Shake in your boots!
This film starts the way a lot of excellent horror films do. It’s Halloween night. Teens are investigating a large abandoned house. What they find there is the stuff of nightmares. Mind you, this was based on a children's book series, so it’s not for everyone yet it’s not exactly for kids either. You might have been led to believe this is an anthology, and it isn’t, but it’s not far off.
Each of the main characters are getting cursed by a magical book that makes them face their fears, a plot device that really does pay off. This narrative is the film’s strongest facet. It keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. It’s also quite addicting. Despite the countless writers it took to come up with this gem, we end up with a simple script.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has a good cadence. It’s naturally paced, and it impresses by thinking outside the box. The kills are non-lethal, which reminds us that horror isn’t all about gore. Fear is much harder to spark. Exposition works miracles and these characters are relatable. The only thing that brings this movie down is that, at some point, it needs to end.