'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark'...More Like 'Mildly Amusing Stories to Watch If You're Bored'

'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark'...More Like 'Mildly Amusing Stories to Watch If You're Bored'

4/12 ForReel Score | 1.5 Stars

4/12 ForReel Score | 1.5 Stars

In July, Guillermo del Toro explained why Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was not produced as an anthology, saying, “anthology films are always as bad as the worst story in them — they're never as good as the best story.” It’s a rational explanation, but it’s also a shame since the movie ultimately wastes its 107 minute runtime on one shallow and predictable narrative.

After stealing a book from an allegedly haunted house, three friends and a young wandering traveler begin to experience paranormal events and inexplicable disappearances as they try to figure out how to contain the spirit that’s haunting them.

This group of kids, played by Zoe Margaret Colletti, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, and Michael Garza, each have entertaining personalities, but if you’re hoping for Loser Club-type chemistry, this wasn’t quite the right matchup. It doesn’t help that the mystery they’re subjected to isn’t very intriguing since Scary Stories’ narrative is devoid of creative plot twists and the conclusion is left open for a sequel no one asked for.

What I can say is occasionally, Scary Stories figures out how to briefly crank up the creepy factor…likely a product of del Toro’s involvement in the production. But the rest of this movie plays it safe. Perhaps too safe. While it might appeal to the masses, Scary Stories is neither comical enough, scary enough, nor original enough to stand out as a highlight in horror filmmaking.

Honestly Del Toro, I might’ve preferred your worst short story instead.

Acting and Casting - 1 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 0 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 0 | Reviewer's Preference - 0 | What does this mean?

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