Nov 282019

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark wasn’t terribly ‘scary’ so much but still creative, with the influence of Guillermo Del Toro as executive producer, and all around entertaining with a respectable group of young actors.



Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Lionsgate | PG13 – 108 min. – $42.99 | November 5, 2019

Date Published: 11/28/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: André Øvredal
Writer(s): Alvin Schwartz (novel); Guillermo del Toro and Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan (screen story), Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman (screenplay)
Cast: Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Austin Zajur, Kathleen Pollard, Lorraine Toussaint

Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: 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. For a group of teenagers — Stella (ZOE COLLETI), Ramón (MICHAEL GARZA), Auggie (GABRIEL RUSH) and Chuck (AUSTIN ZAJUR) — who discover Sarah’s terrifying home, the stories become all too real in this spine-tingling film.

Review: Certain movies were made to be watched in the Halloween season, the newest one is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark which is based on the best-selling classic book of the same name (which had also spawned two follow-ups). Now, I’ve never read it myself and only know about the book via a YouTube creator who’s featured it on his channel over the years. However, even though I’ve never read a single story, I still highly enjoyed this fantasy-horror film and while I never was quite “scared” ironically enough, I still was entertained by the story — which has shades of Stranger Things and It — and the creature designs were rather cool and certainly had the influence from Guillermo Del Toro who executive produced and has a story by credit (and apparently owns a couple of the book’s original artwork).

The film features a relatively unknown cast with Zoe Colletti serving pretty much as the lead and being her first leading role (prior being a supporting player in Annie, Wildlife and Skin) and does rather well for herself, The other cast members acquitted themselves well enough as I did genuinely like their respective characters, including Austin Zajur who was a lot of fun and definitely the biggest reminder of a character from Stranger Things.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was helmed by Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal who really impressed me in the 2016 supernatural-horror film, The Autopsy of Jane Doe starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Not a packed set of features, totally only 25 minutes worth of material.

Dark Tales (5:08) — Featurette that examines the source material, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and adapting for a feature film. Includes behind-the-scenes footage along with cast and crew interview sound bites.

Retro Horror (5:06) focuses on the style of the movie and the 1968 time period.

The Bellows Construct (3:36) — This featurette looks at the production design of the Bellows house from a stylish Victorian-inspired home and then transforming to a 70-year-old house in decay which we see transform via a brief time lapse.

Creatures from the Shadows (11:35) looks at the scary monsters featured in the film and made with prosthetics. Probably the most interesting of the four featurettes.


4K VIDEO – 4.25/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark comes to 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfer, respectively. This might not be the best movie to show off in 4K as black levels aren’t always the greatest, more on the gray end of the scale, though perhaps for the best reasons as otherwise might be difficult to distinguish what’s going on, but detail at least is fairly sharp, maybe modestly so compared to its Blu-ray counterpart which itself looks rather good and set against other new Blu-rays, was impressive.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

Surprisingly enough, no Atmos or DTS:X track and instead a standard but still very effective Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track (for both the 4K and Blu-ray). Dialogue does come through with good clarity throughout and there is fine depth especially when the monsters/creatures attack, making usage of the front and rear channels while the LFE track does kick on, albeit minimally.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Overall, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark wasn’t terribly ‘scary’ so much but still creative, with the influence of Guillermo Del Toro as executive producer, and all around entertaining with a respectable group of young actors, headlined by Zoe Colletti. This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack offers up very good video and audio transfers, though the features are limited.


 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>