<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Andre Ovredal. Starring Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, Austin Abrmas, Dean Norris, Lorraine Toussaint, Natalie Ganzhorn, Gil Bellows

Running time: 2 hours


Based on a book of scary stories, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is low on scares but is certainly creepy and attention-grabbing. 

The book was apparently full of scary stories about a haunted a house and other chilling tales for kids. What made it even scarier was the artwork by Stephen Gammell that helped you imagine the monsters better. Now, in this new film, the stories come to life… or rather, death.


In the small town of Mill Valley, America in 1968, the country is still grappling with a ‘cheat’ for President (Nixon) and the Vietnam War. Racism is palpable but ghosts don’t discriminate. A bunch of young kids are thrown together in a haunted house with a backstory of a girl called Sarah imprisoned in the basement who went mad with rage. Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti) finds a book of dark stories in Sarah’s room. Then stories begin to start writing themselves as monstrous creatures attack the young ones one at a time. Stella and the out-of-town hottie Ramon (Michael Garza) have to figure out how to stop Sarah from bringing an unhappy end to their lives.

The evil creatures aren’t your stock ‘little pale girl with long hair’ type, thanks to the creative inputs of Guillermo del Toro. They are chilling to look at and take their time to commit their heinous crimes. But the reason behind this mayhem and the sometimes-intriguing message that accompanies each kill is what keeps interest up. Racism, bigotry, violence, superficiality, patriotism and other themes are touched upon.


Is the film going to make you jump in your seat? Probably not. But it’s a well-made tale that also shows us the demons within each human that don’t always die with them.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a good watch for the lover of dark tales.


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