Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Movie Review

The 2015 Goosebumps film is much better than you’d think it should be. It was a clever and self aware way to adapt to the franchise for a feature length runtime. Match as you don’t need to bother with the 2018 sequel (which looks like a TV movie you would find on Nickelodeon) you can thank the first films modest success for this films existence. It’s taking the same approach of adapting some disparate stories from a popular book series but this time wants to be be a slice of legitimate teen horror rather than knockabout slapstick. With the backing of Guillermo Del Toro the and some solid reviews I wanted to see whether this approach could be pulled off a second time.. Did they manage it?
Honestly‚Ķno. I’m not much of a horror fan but even I could see but this film was a pretty blatant attempt to copy the success of other recent media. Goosebumps has already been mentioned but there’s a fair amount of Stranger Things in the perioud setting and team horror (one climactic set piece it’s incredibly similar to a set piece in Stranger Things 3.) There’s also a little bit of Until Dawn, a heavy dose of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (which despite some rough edges is better than it has any right to be ) and a fair chunk of Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House. Despite two nicely constructed set pieces and a strong lead performance that suggest a good career ahead for Zoe Margaret Collins I spent most of the film wishing I was watching/ playing any of the things previously mentioned. There’s also the fact that the film succumbs to the generic jumpscare phenomenon that simply isn’t scary if you’ve seen more than 1 modern horror film in the last 5 years
This film could have been something is the filmmakers had taken it in another direction. That said despite a few bright spots in its current state it’s far too bland and indebted to other things to be anything beyond a mild curiosity.

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