Ok, so this was a hard one for me. I wanted so badly to like this movie. Dan and I saw it two weekends ago and we have just been putting off talking about it.
If you’re a child of the 80’s or 90’s, you remember these books. You remember the Scholastics book fair or the monthly Scholastics Book Club flyers and you would be begging your parents for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books or you’d be saving your allowance to buy it at the fair secretly. This was a book my friends and I couldn’t get enough of in 4th grade and we were thrilled when it looked liked there were new ones always coming out. (They weren’t. All 3 came out between 1984 and 1991. Well before 4th grade for me.) Ever since 2013 when CBS Films announced they had acquired the rights to make a film adaptation me and a whole lot of other people have been super excited.
This movie, first and foremost, is boring. Nothing happens for a long time. I was willing to give the thing the benefit of the doubt. Its rated PG13. The source material is geared towards kids. I was hoping it would be a great film to recommend as an intro to the horror genre. No. It takes far too long to establish the connections between our main cast of characters and to put them into the situation that actually starts to cover the stories from the books.
It doesn’t spend enough time with each of the stories that it incorporates to do them justice and frankly some of the cg effects are distracting.
The movie felt torn between two ideas it wanted to accomplish. On the one hand it wanted to tell the stories from the book, which is what everyone wanted. On the other hand, it wanted to tell this story about a murderous soul and how she came to be so vengeful and the family trauma with it, which was surprisingly interesting. But because it was trying to do both it accomplished nether. Because of the failed execution, I cringed when it teased a More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark sequel.
This is the first movie I’ve done for this channel that I’m giving a 1 star. Don’t waste your time or money on it.
1/5 Skip it unless you got a coupon.