Stories hurt, stories heal. If we repeat them long enough, they become real.
I’m not that one person who went to go see It: Chapter Two the day it came out in the theatres.
I have no plans to watch Doctor Sleep when it comes out next month.
You won’t find every inch of my room’s wall plastered with photos of Michael Myers or Friday the 13th posters.
I’m not a horror person, and the only film I’ve ever enjoyed that veered the closest to the horror genre was the John Krasinski film A Quiet Place.
But Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?
This movie was good.
I’ve never had any interest in films like It, The Shining, Friday the 13th, or even Halloween, but when I first saw the trailer for this film on Instagram, I was hooked.
It bothered me for a while, and I was indelibly intrigued by the idea of this new film, and I had this nagging desire in the back of my mind to just get up and go see it.
So I did.
I’ll admit, when my dad told me he’d bought tickets for the both of us to go, I almost died. On the way to the theatres, anxiety was building. When the trailers started running, my heart was, too. When the opening scenes finally got around to playing, my heart was louder than the score.
But I made it out alive to tell my tale.
Was it scary? Ooh yes. Deliciously scary.
This, my friends, is a post describing the many reasons I loved Guillermo Del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and why I’d go see it again if you asked me (and why I’m definitely adding it to my DVD collection when it is released).
P.S. this post contains images from Google – I don’t own any of these pictures! 🙂
P.P.S. This will be spoiler free! You can watch the trailer and be okay with reading this.
Reason One: The Story
This wasn’t just a story about hideous monsters, gratuitous blood, and people screaming in terror at otherworldly fiends.
Well, there certainly was a lot of that, but that wasn’t the entire point of the film.
What I loved most about this film was the theme of storytelling that occurs throughout. For goodness sake, the film’s title is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! The film’s entire plot is moved forward by stories.
Stories determine what happens to each character, and each character’s fears are confronted in each new story. You can kind of pick this up in the trailer, but actually watching it on the big screen is bone chilling.
Our stories, our monsters, our fears, and our victories make us who we are. The things we fear, and the things we dwell on…if we think and meditate on them often enough, they will become real.
It’s definitely a creepy message, but it’s strangely applicable to everyday life.
Certainly is funny to hear coming from someone who’s reviewing a horror film, isn’t it?
Reason Two: The Characters
I love that the characters in this book are teens. I also love that, contrary to a lot of horror films with teen characters, these characters aren’t sexually active or behaving in ways that are typical of the modern teenager (The absence of sexual content was another factor that made me love this film).
I loved each character, and it would be too long to explain every reason why.
I will say, though, that these characters were likable, and I wanted them to succeed so badly. Whether or not they do is something I won’t say.
A lot of critics have said that these characters were shallow, cliche, and not relatable, and maybe I beg to differ simply because I haven’t seen that much horror.
Nevertheless, I heartily enjoyed hearing each character’s story, biting my nails hoping that each would survive, and the unique personalities that they all brought to the table were so much fun.
Chuck was my favorite…my heart… ❤
And that hair 😆
Reason Three: The Score
Maybe it’s weird to really enjoy a horror score, but I have really loved the score for this film. The music box theme (i.e. “Sarah’s theme“) that tinkles throughout the entire film either as a main theme or as a subtle motif is incredibly eerie, but also strangely fun.
I’ve added a few of the tracks to my Film Score Compilation Playlist. Namely, Opening (Sarah’s Theme), Harold, Pale Lady, What Stella Learned, Forrest Chase, and The End.
This wasn’t a defining point in my love for this film, but I can never resist a film with good music. And this one had great music.
Reason Four: The Scares
This movie was scary.
And I’ll be honest, I enjoyed being scared. It was fun. And with my dad there to share it with me, it was so spooky and exciting. Dad and I were thoroughly terrified, and it was hilarious.
There were jump scares galore (especially in the first half), and the graphics/makeup/cinematography were phenomenal. The monsters in particular were incredibly freaky and real looking (i.e. the Pale Lady…oh goodness).
The way in which the filmmakers created these frightening creatures was also amazing to see, so if you’re that kind of person (like me) who’s really interested in special effects and cinema magic, check out this video here. It really is genius.
Just for fun, I thought I’d let you all know which monster I found the most frightening. Of the few people I’ve met who’ve actually seen this movie, their answer to this question always interests me.
Mine is the corpse looking for her missing big toe.
I won’t explain myself on this one. It was between this lovely lady and The Jangly Man, but The Toe-less Corpse won as the monster that scared me the most.
I’m not going into details. You’ll have to watch it to agree with me. 😉
Well, there it is, friends! I hope you all enjoyed this! And I hope some of you will be intrigued enough to go and watch this for yourselves! It’s definitely a great horror to watch if you’ve never seen any horror (which is the story of my life – it was a great film for me as someone who’s never been a horror person).
Note: this doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly a horror enthusiast. I’m still not going to see It Chapter Two or Doctor Sleep when that comes out next month. This film was just a fun, freaky flick that I really enjoyed and would recommend for someone who wants a horrific thrill (but isn’t up to their eyes in horror).
Leave your thoughts below (even if you’re utterly opposed to horror hahaha)! I’d love to hear what you all think. Have you seen Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? What did you think of it? If you haven’t seen it, do you think you will?
Also, I know this post wasn’t very long, but I’ve been doing life as a college student, and that’s been yeet! Super exciting and super busy. Looking forward to publishing my next post (which is almost finished) A Theological Monologue Concerning “The Imitation Game.” Stay tuned, friends!
P.S. Watch the trailer, friends! eep!
2 thoughts on “Why I Thoroughly Enjoyed Guillermo Del Toro’s “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark””
I’m not a horror flick girl myself: the Doctor Who episode “The Mummy on the Orient Express” is about as much “horror” as I can take! *shudder* But I *have* heard that the horror genre does have the advantage of some great character development (especially in shows like “The Walking Dead”). So there’s that.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I uttered a shaky gasp of delight when I saw “A Theological Monologue Concerning ‘The Imitation Game.’ ” I LOVE THAT MOVIE. Ohhhhhhhh my goodness…definitely one of my favorite WWII movies, and the first (but certainly not the last) time I just kinda gaped at Benedict Cumberbatch in SHEER AWE AND RESPECT over his acting skills. Really looking forward to that post!
Hey Maribeth! Thanks for your comment!
Hahaha yes – I’ve never been into horror, but this film was pretty wonderful. It was spooky to be sure, but I had a fun time freaking out (if that makes sense heeheehee).
And yes! My Imitation Game post is almost doneeeee! I’m so excited to post it and let everyone eat it up. And yes…my leader Mr. Cumberbatch is gollld. He was phenomenal in that film. I’ll treasure it forever.