Movie Review: SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Some Stories Harm, Some Stories Heal, If Your Repeat Them Enough They Become Real
First off I want to say thank you to Fingerpaint Film and TG Geeks:http://www.tggeeks.com for letting me tag along as a guest for the screening of this wonderful movie. I definitely recommend you go check out my wife Andrea’s more official review on the TG Geeks site. I read at least two the books in the series as a kid and really enjoyed them so was excited to hear a movie was coming. Seeing the Guillermo del Toro was part of it just increased my excitement. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Like many horror movies Scary Stories starts out a little slow and seeks to build the tension. We meet the main characters: Stella Nichols(Zoe Colleti), Ramon Morales(Michael Garza), Auggie Hilderbrandt(Gabriel Rush), Chuck Steinberg(Austin Zajur), and Ruth Steinberg(Natalie Ganzhorn) as well as early antagonist Tommy Milner(Austin Abrams). It’s Halloween and trio of friends Stella, Auggie, and Chuck are preparing for what is likely their last Halloween trick or treating. Tommy is clearly one of the town’s teenage trouble makers. The trio of course runs a foul of Tommy and his friends, connect with Ramon and end up at the usual town haunted house with usual urban legend attached. In this case the Bellow’s house once home to the family that owned the paper mill that was largely the reason for the founding of the town. Stories abound of Sarah Bellows and the stories she would tell local children and how they were the last stories the children would hear. In Sarah’s basement room Stella discovers and takes one of Sarah’s books of scary stories. Every night one of them becomes a part of a story in the book.The friends must find a way to stop Sarah’s stories before it’s too late.
Visually there is so much I loved about this movie. It establishes the look and feel of 1968 well and uses television coverage of the ’68 election effectively. The atmosphere is deftly and masterfully created with lighting and mood music. This is very much what I had IT: Chapter One would have been like and I spent much of the movie wishing IT had been this well done. I felt the story was well done with the uniting theme of the power of stories. Scary Stories uses many of the typical horror movie tricks to good advantage. I even fell for the distraction and got hit by the scare. While there really weren’t any new tricks used at least the movie doesn’t use gore and slasher tropes to make up for solid tension and scares. Overall I found it very enjoyable and think fans of the books will enjoy it like I did.
Rating: 4.5/5 Campfires.
Until Next Time, See you among the Stacks.