Perhaps the most inane thing about this August thriller is that it makes an absolute mockery of its source material.
The horror book staple, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, is a revered novel that made spines tingle. It’s sad to see this film comes out with barely a whimper.
The film — about teens who come across a haunted book where the stories come to life — takes anything that made the original novel scary and turns it into a farce.
Unfortunately, director André Øvredal does little behind some nice camera trickery, and panders to the lowest common denominator of horror audience by using jump-scares, cheap special effects and little imagination.
The performances are, for the most part, amateurish, and the only actor of note has nothing to do. Dean Norris of Breaking Bad is brought in and given absolutely nothing to do, and the teen actors are just fair.
The monsters, sadly, are laughable and the kill sequences lack any bravura, save for one specifically cool one near the beginning.
At first, I was pumped for this film, due to the involvement of Oscar-winner and sci-fi maestro Guillermo Del Toro. After this travesty, his name connected to a film will give me more cause for pause and skepticism.
Scary Stories is a shoddy, lazy effort and one of the worst movies of the summer.