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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Canada, United States · 2019
Rated PG-13 · 1h 48m
Director André Øvredal
Starring Zoe Colletti, Dean Norris, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush
Genre Horror, Thriller

The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large in the small town of Mill Valley for generations. From the basement of the Bellow's mansion, young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon become all too real for a group of unsuspecting teens.

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What are people saying?

Megan Rochlin Profile picture for Megan Rochlin

I have never so vehemently disagreed with critics about a film. I absolutely love this movie. I'll admit, I cannot view this film impartially. If you grew up in 90's or early 2000's, you probably remember reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. You might have come across it at the back of your school library, innocuously tucked next to magic tree house. When you read it, it felt like you were getting away with something, like it wasn't quite appropriate for a child's eyes. I remember not sleeping well for weeks after my sister showed my some of the pictures. I had high expectations going into this film, and this film only succeeded them. It is hilarious, while still being scary, and has some of the most likable horror movie characters ever. If you read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as a kid, and remember being absolutely terrified by the drawings, this is a must see movie!

Asia Cureton Profile picture for Asia Cureton

As I grew up reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I was very disappointed with this film. However, my disappointment didn't stem from the monster designs and cinematography, but rather from the unimpressive protagonists and the plot. I felt like the monster designs were impressive, and exactly what I imagined the characters that kept me up at night as a child would look like on the big screen. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the performances of the protagonists or the plot. The decision to combine the individual stories into one universe wasn't a bad one, but it was definitely poorly executed. The protagonists weren't well-developed and very forgettable. Indeed, I have to say the entire movie was rather forgettable; the day after I watched the movie, I struggled to remember what I had watched the day before.

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by Ben Kenigsberg

Whether it’s the scene-setting blast of Donovan (“Zodiac”), the low-height Steadicam work (“The Shining”), the red-suffused hallways (David Lynch) or “Night of the Living Dead” playing at a drive-in, the movie takes from the best.


The Hollywood Reporter by Keith Uhlich

All of these beasties are "scary." Though they'd be much more so if they felt less like franchisable IP and more like fervent expressions of the ills of the eras on which the film aims to comment.


ScreenCrush by Matt Singer

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is drenched with symbolism and layered with ideas about lost innocence and the power of stories — and the power of creating something that resonates with an audience for years and years. I suspect this movie will do exactly that.


TheWrap by Monica Castillo

True to its word, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark delivers an entrancing thriller that explores the power of narratives with a few screams to boot.


Variety by Owen Gleiberman

The emotions of the stories have been lost. We could be watching the standard ghoulish CGI effects that take place in any horror movie of the week.


IGN by Rosie Knight

The fun and frightful Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark will introduce a new generation to the joy of being scared.

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