makes the film feel a bit too hollow and generic. Regardless, fans of the book should love the authentic and freaky creature designs that should bring a good amount of nostalgia to them.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

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