This week begins with a little technical difficulties but once those get figured out, Wes and cohost CC Ann are joined by the lovely Catherine Corcoran. Best known to the horror community for her time in the film Terrifier, Catherine talks about whether or not she feels she’s earned the title of Scream Queen.
Along with talking to us about what she’s been watching since being in quarantine, Catherine talks to us about what her favorite role to play was and about her newest movie, Long Lost.
If none of that gets you interested, Catherine also tells us her secret on getting off fake blood and who doesn’t need to know that.
Full disclosure, this review was motivated entirely by nostalgia. Not that this movie is an older movie but its original source material is well over 30 years old. It is that source material that is basis of the nostalgia. Strap in, we are taking a walk down memory lane.
The movie is based heavily on a trilogy of children’s short horror story collections written by Alvin Schwartz, two published in the early 80s with the third book appearing in 1991. Each book was a compilation of spooky stories drawn from urban legends and old folklore. What made these books really shine were the utterly terrifying illustrations by a man named Stephen Gammell. Some of them were so unnerving.
I discovered the first two books at a school Book Fair when I was 10 years old and they were a huge building block in forming my fandom of ghost stories and all things spooky. I have always wanted to see these storied visualized on screen.
The film does exactly that. It takes several of the best stories from these books and brings them to impressive life, tied to a framing story set in a small town in the late 1960s. Keep in mind these were children’s books so the horror is still largely family friendly, yet still finds a way to stay slightly disturbing.
The film focuses on a group of small town teens that decide to explore a local urban legend, a house haunted by the ghost of Sarah Bellows, a ghoulish girl that told horror stories and was connected to a wave of child disappearances. There they find Sarah’s book of scary stories and, of course, they take the book. Shortly afterward, the book begins writing new horror stories that include the teens, along with several other kids, causing the victims of the stories to live them out in reality. The surviving teens now have to solve the mystery of Sarah’s storybook or die.
Sounds terrifying, right? If bestowed an R rating, this could have been truly horrific. The concept is there but the filmmakers did decide to appeal to the broader audience with a PG-13 rating, so the gore is practically non-existent and the terror falls a little flat.
Does this mean the movie isn’t scary? For the most part, yes. The scares are tame in comparison to more adult fare. The filmmakers tried to stay true to the ghastly illustrations in the books and the monsters do have a certain eerie vibe but they fall just short of being frightening. The closest they come to truly frightening is Harold, the scarecrow. Well, at least he gave me the willies.
Again, the movie is based off kids’ books so viewers shouldn’t expect the EXORCIST or EVIL DEAD going into it. It does contain some surprisingly sinister elements layered into it such as involuntary cannibalism and child abduction but for the most part, it reminds me of the current supernatural themed network television shows like SUPERNATURAL and SABRINA.
Just to think, these books were considered scandalous and inappropriate for children by many parent and social groups back when they first gained popularity and now I’m referring to the movie based on those stories as tame. Wow, things really change.
Is the movie bad? Not at all. It is beautifully shot and the acting is relatively good considering many of the main characters are all moderately unknown actors. The monster effects do come off a tad too CGI but they’re certainly better some of those godawful effects in those SciFi channel original movies (I’m looking at you SHARKNADO series!!)
Some people may be excited because Guillermo del Toro’s name was attached to this project but he is only a producer on the film but you can see his influence in the film’s style. The director was Andre Ovredal. If you would like to see another, more haunting film by Ovredal, check out a movie called THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE made in 2016.
The great thing about this movie is that you can share this movie with the kids. Maybe not young children but teens should find SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK a good spooky flick. Plus all of us 80s and 90s kids get see some of our classic stories like “The Red Spot”, “Harold”, “Me Tie Dought-ty Walker”, and “The Big Toe” come to grisly life.
Overall, I’d give the movie a 3 out of 5 but the nostalgia kid in me wants to rank it higher, like 5 out of 5, but we all know always seem cooler when we were kids.
Chris Sutton takes the captain’s chair tonight as he welcomes paranormal investigator and all around great guy Brian J Cano. Cano has been featured on several paranormal shows such as HAUNTED COLLECTOR and PARANORMAL CAUGHT ON CAMERA.
Chris and Brian wax poetic on some of Brian’s favorite sights to investigate, the importance of evolving as an investigator, and how he became involved with PARANORMAL CAUGhT ON CAMERA. Brian also discusses many of the projects that his Patreon page funds. For more information on Brian, check out his website at www.neverstopsearching.com
In our regular features Glenn gives us a creepy drive-in feature, Dick Pinkerton returns with a British serial killer, and Joe Lewis goes kid friendly with a review of THE ADDAMS FAMILY.
Wes also shares a thrilling trailer for the short film THAT OLD MISERY that promises plenty of chills.
It’s a delve into the metaphysical world as Wes and co host Chad Harlan welcome Heather Dobson, author and cofounder of Paranormal Georgia Investigations, to discuss Heather’s book, MEMOIRS OF A FUTURE GHOST, as well as the supernatural in general.
Along the way, Heather explains where the title of her book originated, what led to her interest in the paranormal, equipment preferences, and if she feels her exposure to the paranormal has made her more sensitive or skeptical. Check out her website afutureghost.com for more information on Heather and her work.
Our regular features bring us sharks from FakeShemp, vampire and haunting classics from the Week in Horror, and horror comedies from Joe Lewis. Plus, Dick Pinkerton returns with another tale of True Horror.
The big question that remains is, can ghosts REALLY smell when someone is BS’ing?