A creepy book in a rural 1968 Pennsylvania is the setting for “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”, a horror that might be short on scares, but provides enough creative material to be a decent time at the movies.
When a group of teenagers stumble upon a book in a haunted mansion, they soon find it has an evil power inking it’s stories in blood, and allowing those disturbing tales to become reality. The group must solve the mystery behind the book before it kills them all.
What sticks out in the film is the way it accumulates it’s body count. The use of special effects and the introduction of it’s scary elements is something new and combines the gross with the suspenseful. The young cast, which doesn’t feature a “star”, does keep the story rolling and ensures the audience is interested enough when the book decides to add another chapter.
But it’s very likely that you’re not going to get scared here. If you’re like me, you’ll probably get grossed out at some points and be entertained by the ways Director Andre Ovredal creates the story’s victims. But a horror that doesn’t make you nervous is a drawback for me and your particular taste in the genre will determine your verdict on the film.
In the end “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” should keep you interested. There is some franchise building here, which could hinge on this film’s success and should a sequel take place, “Scarier” stories produced this way could make for a stronger experience.
GRADE: C +
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1hr 47 minutes