The year is 1968 and the nation is facing an uneasy feeling of the upcoming presidential election and ongoing crisis in Vietnam.
In the small town of Mill Valley, Stella Nicholls finds comfort/escape with her writing, soon joined by best friends Auggie Hildebrandt and Chuck Steinberg for some Halloween fun, targeting their school bully Tommy Milner for revenge.
During their escape from Tommy wrath, the trio comes across a drifter named Ramon, who’s passing through their town for the night. Quickly befriending Ramon, Stella invites him and her friends to the old and abandoned Bellows Mansion, a place that many locals believed haunted by its dark past of the people that used to dwell there.
Inside, the quartet find a secret room and come into contact with the books written by Sarah Bellows, the youngest member of the family, accused of horrible crimes against children, and tortured by her elders, channeling a sinister supernatural darkness into the pages of her macabre tales.
Taking one of the cursed books from the Bellows mansion, Stella soon realizes she’s unleashed this black magic, with new stories writing themselves, making the teenagers the subjects as sudden monsters and creatures begin to appear in Mill Valley.
I decided to check this film out during its opening weekend to see if is was good or not. What did I think of it? Well, to be honest, I surprisingly liked it. Horror films made for kids can still be scary.
A plump, severed toe floats to the surface of a meat stew, ready to be unwittingly gobbled. A decapitated head rolls down a chimney, then springs to maniacal, vaudevillian life, shouting and singing. A spider bite on a cheek keeps growing and growing and growing, until… well, arachnophobes beware. Like scouts huddled around a campfire, each trying to send a bigger chill down the others’ spines, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark keeps coming up with new gruesome attractions, piling one on top of the next.
Guillermo Del Toro is truly one of the greatest masterminds when it comes to horrifying imagery. The book has so many terrifying monsters that Del Toro has absolutely done justice for. Not a moment during the movie was I bored until the end, the rest of the movie is tense and surprising to the core.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is just the type of gateway horror that will fuel nightmares for an entire generation of kids, just as the books did with my own generation.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Trailer
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
- Directed by: André Øvredal
- Written by: Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman (based on the children’s book series of the same name by Alvin Schwartz)
- Producer: Guillermo del Toro
- Starring: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush and Austin Zajur
- Classification: 14A; 108 minutes