SCARY STORIES TO TELL REVIEW
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is the latest teen-driven movie attempting to scare the bejeezus out of you this summer. Does it work? And is it okay for older kids to watch? This Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Parent Movie Review will help you decide if you can let the teens head to the theaters for this one!
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Just Terryfying Enough
I don’t remember reading these stories as a kid, so the nostalgia factor that might be present for others was missing for me. But that didn’t make this movie any less fun.
And yes, fun is the right word because getting just the right amount of terror in your movie is still fun and something audiences can actually enjoy.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark does just that: enough suspense, enough silence, and enough creativity to keep you entertained and a little bit horrified for the entire movie.
About Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Based on the books from the early 80s and 90s, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is just what it sounds like. Set in 1968 Mill Valley, Pennsylvania, the movie starts on Halloween night with a couple of awkward teens seeking revenge pranks on a fellow teen bully. This leads them to find sanctuary in the old Bellows family home, the neighborhood haunted house. Here they discover the story of Sarah, the tragic former resident of the mansion who is said to have lured children to their deaths through the walls of her chamber. Sarah turned her own scary stories into a book and those stories become all too real for the teens who find it.
Runtime: 120 minutes
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review
When I left the house my 14-year-old daughter was begging to go with. We decided we’d preview this one before letting her see it just to be on the safe side.
It’s rated PG-13 and that’s a fair assessment for the thrills, chills, and content on this one.
More spooky and creepy than terrifying and gross, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has you scared without seeing gore which I loved. And I also felt was a smarter choice for kids to watch if they also want that mildly possible terror factor in their lives.
Auggie Hildebrandt (Gabriel Rush), Chuck Steinberg (Austin Zajur), Stella (Zoe Colletti) and Ramon Morales (Michael Garza) are relatable and compelling. Surprising additions to the jumps were the much-appreciated laughs and one-liners that added touches of light to an otherwise scary premise.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark focuses on the stories that haunt us and stick with us, rather than the gorefest that can sometimes take over the horror genre. This one is a welcome change to the typical teen slasher films.
The ending was my only big complaint; it was a letdown. But there’s also a window left open for more of these movies to come, and I’ll be there if they happen.
When Can You Pee During Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
There are a few moments during Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark that you can run to the bathroom. And I suggest doing so because you definitely want an empty bladder during some of the jumpier moments!
- Go to the bathroom when the kids first leave the haunted house around 24 minutes into the movie.
- When Ramon is at the garage getting his car checked around 34 minutes in.
- When the kids are at the drive-in during the daylight (47 minutes into the movie).
- And when Stella finds the pen in the hallway at one hour, 12 minutes.
Are There End Credit Scenes in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?
There is nothing at the end of the movie.
Go ahead and turn the lights on and get the heck outta there when the credits roll.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Parent Movie Dark Review
Is it suitable for teens and kids? How kid-friendly is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?
There is the typical teen language to be expected, and there’s plenty of it. That might be my biggest criticism here: it really could have been made without it, or at least with much less.
Though, if a book was writing scary stories about my friends, I’m sure I’d let a few expletives fly myself. So I give it a pass here. But be warned if you let the kids watch; there is a fair share of curse words in the movie.
There’s also some teen drinking as well, but no nudity or sex in the stories. It’s clea=n on that account.
There are violence and terror as to be expected in a movie like this. And one scene that was gag-inducing; it was pretty gross, man! Throw in some potty humor and you have yourself a movie kids will love.
Overall, I can recommend it for ages 12 and up. As long as they aren’t easily frightened or have a history of screen-fueled nightmares, that is! Because this one could easily keep the whole family up at night.
Rating: 8 (scary but not terrifying!)
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Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.