Under the watchful eye of Guillermo del Toro, Andre Ovredal’s adaptation of the graphic novel series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is delicious genre fun.
With a wink and a sprinkle of Goosebumps about it, this anthology type feature sits somewhere between R.L Stine’s work and Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat.
Ovredal has a pedigree in the genre too and knows how to weave a story together, case in point go watch The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
Much the same as those genre successes this collection relies on its characters not its monsters to drive the story forward – although having said that the monsters are spectacular.
Having a period setting of 1968 also helps the film to stand apart from what’s come before. Given the 80’s nostalgia trip induced by Strangers Things and IT, it would have been very easy to update Scary Stories to that time period. Luckily, Ovredal sticks to his guns although it wouldn’t shock if the studio would have attempted to push the story in that direction.
The segments also aren’t rushed and every story has its time to develop and breathe before we move and they all knit quite neatly together; although having come from a series that it is expected, to an extent.
This is layered horror and I have no doubt that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will become a cult favourite of genre fans. Who knows the stories may not even be over yet…..
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is out now in UK cinemas.