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‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Review

★★★

Despite some obvious flaws in the script department, Scary Stories rises to the occasion thanks to some masterfully helmed scary sequences with great monster designs. 

After visiting a haunted house in Halloween, a group of friends is haunted by the mysterious and frightening content a book holds that could put them in danger. 

In a horror landscape where most films look and feel the same, Scary Stories aims to stand out, and while it doesn’t carry the same weight as something like A Quiet Place last year, it still succeeds in a way as it offers quite a few scares thanks to great design and makeup for the monsters in display, something one can assume producer Guillermo Del Toro definitely offered a hand on. Norwegian director André Øvredal excels in these particular scenes, offering innovative ways to helm them that stay with you. However, it’s not without its flaws.

Screenwriters Dan and Kevin Hageman, despite all the best intentions, fail to pull off any convincing dialogue and ends up feeling, in some parts, as a tween-horror tv special. However, the performances and direction are strong enough to sustain an overall solidly entertaining ride, albeit one that is a bit dragged down by a weak third act following a stellar streak of scenes, ending it all with a lackluster promise for future installments.

Overall, this Guillermo del Toro-produced PG-13 horror film is far from perfect, but its stellar practical effects and solid direction elevate the source material despite a mediocre script, featuring some scenes that will probably be remembered for years to come. 

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