If you’re not quite ready to put Halloween in the past, you’re in luck: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the film adaptation of the novel of the same name — the one you read as a kid — is now available for rent. This walk down memory lane (more like nightmare lane) is sure to scare.
Horror is my favorite film genre, so I was intrigued to see how this relatively safe PG-13 film would turn out. My usual policy with horror is rated-R or bust, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to watch one of my favorite childhood books get the fancy film adaptation treatment — and I’m pleased to report it doesn’t disappoint.
The best part of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is that it isn’t anthological like the book. Rather, the short stories we are all familiar with are weaved together episodically: Producer Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) does a solid job of intertwining the stories into a cohesive larger story centered around the Bellows Family.
Aspiring horror writer and teenager Stella (Zoe Coletti), along with her friends, Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur), explore the nearby Bellows Family haunted house (like an actual house, not just an attraction) where she uncovers Sarah Bellows’ book of scary stories. Things get spooky and as they quickly escape, Stella unwittingly takes the book with her (…yikes).
Stella quickly learns that the book is writing stories in real-time and these stories are playing out in real life. If she and her friends cannot stop the stories, they will be forced to watch them continue, sacrificing another person with them each time. Each of these stories mirror one of author Alvin Schwartz’s stories in the books, including some of the most well-known ones like “The Big Toe” and “Harold”.
For me, the scariest character by far was the Pale Lady. She tormented my nightmares growing up, and I thought they did an impeccable job recreating her so similarly to the cartoons in the book.
I was particularly impressed by Zoe Coletti’s performance as Stella. Del Toro discovered her for this role (she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page up yet!) and she absolutely delivers as the naive but strong-willed Stella. I’m excited to see what she will do next.
Whether you grew up reading these stories or they’re brand new to you, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a relatively tame but strong-punching scary movie for teens and adults alike.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is now available now for a $5.99 HD rental.
Other new movies now Available:
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Adopt a Highway
A Kiss on Candy Cane Lane
A Walk with Grace
Bare Knuckle Brawler
Christmas with Moland
Memory: The Origins of Alien
My Adventures with Santa
Red Letter Day
Return to Mount Kennedy
Sink or Swim
Undercover Brother 2
William Lee Martin: Standing in the Middle