Originally published as three collections of short stories starting in 1981, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark have been keeping children up at night for close to 40 years. They’ve also inspired several authors and filmmakers, including Guillermo del Toro who helped write the screenplay for the film adaptation. Now that the film is out, it’s clear that the legacy of the books will carry on.
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark follows the story of Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti) and her friends, who decide to visit a local haunted house on Halloween. While there, they discover an old book which Stella takes home with her and soon discovers to be cursed by the former inhabitant of the house. The book writes scary stories about her and her friends, based on their fears, which come true and cause them to fight for their very lives.
Horror movies go through phases all the time as they try to find different ways to scare you. From cornball popcorn flicks of the 50s and 60s, to the slasher movies of the 80s to the gross-out torture films of the mid-2000s, these days scary movies are taking a move psychological approach, while also appealing to an audience seeking films that have a bit of a lighter tone to them. It’s why TV shows like Stranger Things and movies like It are such a hit. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark very much follows in their vein, complete with the retro feel and the child-like innocence, as the characters navigate the nightmare before them. The story shockingly flows together nicely as well, considering the original source material’s stories were only a page or two long. The writers did a masterful job weaving a few of the stories into a larger narrative. In the end, it becomes a fun film with a nice balance to humor and horror that almost anyone can enjoy.
From a killer Scarecrow, to witches and ghosts, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark has everything you could ever want in a horror film. It’s full of stories based on urban legends and folklore, and will cause even the most dedicated horror fan to feel the hairs stand on the back of their neck at least a few times.