Review: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark


Title: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: André Øvredal
Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

What It Is: Based on the popular children’s book series by Alvin Schwartz. Here we’re taken to the 1970s. Young precocious Stella (Colletti) loves writing stories. But what happens when those stories begin to take life. That’s precisely what happens to Stella and her friends Auggie and Chuck. Now they’ll fight the supernatural as well as their own minds in order to stop whatever power has taken over their lives and caused them issues.

What We Think: So when you look at this film and see it’s based on a horror anthology series you think “okay, let’s see whatcha got”. What we get is a very sterile and quite sleepy experience. Sure some of the creatures LOOK scary but they really don’t add to the scares. Understandably this felt aimed towards a far younger crowd. In that regard, the film does a fantastic job. This is the perfect introduction to horror for younger fans. Still, if you aren’t in that select group there isn’t much here. It’s the young cast that does what it can with a thin narrative full of tropes.

Our Grade: C-, Light fair that doesn’t do enough to warrant your attention. If you’re in the target demographic you have to see it. If you aren’t, then go right on ahead and go watch something else. It is not by any means bad filmmaking it just lacks something interesting to say and I think would’ve worked a ton better as an anthology series. That lack of cohesion and the charm of the setting would’ve been far less of a waste. So despite everything, I personally can’t recommend the film to our general audience. Apologies.

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