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‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Review: A Skin Crawling Thriller

CR: CBS Films

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark an adaptation from Alvin Schwartz ‘s 1980’s creepy children’s book series released in theaters today and does not disappoint. Guillermo del Toro and André Øvredal effectively bring to life Stephen Gammell’s grotesque macabre illustrations to the big screen.

The film gears toward a younger audience while giving a classic campfire ghost stories nostalgia feel for older audiences. The film introduces the tragic tale of Sarah Bellows. The myth states, Sara’s family had kept her hidden in a room her entire life because she was different. Until the day she hung herself. While confined alone Sara wrote several tragic stories she shared with local children through her isolated walls of her home.

On Halloween night upon entering Sara’s abandoned childhood home, a group of teens discover Sara’s self written book of horror stories. As a result this discovery leads to many fatal events throughout the film. The PG-13 adaptation contains no blood shed yet delivers plenty of disgust and death enough to creep out any audience.

Set in 1968 America, the film leans heavily with specific references to the Vietnam War and election of Richard Nixon. Last month EW reported setting the film in 1968 came with purpose as it was an impactful year for the United States that featured an escalation of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and the election of President Richard M. Nixon.

 “It’s a coming-of-age story set in a crucial point in American history,” del Toro says. “This is the end of childhood for the kids, and a wakening time for the United States. The movie is not in any means a political statement, but the movie has that background that makes it really interesting and really compelling.”

del Toro also includes a special homage to a George A. Romero horror classic. You can expect a good mix of comedic moments, creepy moments and look away moments in this creepy thriller. The classic novel’s live-like illustrations on the big screen will make an older audience’s 80’s childhood self skin crawl. Definitely a must see film.

Although not yet confirmed, it’s likely since there are three books that we can expect possibly a second and third installment, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones to hit theaters in the coming years depending how well this film is received at this weekend’s box office.

If you haven’t yet seen Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, check out this creepy thriller in theaters today.

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