Horror stories are for summer, whether you're around a campfire in a camp, on TV any day or in movie theaters. In addition, at this time, what better way to make these scary stories leave the adult and bloody tone aside so that young people who enjoy their annual holiday can also enjoy the function.
That must have been thought Guillermo del Toro and André Øvredal (Trollhunter, Jane Doe's Autopsy) when adapting the series of books by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell to the cinema, in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark , a film that It has moments of genuine terror, scares and a lot of entertainment, although it is not precisely surprising either. It opens in theaters this August 9.
The series of books of which we speak is a series of anthological stories about different creatures and beings of the underworld, and when moving to the cinema has chosen to give it consistency and entrench part of the stories in a single narrative. History of Fear to Tell the Darkness takes us to 1968 and to a small town in Minnesota.
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK - Official Trailer - HD
This marks a different and interesting context, with racial problems, the Vietnam War in the background and the Nixon vote on the front page ... And also brings the production to the style in the films of Amblin of the 80, which are clearly a source of inspiration for Øvredal and Del Toro - which has done much more than produce, leaving its seal in multiple facets of the film.
However, this film is not satisfied with copying films like the Goonies and the like, and offers its own twists, while its roots are clear - that a center is a group of children, the style of the narrative that prints Øvredal, etc. ..-. Everything is both familiar, but fresh when the story begins to develop, and in addition, both the rhythm and the point of origin is adequate.
It will not have been 5 minutes and we already know the protagonists and their circumstances and, from there, the terrifying plot begins to develop that, as it could not be otherwise, begins in a haunted house. Classic.
From there the stories of fear begin to happen so as not to sleep in a natural way and much less forced than in other horror films suitable for a more general audience or adaptations of literary series such as Nightmares or The House of the Clock on the Wall.
Here the tension is almost continuous and, in addition, it offers a series of genuinely terrifying moments without being grotesque at any time. Part of the magic is in the creatures that appear, that exude the style of Guillermo del Toro through all its pores, and being the icing on an atmosphere that perfectly matches the story and the characters of Scary Stories to Tell the Darkness. Obviously, we will not go into detail how the action takes place, but you only have to press 'Play' in the videos that accompany this text to verify it.
Part of the fault is not only the kind tone but forceful when it should, of the production. Nor can you blame it only for the correct pace of the narrative, or the great atmosphere of the film. In fact, it would be unfair to continue praising without talking about the good work of the actors that make up the group of protagonists, little more than children, but who demonstrate obvious on-screen chemistry, and whose work is most solid despite their youth.
We talk about Michael Garza, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Austin Zajur and Gabriel Rush in the first place, since they form the group of protagonists of the film (by the way, Spain has representation with the intervention of Javier Botet making one of the beings of the film ... although you won't recognize him, of course). His work is solid and effective, and they serve to highlight the historical context even more, as Garza is a Latino at a time when racial differences were more than ever before.
In general, it is an interesting movie, with scares and tension when it plays, some scenes that will happen to live with your worst nightmares, and that entertains for a little more than an hour and a half. It is true that there are moments that could have given more of themselves with more budget, and that not all the tape is at the same level, but it is a fresh and nostalgic proposal that will serve to put fear in the body to a wider audience than the one you will see, for example, IT.
A series of children's horror books that fit a thousand wonders to film with a unique narrative superbly carried. We liked his approach, the rhythm, the monsters, and even the actors, especially highlighting certain moments of tension and scares.
With a little more budget, the production could have risen a couple more steps, but as it is, it is a very interesting proposal for the hot summer days that remain.