Scary Stories Movie Review
Movies Based on Books
The Appeal of Alvin Schwartz
When I heard there was a movie coming out based on the books by Alvin Schwartz, I was super exciting. I have grown up reading these scary stories. I have many fond memories of scaring my siblings or my parents by reading these stories. Typically, we used to save them for a rainy day, or when there was a storm and the power went out, and all we had were flashlights and candlelight. Scary Stories became such a popular series of books in the 90s, and it is still popular today. It is amazing to see this author gaining popularity once again with young audiences.
I didn't get to see the film in theaters, but I just recently watched it through Amazon on my TV. I have to admit I had been putting it off for a while, not because I didn't want to watch it, but because I wasn't sure what to expect and if I'd be in the current mood to watch it. Last night, however, I finally sat down and watched this film, and I am so glad that I did. I was pleasantly surprised with how seamlessly the director added each of the stories into the book. It was a combination of new created story and the original stories to tie everything together. The mysterious aspects of the plot made it exciting and enjoyable to watch. The characters were relate-able and the acting was well done. Everything that I loved about the books seemed to come to life on the screen. Every image, every picture that I had gotten freaked out by when I read the books as a kid was visualized in the movie and looked as scary as it did in the book, if not more. Overall, the film was excellent. However, I do have a few critiques of the film that I would like to discuss.
The Chosen Stories
In the span of this film, there were several stories referenced from the books, and I found that looking back at my old copies of the books, that most of them were from the first book. However, a few were taken from Scary Stories 3. My issue with that is if they are making this into a 3-film collection, because it seemed like a sequel was being suggested at the end of the film, wouldn't it have made more sense for them to just focus on the stories in the first book for this film? I understand that there is no linear pattern or story line that needs to be followed, so they could have picked the stories to use from any part of the series, but still. I feel like they were looking for the freakiest and most shocking stories to place in the film, and that's why a few of them came from the third book. The issue with that, in my opinion, is that if they take the scariest and freakiest stories and put them all in the first film, they have nothing cool and shocking for the rest of the sequels. This isn't to say that there aren't plenty of stories for them to choose from, but I just feel like they took too many of the most popular stories just for the first movie. If they truly are planning on making multiple films, it would have been better to space them out, get the audience excited about which stories would be in the next movie, etc. Aside from that, however, I have no other complaints about the film.
Overall, I would give this film a 9 out of 10, just for the reasons I explained above about the sequels. It is definitely worth watching, and, even if you have never read the books or heard about them, you will still enjoy the story-line created in the film. This is a movie for any fan or horror and scary movies. If you have read Goosebumps or other children's scary series, you would still love this film. I highly recommend, however, that if you plan on watching this film, that you do so with the lights out, and that you check out Alvin Schwartz's awesome series after viewing the film. You won't regret it!