SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK is a new horror movie by Norwegian director André Øvredal and writer-producer Guillermo del Toro. This is a classic horror fairytale with all that entails. Read more in our full Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark review here.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a new horror movie by a brilliant Norwegian director. But honestly, the entire crew behind this movie is full of horror movie creators. Basically, you can expect quite a lot of good stuff from this one.

In many ways, this is a very dark (and very classic) horror-fairytale featuring young people getting into trouble. Of course, it all takes place on Halloween just to add to the creepy factor.

Find out what to expect from this movie in our Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark review below.

A glorious horror fairytale

I am very fond of movies that have “adventure” as one of its listed genres. You know, the kind of movies that are made by Steven Spielberg which makes E.T. and Indiana Jones obvious examples. Or maybe a director like Guillermo del Toro who made both Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. Movies that work with your imagination!

Guillermo del Toro is both one of the writers and a producer on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Of course, any fairytale features elements of horror, thrills, something supernatural and humor. Also, there needs to be some kind of moral of the story. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark delivers on all these points which makes it perfect for me.

However, I should admit that I know some horror fans will probably find it to be stereotypical and predictable. After all, fairytales do follow a certain formular. Of course, the same can be said by slasher movies. What one person calls stereotypical, another calls a true classic.

In the case of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I am definitely on the “It’s a classic”-team. To me, this movie could be a new must-watch for Halloween like Trick ‘r Treat is. These two Halloween stories are actually somewhat similar in style even though Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark  isn’t an anthology. We can hope for a sequel though.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) – Review

The terrifying and fantastic monsters

Whether you like a story featuring young people getting into trouble or not, you just appreaciate the monsters in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Personally, I absolutely adore the smiling wobbly woman-like creature. Mostly, she looks like the female human personification of Slimer from Ghostbusters. Or a strangely cute version of Baba Yaga from Hellboy (2019).

Among the other monster creatures we have a female corpse who lost her toe and the terrifying “Jangly Man”. The latter is portrayed physically by Troy James who also did a brilliant job as the earlier mentioned Baba Yaga character.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a gorgeous movie visually and it even features some pretty smart characters. Sure, we’re dealing with teenagers so they will make some strange decisions, but they’re not stupid. The story takes place during the Vietnam war and Nixon election era, so forget about smartphones and bratty kids.

If anything, this feels like a story that could take place in the same universe as Stephen King’s Stand by Me (1986). This alone is probably another reason why I instinctively love Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The wonderful people behind Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 

The director of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is Norwegian director André Øvredal. He previously made the fantastic The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) along with the horror fairytale Troll Hunter (2010). Both can be highly recommended for different reasons.

Also, the aforementioned Guillermo del Toro is part of the crew. The story is based on a book by Alvin Schwartz, but was created by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. These names should also be familiar to many horror fans.

Marcus Dunstan directed The Collector and The Collection, which he also wrote with Patrick Melton. Also, the two wrote the scripts for the three first movies in the Feast franchise and on many of the movies in the Saw franchise. They even wrote the script for Piranha 3DD with Joel Soisson.

In other words, the people behind Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark love this genre and want to give you a great experience. For me, they succeed very well with this movie. At the very least, it should envoke some of the childish joy of a good scary story.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is out in US movie theaters from August 9, 2019. Also, it’s being released around the same time in countries worldwide.

Details

Director: André Øvredal
Cast: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn

Plot

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time-stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tome.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

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