New film delivers nostalgia and horror

Alice Webster, Student Editor

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Any current high school student has likely at least heard of the kid’s horror book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. For most young adults, the anthology was quintessential to the elementary school experience. So it’s no surprise that many were excited for the long overdue movie adaptation but also worried that the film would not do the childhood classic justice, particularly in regards to the portrayal of the iconic illustrations.

Those fears proved to be unfounded, especially when it came to the monsters. Only five stories are in the film, disappointing some moviegoers, but each is flawlessly executed. “The Pale Lady” in particular seems to be lifted right from the page. The body horror element of spiders crawling out of a girl’s face, an image used heavily in the promotional material for the film, is truly disgusting and awe inducing. This is unsurprising given that Guilermo del Toro served as executive producer and has had a hand in creating some of the most iconic movie monsters in cinema history.  

For a PG-13 film, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark can give the viewer quite a fright. It doesn’t overuse jump scares which gives the ones it does have more punch. The plot isn’t terribly complex, but it uses its setting of 1960s America to touch on important themes such as the draft and racism. However, these themes aren’t terribly prevalent in most of the scares. It also delves into issues of the past toward the end, such as inhumane conditions for the mentally ill and disfigured and the evils that rich moguls present to society. The characters are simple but likeable and have enough intelligence to make the audience be completely on their side instead of making them want to yell at the screen. 

Overall, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a fun watch for any nostalgia-seeking or scary movie fan. If you find yourself lacking something new to watch on Halloween this year, look no further. Oh, and be on the lookout for the possible sequel. 

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