Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

My wife and I waited a year to finally see this movie. We were just about to walk into the theater when we were texted of an emergency at home. We managed to get a refund just before the movie started and headed home. Fortunately, everything was all right at home. But we hadn’t taken the time seen this movie until the other day.

Having never read the source material, I can’t say as to whether this is a faithful adaptation of it or not. The movie itself is not scary in the least. The plot consists of three misfit teenagers who go into a haunted house and take a book containing the namesake scary stories. As thanks for taking the book outside of the house, the books author, now a ghost, proceeds to write scary stories in real time that effectively dispatch one youngster after another. While I suspect the stories had some suspense to them, in the movie, the stories are boiled down to: book starts writing, scary thing starts chasing a teenager, scary thing makes teenager disappear. Probably the “best” rendition is of the scarecrow. The other monsters suffer from weak CGI, particularly the Jangly Man.

Since each scary segment only lasts about ninety seconds, the film is filled with numerous references to the Nixon reelection campaign, the Vietnam war, and other seventies minutiae. I don’t understand what the seventies has to do with the scary stories, and I suspect that the two themes were blended together to bring in some topical relevancy to the proceedings. Politically-based horror is seldom done for a reason. Get Out is one of the few that pulled it off, and did so exceptionally. That is not the case here.

Not recommended.

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