Horror will keep you hooked

Film: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Cast: Dean Norris, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Austin Abrams, Natalie Ganzhorn, Gabriel Rush

Directed by Andre Overdal

Rating: ****

Ronita Torcato

Adapted from Alvin Schwartz’s omnibus of horror short stories for kids, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark boasts of A list filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro –famed for oeuvre that addresses the macabre – as a consultant.

Not so well known in these parts, Norwegian horror meister André Overdal recreates some of the scariest tales from that collection to helm a potent confrontation of nostalgia.

The time frame and setting is Halloween in a small Californian town in the late sixties when the socio-political climate greatly resembled contemporaneous times: xenophobia, wars (Vietnam) and so on. Viewers will note the cinematic narrative is interspersed with real time footage.

In Mill Valley town, a geeky teenaged trio comprising Stella (Zoe Colletti), Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) explore a decaying home that was once owned by the Bellows family. Sarah, a much abused member of that clan had authored a book, the titular tome literally written in blood before her death in the basement of her own home.

The Final Destination franchise comes to mind as the book records exactly how their lives will terminate (courtesy some diabolical entities including spiders and scarecrows). Andre Overdal oversees a judicious blend of horror fiction and horror cinema – effectively scaring the living daylights out of viewers. Be scared. Be very scared.