Designed for younger teens, this horror opus from an anthology series of short stories by Alvin Schwartz (starting in the early 1980s) with eerie imagery from illustrated Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark gets its backing and narrative collaboration from Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) to help director Andre Øvredal.
The setting is the late 1960s on All Hallows Eve where Mill Valley, Pa is haunted by the Bellows clan who had sheltered their loopy daughter Sarah from the outside.
The macabre has been a kind of refuge for Stella coping with hateful hearsay regarding her mother who left the family when she was young. It keeps her at arm’s length with dad Roy (Dean Norris), in this turbulent era of intolerance felt by Ramon (Michael Garza) a Latino draft dodger.
In attempting to entice the primary demographic, the characters and stitched episodes aren’t as stimulating as the imprint of del Toro to generate stressful scenario.
Based on the intent of the higher-ups Scary Stories To Tell will leave those wanting closure In The Dark. Still, the devilish, disconsolate diversion, say when a zit or a pitch for K pops up (or in) around critters ratchets up to intensity with squeamishly harsh implementation.