When I remembered that this film existed I was actually looking for the third season of Stranger Things, which I’ve sadly not yet seen as I don’t have Netflix, so Amazon Prime suggested I might enjoy Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark… And it wasn’t wrong!
If you’re looking for Stranger Things and want something to watch instead, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is actually a pretty good fit. It’s set way before the 80’s awesomeness of Stranger Things, but you still have a group of nerdy misfit kids getting in to paranormal trouble. A couple of characters even feel like they’ve been lifted straight out of Strange Things, with the most obvious being Chuck who is the perfect stand in for Dustin!
Whilst it does echo some of those aspects of the streaming show we all love for the nostalgia, you can also see Guillermo del Toro’s influence throughout as one of the writers and producers. If there’s one thing he can do is bring amazing original horror characters to the screen. I always think that’s the hallmark of a good horror film if the monster or antagonist is original and looks cool as hell. This film actually has a few of those characters, and it’s no wonder they’ve been turned in to sweet looking Funko pop figures.
The 3 best one are the Pale Lady who I think is by far the creepiest one, Harold the scare crow and of course Jangly man. Jangly man is played by Troy James who is so damn good at contorting his body that you just assume while watching that everything about this character, not just the appearance, is computer generated… Nope – that’s some amazing talent right there by one of the hottest names in creature acting!
Whilst I think that the concept feel familiar having been told in so many different ways, whether it be Ring, Final Destination or what ever else, it does still feel like a fresh concept, is played by a fresh cast of young actors and has those original monsters. So while remaining fresh and exciting you get that feeling that you just know its going to creep you out and give you exactly what you wanted. I’ve got to say as well that the acting throughout is really well executed and it doesn’t feel like a really young cast.
I for one thoroughly enjoyed this 2019 horror outing and highly recommend it!