Scary Stories you tell in the Dark 2019
Dir: Andre Ovredal
Producer: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Dean Norris etc
Based on the popular children’s horror anthologies of the same name, this movie is the best that PG-13 gets folks. I never read these books as a kid but I wish I had as this movie not only unraveled an entire anthology in the background of a plot, the film successfully uses excellent creature designs and effective world building to give you quite a good time. I must say the premise of the movie was already something that appealed to me as a storyteller, lover of stories, reader, and horror enthusiast but Guillermo Del Toro’s involvement gave this film the extra push.
The setting of election time, Nixon vs Humphrey is incredibly effective as the dread isn’t just about monsters but about a very real horror of the Vietnam war. The sociopolitical commentary and small town charm tinged with typical anti-communist hatred was a welcome add-on. This isn’t to say that the film would have failed without this, but that it added something to ground it all. The stories part of the title is a double meaning, one meaning literal written stories, and the other being the stories about ourselves that we as people internalize in our heads.
I am not gonna say that the character development and story is anything super original or outta this world, but as someone who didn’t read this books as a kid, I was a bit surprised and delighted. Honestly, I cannot really fault anyone for disliking this movie if they felt it wasn’t to their liking or boring but I really couldn’t help loving it. I really feel like this is the kind of thing you can watch with your kids and enjoy the heck out of. I find the film charming and full of heart. The leads are passable but not excellent. I would definitely give this film a 4/5
Story/ Character: 3/5
World Building: 4/5
Creature design: 4/5
Musical Score: 3/5
Personal Opinion: 4/5