I was really looking forward to this Guillermo del Toro produced spookfest. The trailer piqued my interests from the get go and the intro to our central characters and their sleepy little town was really satisfying. Especially with Halloween just a few short months away. But I just wasn’t that into it and I’m sad about it.
A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives.
Based on the iconic book series.
Scary Stories plays a little bit harder than Goosebumps but still has a similar vibe and although it is creepy AF there are no real scares. I have a high threshold for that admittedly but I do wish, as I do with so many movies, that it had been rated higher and gone all out. I guess the books this movie is based on were always intended for a younger crowd so that’s kind of a moot point. The trailer also gives an awful lot away and that’s such a shame.
Stories hurt, stories heal.
I did enjoy parts of it. The effects are great, the characters well-rounded, if slightly clichéd at times. It was nice to have a central teen character, Stella (Colletti) who is really authentically teenage girl, not glam or over-sexualised – and she still kind of gets the guy. The teen romance isn’t too cloying or over-emphasised – and the chemistry between friends is believable.
I just love amateur sleuthing on film and this has it in droves. A microfiche in the local newspaper’s archive room? Check! Dusty records in the basement of the local mental hospital? Check! A haunted house full of secret rooms and dark family secrets? You bet your bottom dollar that’s a check! I just wish I’d been more invested in the safety of the victims and less, hate to say it, bored during some of the conclusion. It was also a very obvious ending, something we’ve seen a hundred times before.
I bloody loved the scarecrow Harold and the pale lady though – I want a spin off with just them please – the King and Queen of the grotesque.
Ultimately, Scary Stories is a little too by the numbers and it doesn’t wow as much as I wanted it to. Some of it is a little convenient and not followed through particularly well. Which is a crying shame because we’re entering a wonderful period for horror this year (and have has some right bangers already). This could’ve been a contender.