BY: GABY MORENO
Movie: Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark
Release date: Aug 9, 2019
Main Cast: Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur
“The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large in the small town of Mill Valley for generations. It’s in a mansion that young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon have a way of becoming all too real for a group of unsuspecting teens who stumble upon Sarah’s spooky home.”
Inspired Quotes: “Stories can heal you or destroy you!” ; “American Horror History Repeats itself”
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
Today I will be reviewing the teen horror film, “Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark” based on Alvin Schwartz book series. The books are just short urban legends or stories that form an anthology series. The film changes it up and connects all the different stories into one. We are introduced to the main character Stella who has two best friends Auggie and Chuck. They are horror nerds and bullied by the town jock Tommy. On Halloween night the three amigos get Tommy back and they are chased into a Drive-In theater. While trying to hide from Tommy the three amigos hop into the new stranger in town’s car. He is a young teen named Ramon and you can tell he is running away or has a mysterious vibe to him. All four teens end up going to the Bellows Mansion where Stella finds Sarah Bellows scary stories book and that is when the horror begins. I won’t go into detail you’ll have to watch the movie!
I enjoyed the movie, as I was walking out the theater I could hear a conversation between two young girls who didn’t like the film and made the remark, “I should have just read the books instead”. I grew up reading those books so seeing this film on the big screen was a big deal for me and nostalgic. My grandma used to take my sisters and I to the Public Library in the Summer and that is how I stumbled on the series that fed my imagination and my love for the horror genre. Also keep in mind these books are geared toward a young teen audience and this film was PG-13. Meaning viewers who were expecting to see gore, it’s not going to happen! As a horror fan I love gore, but I also like psychological horror and a great horror story. In this case the title says it all, the main focus is building a great story and making the audience connect with the main characters.
I believe people have high expectations when it comes to horror movies and this is one of those genres that people tend to judge by the fear scale, but as a horror fan we know horror movies are more than jump scares. The audience doesn’t really care about the character development or the story. That is why it is rare to see a high rating on horror movies. Some of my favorite horror cult classics have an average score of 7. Sorry I went off topic, but I feel it is relevant to this film.
I was really entertained by the movie and yes there were predictable moments and jump scares, but I enjoyed the special effects and make up effects. They definitely did justice to Stephen Gamell’s creepy illustrations. The Director André Øvredal executed the angles perfectly and I loved the ending shot where you see the autumn trees and highway. Definitely gave me Halloween and Fall vibes! Also I loved how Guillermo Del Toro (writing credit/Producer) snuck in social commentary. I can tell it Del Toro I’ve seen his films and recognize his influence lol. He basically shows how history tends to repeat itself. The film takes place in 1968 at the time where young men were being drafted to the Vietnam war and Nixon was about to be elected President. Watching that gave me the chills, because it reminded me of the scary times we are current living with 45 as President and the racial tension. Fear of gun violence is our current reality and our true scary story at this moment.
I am glad one of the main characters was a latino character. Ramon’s character is my favorite character of the film. But I did wish they had gone more into depth about his character. I can definitely see Guillermo Del Toro’s influence in this film. Overall I enjoyed the movie, it was left open for a sequel. Hopefully we will get to see more scary stories on the big screen in the near future! To end this review I wanted to give a quick shout out and congratulations to Guillermo Del Toro for finally receiving his Walk of Fame star!!! Viva Mexico!
Thank you for reading my review. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads! While you’re at it follow my blog on social media @7octoberz and Facebook!