It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time-stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tome.
User Reviews: While this film doesn’t break any new ground or add innovation to the horror genre necessarily, it brings the stories we grew up with to life and gives them a richer visual identity. Ovredal/Del Toro excel at giving us chillingly well constructed tension filled scenes of ominous creatures, haunting spirits, and just an atmospheric overall feel that puts the viewer right into the stories. While the teen characters are by the numbers and wreak of goosebumps/IT/Stranger Things influence, they are serviceable for the particular story. The horror visuals take the main focus and steal the show for the 108min runtime which is actually longer than most horror’s of this nature and build off scene to scene effectively. Even viewers that are unfamiliar with the classic stories of the same name will be very satisfied with this film and hopefully be inspired to go back and read the books. I hope this film spawns a franchise and I’m happy to say this thoroughly surprised me as i was cautiously optimistic as to how they’d adapt it.