Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is an adaptation of the children books series by Alvin Schwartz. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, he also co-wrote the story with Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan
“A Gateway To The Horror Movie”
Del Toro is no stranger to the horror genre, the recent is “The Shape of Water”, winning him several awards for best director. While it’s not 100% horror movie, but it is somewhat akin to. This time though, he chooses to take the writer role only and the director role is given to the Norway born director, André Øvredal. During an early advance of the film screening, del Toro explained that “Scary Stories” is intended to be “a gateway movie” to the horror genre. The movie is certainly just as what del Toro envision. Packing quite a punch in the scary sector, with not that much-overblown jump scare, but still able to keep the rating at PG-13.
70′ Vibe All-Around
“Scary Stories” sets their pace in the now popular timeline of 1968. Making its feel as much of a homage to the culture, just like “Stranger Things”. We follow the delinquent group of best friend, consist of Stella Nicholls (Zoe Colleti), August “Auggie” Hilderbrandt (Gabriel Rush), and Chuck Steinberg (Austin Zajur). The trio lives in the small town of Mill Valley. Feeling mischief, they sacked the town local bully car, Tommy (Austin Abrams) which of course turning the bully into a berserker rage. The trio runs for their lives and stumbles into an old mansion owned by one of the families that found Mill Valley. There they found a book that belongs to Sarah Bellows, the forsaken member of the family. The books have this secret power or perhaps a revelation of what short of scary things would happen to the book holder closest one. Its start to write a new story by itself, starting with the bully, Tommy, as the first main victim of its story. From these points on, its divulge to a spiraling crazy horror story.
With a seemingly unknown cast, “Scary Stories” certainly surprised us with their strong performance. The trio act very well to be honest and the supporting role gave an impressive performance as well. Of course, there is some hit and miss, but for a not so A-List cast, it certainly gives us a great one.
Just like others great original IPs that we have this year (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), the reception to this movie is strong. With most of the critics give their approval for “Scary Stories”. However, the problem is not with the reception. It’s the revenue they generated. By the time of this writing, “Scary Stories” is performing poorly and only generated $8.8 million vs $28 million budget. I really really want these type of movie, with original IPs, promising cast and director and all around just a great movie to make money. But perhaps the audience for this kind of movie is not really there anymore. This is why also the big production house is hesitant to do a new original IP, it’s a financial risk and looking at the historical data nowadays, it’s certainly not going any better.
I’m belonging to a group that believes that to create a strong horror movie, its need to give it all without any restriction. However, this one of the movie that proves me wrong. “Scary Stories” with its PG-13 rating is still able to shock your skull so deep. But of course, I do still believe that if they could just go with NC-17, they could insert scene that really brings the horror, you know, perhaps with more blood and gore, but that just my opinion. It’s still a great movie nonetheless.