The feature film produced by Guillermo del Toro is reminiscent of a cinematic Mini-wheats, which obviously suffers from Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome.
Barely less well known than H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, Alvin Schwartz was a prolific American author who wrote numerous stories for children and teenagers. Cinema takes over its literature with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which could well create a new franchise.
This initiatory story took place in 1968, during one of the most turbulent periods in the United States, which marked the end of his childhood. The Night of Living Dead scandalizes people in movie parks, the Vietnam War is raging and the Nixon election is about to come true. A highlight for humanity and for some teenagers who will experience an unforgettable Halloween. But not for the right reasons, when they come across a book that releases an evil force…
The feature film produced by Guillermo del Toro is reminiscent of a Mini-wheats, which obviously suffers from Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome. It has a serious and dramatic side that draws deeply into the troubles of adolescence, opening a breach to the overwhelming past. As much as the book is a source of haunting, it can also become an object of liberation, in order to make peace with its inner demons and repair old wounds by erasing the injustices of yesteryear. A program with a psychological flavour that uses the threat metaphorically, as was the case with It and, soon, the surprising L’heure de la sortie.
Then there’s this crazy, grotesque side that comes up in the sessions of awe. These moments are more disgusting than really scary, wallowing in the pleasure of seeing characters being swallowed by bogeymen. If the narrative is predictable, these moments of liberation are not. The fears of the protagonists manifest themselves freely on the screen, making them smile with their quirky shapes and appearances, which may nevertheless make a young audience unfamiliar with this type of exercise uncomfortable.
The film takes the liberty of going all out, because it knows that its characters are not very interesting. Despite the skill of the interpretation, the spectator finds himself with the same archetypes as usual. People who very often only deserve what happens to them. They are only pawns in this mastered project of the Norwegian filmmaker André Ovredal, who becomes more and more a specialist in the subject after his very successful The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Trollhunter. Here he is having fun with a raw material that is sometimes rickety, creating a feeling of anguish only thanks to the brilliance of its atmosphere and atmosphere.
This may not allow Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to reach the next level of unease and horror as it did recently with Midsommar, but to entertain without too much displeasure, to go a little further than the Goosebumps and other The House with a Clock in its Walls, which targeted a less mature clientele. Especially that the conclusion opens wide the door to a sequel, ingredient par excellence of a success.