Review: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scary stories for childrenThe Geets (greats):
A somewhat forgettable entry into Horror anthology series which does bring some elements of adventure. I wasn't aware that it is based on the classic Horror anthology series, but given the direction of most movies coming out these days I'm not surprised.
This movie does a satisfactory job of maintaining some level of anticipation and adventure for the protagonists as they search for clues regarding Sarah Bellows and her cursed book of scary tales. The narrative makes you feel somewhat invested in the main plot of this movie regardless of its many inconsistencies.
The Phads (bads):
Despite the creative input of Guillermo del Toro, I was disappointed in the final product. This movie failed to create effective and believable scares. It felt more like a children's version of a Horror movie but without any credibility to elicit fear.
This movie is an unsatisfactory attempt to add as many scary stories and monsters into one film as it doesn't have the pacing and stable narrative to make seem believable. It just seemed like a cheap attempt to place as many monsters into it so that the trailer can stand out. However, the final product only further undermines the success of this film. It may be well received by younger audience but the more mature audience may feel robbed of the theatre experience.
I usually appreciate the creativity and intelligence that Del Toro invests in most of his film, as well as the open-mindedness that is often lacking in most other film, however, this film only deters those qualities but feeling like a 'black hole' for many creatures without an effective narrative.
Despite the overt investment in monster design and the scary stories it still fails to show authenticity. I never once felt scared throughout the movie viewing, instead disappointedly laughing most of the way at the poor execution of most aspects of this movie.
All the characters lacked the genuine drive and likability to fully appreciate their character developments and ultimate fates in this movie. They just seemed to be going on expressionless throughout the story, except for Chuck who showed authentic responses. Additionally, the romance unfolding between Stella and Ramon was poorly received due to the poor script and lack of emotional vulnerabilities within their characters. It just felt like emotionally scarred individuals talking to each other with no drive towards anticipation.
This movie lacked the psychological investment in its scares and instead trying to get by with mellowed thrills instead. None of the supposedly scary stories felt creepy enough for me to be fully invested in them. In the end, this movie is a hot mess and the reason why I left 3/4th of the way through it.