A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives.
Runtime: 1 hr 51min | Release Date: 09, August, 2019 | Country: U.S.A. | Language: English | Triggers: None | Source: Self-Purchased | Rating: 4 out of 5
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review
I have always loved the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. Waaay back when I was a little GracieKitten they were my first brushes with urban legends and some of the stories told have stuck with me so well that I remembered them years later. So, needless to say, I was thrilled (but cautious) about the movie.
Since the stories are short stories, I was curious how they would frame the movie. Whether it would be an anthology-style movie or another method. I didn’t want to watch the trailer because trailers spoil the crap out of a movie more than half the time anymore. So I tend to avoid them.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was well-produced, entertaining and kept subverting my expectations in ways that I didn’t expect. For instance, when the group goes into the house, finds the book and are trapped by the bully jocks I was expecting them to ‘read’ the stories to pass the time. That din’t happen. There were very few jump scares in places where I fully expected them. A few more I won’t mention because they would spoil some pretty great parts.
I also really liked the romance in the story. And that is something that you will rarely hear me say. It was sweet and fit the ages. There wasn’t any inappropriate gropage or face nomming.
The effects were great and one scene actually made me cover my face because I just could not do it. It wasn’t graphic but some scenes were very…uncomfortable…in a good way. The monsters were well done and really reflected the art of Stephen Gammell. That being said, it was actually pretty child friendly. So if you’re going to it expecting it to be ‘adult’ horror or graphic then you will probably be disappointed. I don’t want to make it too light-hearted sounding, though. It’s pretty dark.
The actors did a very nice job, as well. Zoe Margaret Colletti (Stella) did an excellent job with the very emotional scenes. I was also pleased with the relationship shown between Stella and her dad. There’s a brief emotional scen that both actors just freaking nailed it. It was great. Stella and Ramon (Michael Garza) played off each other very well and had great chemistry.
I would have given a full five stars but I found the resolution to the terror a bit anticlimactic. I did, however, love the epilogue. It again veered off from my expectations in a great way and I do not want to spoil it. I found that ‘epilogue’ far more satisfying than the resolution. My other issues are more nitpicky. Mostly that the movie is set in 1968 but I had a hard time remembering that. Some of the clothes seemed a bit too modern and the speech, as well. I was kind of expecting it to be set in the eighties since that’s when the books came out (although a lot of them had a fifties vibe to them). I have to wonder if they chose a different time period so as not to be compared to IT: Chapter One.
I was also hoping for a Vindow Viper reference because I still find that story hilarious.
I would definitely recommend it. Its a great movie and you can share it with your kids if you feel they won’t be bothered by it. As stated before, some scenes are a bit intense and dark.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.