User ReviewsReview this title
Bad: The cast is fine, nothing spectacular or atrocious, it is something you would expect from a horror film. Some lines are cheesy and laughable. The main story could have been shortened.
Overall: Although there is nothing innovating it is still a solid fresh straight-up(less jump scare, more imagery) horror of 2019 that can pass the time with entertainment and chills to be made.
If you're expecting this to be along the vain of IT or blood and gore type of movie, or if you've never read the books before you may not like it. You have to remember the stories target audience was designed for kids, young adults and those who have read the series.
I think this was a pretty well done film for a family as my 10 year old loved it. The acting was good,I was expecting a modern time period movie not a Vietnam era type of movie. And it's cool they left it open for sequels like the title of the other two books in the series, More Scary Stories and Even More Scary Stories.
The film tells the story of a group of teenagers who enter a haunted house on Halloween, and end up reading a book of scary stories that comes to life. Unfortunately, far too much of virtually all of the stories are revealed in the film's trailers, which reduces the impact of them on the viewer. Additionally, most of them except the "Jangly Man" story at the end are too short to really have a real impact on the viewer. Unlike other Del Toro-credited efforts in the horror genre, like the Gothic horror film "Crimson Peak," this movie overloads itself with loud and obnoxious jump-scares, which is one of the laziest tropes in modern horror movies. There's no genuine suspense or dread building. The script is generally rather weak, and the characters are underdeveloped. The writers try some attempt at social commentary by making some parallels to some of Richard Nixon's worst instincts (the story is set in 1968) to try to highlight similarities between Nixon and Trump. Unfortunately, however, this attempt at social commentary feels too forced, unlike in (for example) Jordan Peele's films where the social commentary is both subtle-at-times yet strikingly genuine. I will give Del Toro credit for making visually interesting creatures/monsters in the stories, as we can always expect from him. But otherwise, this film ends up being a misfire. It's also not clear who its target audience is, as it's too scary for children but too childish for most teen and adult viewers. Not recommended. 4/10
Was it the scariest thing I've seen? No.. far from it but I will watch it again and hope it might get itself a unrated version for the more intense moments. I didn't feel like they held back to much like I was scared they would do like they did slender man and sunk it to the bottom of the ocean.
Watch it! It has its harsh moments and it gets vicious at times. Someone even gets impaled and the deaths are shown on screen so don't worry it won't cut away right before the good stuff. It gives you that good stuff tho slightly tame but super scary and effective.
This movie is based off children's books that were published in 1981, 1984 and 1991. Most of the audience this movie will garner will be from people who read these books when they were kids. Hardcore horror fans will PROBABLY not like it. You will not be scared except MAYBE with the jump scares.
I'm sure kids will love it, just be mindful of the age your kids are and how they handle horror. This isn't like goosebumps. People who scare easily will like it too.
They did a wonderful job getting the "scary" characters to look exactly how they were illustrated. In the books none of the stories are connected. Here, a main story was created to connect them. It's actually not that bad. It's scarier and less cheesy than what passes as children's horror but it's not like what adults expect. An in-between horror film with some good, CREEPY and FUNNY moments. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it but sheer childhood nostalgia drove me to go see it.
Having said that, I must say that I am speechless at how bad this film was. The original books left so much to the imagination but this film version has none and leaves no room for audiences to use theirs. Yes, I know it's a "PG-13 horror film", but there are countless PG and PG-13 horror films that are excellent examples of the genre and outshine this wretched mess on every conceivable level: "Poltergeist" "The Gate", The "Monster Squad", from the 80's are a few examples, if we are talking kid-friendly. "Get Out", 2002's Mothman Prophecies, and "Insidious" come to mind if we are citing more current PG-13. In fact, some of the scariest films ever made were PG (if you don't believe me, check out Disney's Watcher in the Woods from 1980 or 1980's The Changeling for starters).
Technically the film is perfectly average. The musical score is recycled from every modern film of it's type, cinematography stale, and the CGI effects out of place, as they undermine the books' old-fashioned sensibilities. Speaking of old-fashioned sensibilities, the film's depiction of small town America, especially 60's America, is hollow and inauthentic. Every authority figure and adult character is an unlikable stereotype, each lacking the warmth and innocence you would find during the time. The main teen characters are all stock, lacking any semblance of charisma or nuance, and speak in distractingly modern day colloquialisms. These are kids of today that act and talk like kids of today.
The film's ultimate misstep is by creating a perfectly unnecessary narrative thread designed to link all the disparate stories together. This adds absolutely nothing to the proceedings and results in the majority of the main characters spending half the film's running time reading aloud from books "searching for the answers" to help them destroy-whatever is-never mind, it doesn't matter. If this was a mystery, that would be perfectly fine, -but it's a film based on one to two page stories, intended to scare the living daylights out of its readers- and should have been presented strictly as an anthology (ala Creepshow). Scary Stories (stories and/or films) were meant to be visceral-to be experienced on a primal level-and I would expect a film based on famous books that did just that, to follow suit. Instead, Scary Stories seems more concerned with pandering solely to fans of "Stranger Things" and the "It" crowd.
One last note: for a modern day PG-13 horror film, Scary Stories is far more gruesome than all the aforementioned films of it's type I cited earlier, while still managing to be infinitely less scary and well made.
Even though the plot is interesting, I think the ending is disappointing. I understand that it must be so hard to create an epic ending for supernatural horror movies, cause it's like either you make the ghosts go away or you (unintentionally) let them stay. But looking at how good the plot is, I was expecting a good ending as well. Maybe it's because I was so into the movie from the beginning.