Breihan Dryden, A&E Correspondent
I, like many other children, grew up reading the 1981 children’s horror classic “Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark.”
I, like many other children, developed a love of horror fiction (and I’m pretty sure night terrors) from this collection of folk horror, coupled with its delightfully grotesque illustrations.
In 2016, the world learned that Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro would be producing/co-writing an adaptation of the original story and I couldn’t be happier. “Seriously, the guy who made the folk horror classic ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and produced the absolutely chilling ‘The Orphanage’ is making this?” my excited horror geek mind asked. “What could possibly go wrong?”
Fast forward four years and add acclaimed horror director Andre Ovredal (“example,” “example”) into the mix and we finally get to gaze upon the glorious teen horror that they have brought us.
Honest to God, I’m just happy that this film got made and is pretty good.
Set in the late 60s, “Scary Stories” tells the tale of three friends and a crush cursed by the spooky kid killer Sarah Bellows.
The kids irritate some bullies on Halloween and then hide in the car of this dude at a drive-in. After the bullies are asked to leave, the kids decide to go have a look at the old Bellows place, because it’s supposedly haunted, ya dig? It is haunted by the one and only Sarah Bellows, who was supposedly locked up in her basement following the death of some kids she would read to, through her wall. She hanged herself and now her ghost cries out, wishing only to read to the children from her book of scary stories to tell in the dark.
This is a movie best seen almost completely blind. If you’re like me and saw the posters and watched only the first trailer, then you’ll thoroughly dig this.
From what I’ve heard, all the other trailers kind of spoil the movie rotten and that’s a darn shame, because the best thing this movie has going for it are the monsters and how they play in to each character’s life. Seriously, the monsters in this are absolutely eerie and lead to some of the most well-crafted scenes of terror I’ve seen since “Hereditary.”
That’s not to say that this is some crazy horror classic, it isn’t. Ultimately, it’s teen horror exploitation at its most nostalgic. But it’s well-directed, with some fantastic shots and brilliant atmosphere provided by the film’s 1960s Halloween aesthetic.
Should you go see “Spooky Tales Being Spoke of at Night?” Yes. Good God, yes.
Give this movie all your money so we can get a sequel.