The book that scared us all in elementary school has become a live screen fright to people who have adored the book ever since. Although the movie trailer seemed enticing and full of nostalgia for its past readers, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark had a generic and predictable plot that is probably on Netflix with a different title slapped on it.
As a classic gang of 4 is introduced, the movie begins in the Fall- with the typical views of dead trees creating a more eerie setting in the plot. Stella, Ramón, Auggie and Chuck are on the run from the neighborhood bully and stumble upon the haunted house of the neighborhood. While the cinematography of the setting is shown well, because of its basic storyline- the view seems cliche and does not separate itself from the rest. Stella, played by Zoe Colleti, stumbles upon a book of stories written by the girl who was believed to have haunted the halls of the manor; Stella ends up stealing the book as her fascination of writing begins to grow with these mesmerizing pages.
Although the inciting incident is introduced fairly quickly, the rest of the build-up seems to happen very slowly, almost blowing off the rest of the movie. Stella and Ramón’s romance begins to bud before they are rudely interrupted (quite obviously) by the book beginning to write its own stories. To their horror, their friends names begin to appear in the stories; all having particularly bad endings. The stories are just as they were in the book, so the nostalgic surprises of the film being brought to life was worth a smile in the theatre. Though the movie may contain some jump-worthy scares and good editing effects to gross out the audience; it’s lackluster dialogue and acting creates for a dull experience. I caught myself yawning towards the end of the film, mostly because the end scene was about as thrilling as expected…
So if you’re looking for a good date movie or something to waste nine dollars on, give this flick a try. Some stories are just better stuck on paper.