Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I feel like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a movie that I saw about 20 years too late. As a kid I loved watching Are You Afraid of the Dark and Goosebumps and what we have here is a similar kind of thing to that but with a much higher budget. This is actually based on a series of scary books aimed at kids so that is pretty cool.

How to Download Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also our reviews of Goosebumps and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

The Movie Review

Anticipating Guillermo del Toro’s Touch

The premise was neat and with Guillermo del Toro being attached I was quite excited to see what this has to offer. I think that it goes a bit further into the “horror” and scary territory than the two Goosebumps movies do, but it lacks the charm that those two movies have in my opinion.

Misconceptions and Anthology Elements

Perhaps part of the problem here was my perception of what this was. I thought that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was going to be similar to something like Creep Show, but obviously more aimed at kids. While this does have a kind of anthology aspect to it which I thought was neat.

Ambitious Storytelling Connections

They try to tie it all together with an overarching story which has been a method used in other anthology horror movies before, but this one tries way too hard to make everything connected. Now, to be fair, I do not actually see how they could have done this any better and it is certainly not bad, but I do wonder if I would have liked it more had the stories been kept separate.

Setting and Discovery

The late 60s setting is cool and the way that our heroine, young Stella gets her hands on this scary book is pretty fun. Stella and her friends are being chased by the local bully and they end up at this old, creepy, and supposedly haunted old place that the town is very scared of.

The Dark Secrets Unveiled

It is here that Stella finds the diary of young Sarah Bellows who was part of the Bellows family that owned the old paper mill. Sarah was accused of witchcraft and with this book of hers that Stella has found, new stories start appearing in it and terrorizing those she has interreacted with. Not just the bully that was chasing her at the start, but her friends Auggie and Chuck too.

Chilling Tales and Visuals

To be honest, I have never read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books so I cannot say for sure how close the stories being told here are. However, as standalone “ghost stories” I do think that there is some fun to be had here and it would be a great gateway kind of movie if you want to introduce your kids to something a bit scarier than they are used to, but at the same time not completely traumatizing them!

Visual Spectacle and Favorites

The way that this movie is shot is great, it really does look like a big-budget horror movie and some of the creature designs are amazing. Harold, The Pale Lady, and The Jangly Man all look amazing and very, very creepy. However, it is “The Red Spot” story and its spider-infested pimple that I thought was amazing, as a kid I would have freaking loved this.

A Second Viewing Perspective

I recently watched Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for the first time since it was released in 2019 and I liked it way more than I did back then. I still think it would have been better as an actual anthology movie, but it is a fun horror for kids. I do think that the two Goosebumps movies, especially the first one are better kid’s horror movies though. However, I think had I seen this when I was like 13, it probably would have been a real favorite of mine.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a horror movies that is based on children books by American writer Alvin Schwartz (1927–1992). Download it now.
8 Total Score
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • Visually, this movie is fantastic and sure to cause a few nightmares!
  • The different stories that are told are all entertaining
  • I do respect the way they tried to tie all the stories together
  • This would be a fun movie to get children more into the horror genre
  • The story that does tie it all together feels very weak and forced
  • None of the characters are all that interesting or make you care about them a great deal
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
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Jason Delacey

Jason Delacey

Jason is a 40-year-old writer from Northern England. He has been playing video games his whole life and writing about them for over a decade. As well as enjoying gaming into the wee hours of the morning, Jason is a real film fanatic too! He is open to watching all genres of movies from animated singing animals to brutal horror!

Jason loves to give his honest opinion on games, movies, TV shows and is always willing to give anything a try!

Favorite Games: Resident Evil 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Bioshock Infinite, Super Mario World, The Last of Us, Halo 2, Streets of Rage 2, Overwatch.

Favorite Movies: Terminator 2, The Empire Strikes Back, Avengers Infinity War, Bloodsport, The Transformers The Movie. Dogma, BASEketball, From Dusk Till Dawn

Favorite TV Shows: X-Files, Supernatural, Lost, American Horror Story, The Mandalorian, Stranger Things.