It’s easy to take for granted a good horror movie; even more so a horror movie that is geared towards kids. Really think about it, the most frightening time in our lives is in our adolescence.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark perfectly captures the innocence and the subsequent loss of it. Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti) and her friends Auggie and Chuck (Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur) meet Ramon (Michael Garza) a kid with a mysterious past. On Halloween night they enter an old Haunted House and discover a book whose stories come to life.
If this sounds a little bit like the film adaptation of Goosebumps, it does. But this is the movie Goosebumps wished it could be. This is a film very much made for teens, but it isn’t afraid to scare the living shit out of them. It treats the stories with the utmost respect, with some haunting atmosphere and effects.
The ingenious things about the movie, which is based on a collection of stories with no link between them, is the way the book is used as a narrative device. The perils are real, and the way the stories of the book and the children intertwine is just brilliant.
What I wasn’t a fan of was the extremely dim lighting, which was employed due to keeping it PG-13, and it’s a smart work around but I just like clear cinematography. But even then the stuff that’s in here will mess up your kids.
At the end of the day, I cared about the kids in the film, I was impressed that there was a little social commentary for people to pick up on, and best of all, the message of facing your fears. It was just well made, well paced and I see it becoming a new Halloween classic.