Scary Movies to Tell in the Dark provides great scares for the family.

Disclaimer: The Fandads received a review copy in exchange for a review of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. All thoughts, opinions, and sleepless nights are our own. 

I think I am not the only one that grew up reading the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. I remember reading those stories and legitimately being scared to enter a dark room because I thought characters from the stories will be waiting for me in the corners. As I got older and read the other two books in the series, my love for being scared by them grew and when I found out they were going to make a movie, I was beyond thrilled.

The movie takes place in a small town called Mill Valley in the late 1960s and what makes this great for the story is the children are not tech-savvy as they would be if this was set in the modern-day. The children have to do actual research to…wait, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let me start over.

The movie takes place in a small town called Mill Valley in the late 1960s on Halloween. The main characters of the movie, Stella, Chuck, and Auggie are preparing to get back at the local bully, Tommy, by playing a prank on him.  The prank backfires and the children are chased into a drive-in where they meet a loner named Ramón. This chance encounter leads the group to a visit to a local haunted house where we are introduced to the story of Sarah Bellows.

Sarah Bellows was a young girl who was kept hidden in the basement and she wrote scary stories that became myths in the small town. Stella takes one of Sarah’s books of stories and that is where the bad stuff begins. The book starts writing stories that involve the main characters and they vary from spooky (spiders) to downright terrifying (big toe seeking zombie).

Without giving away too much from the movie, it is kind of cool how they incorporate the stories into the movie and it is chilling to see some of the characters from the pages brought to the big screen.

Final Thoughts: The movie does a great job of translating the creatures from the books to the big screen, but it feels like something is missing. Making this into an anthology would have been clunky, due to the many great stories in the series, so making this follow a singular plot worked for the story they were telling. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a good scary movie and a great way to introduce the books to your children. It does have great jump scares and ends with an opening for the story to continue.

Kid-Friendly: The movie has moments where even I had to look away (Big Toe anyone) but I would not recommend this for children under 6 years old. I would think the ideal age would be 10 and up. While my 6 year old did watch the movie there were moments where he covered his eyes because the actions on the screen were a little too much for him. My 10 year old also covered her eyes at some moments, but only if she felt a jump scare coming.

Violence: The movie is rated PG -13 for terror/violence, disturbing images, thematic elements, language including racial epithets, and brief sexual references I did not expect some of the stuff I saw onscreen. This is a scary movie and while it is not an R rated movie, there are moments that teeter on it being an R. There is a moment with a pitchfork, a bully chasing the main characters with threats of violence. a racial slur being said and written on a car.

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley, where for generations the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time. For a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home, the stories become all too real in this spine-tingling film.

Take home Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and immerse yourself in the terrifying world with exclusive special features, including six featurettes on the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital releases and two featurettes on the DVD looking at the development of the creepiest creatures in the film, as well as the process of taking these classic tales from page to screen!  Experience four times the resolution of full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker.

“The Bellows Construct” Featurette
“Creature from the Shadows” Featurette
“Mood Reels” Featurette
“Behind-the-Scenes Trailers: Set Visits” Featurette
“Dark Tales” Featurette
“Retro Horror” Featurette

“Dark Tales” Featurette
“Retro Horror” Featurette

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