Monday, August 19, 2019

[Review] Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Gather around, because Halloween has arrived early with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and it’s a lot of frightening fun.

If you’re like me, you grew up reading the memorable book series of the same name. Alvin Schwartz’s notoriously creepy illustrations might have given me a nightmare or two. Or three. 

Directed by André Øvredal and adapted by horror master Guillermo del Toro, this big screen imagining brings the monstrosities to life and does an expert job in making your skin crawl, cleverly weaving in several of the bizarre and terrifying stories into a cohesive feature-length film. There’s a scarecrow with a mind of its own, pimple-popping spiders, The Jangly Man, and a Pale Lady that is likely to haunt your dreams. The film, especially in the beginning, revels in old-fashioned folklore and urban legends and it embraces a tone of campy nostalgia while providing plenty of funny tricks and treats along the way. 

It’s also an ode to horror fandom and spooky cinema itself, from the Dracula posters to the drive-in theater showings of Night of the Living Dead. Most importantly, this thing is about the power of telling stories, and how they stick with us. Sometimes they’re scary. And sometimes they’re told in the dark.

*Lights a candle*

( 7.5/10 )

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