SCARY STORIES (2019) Reviews and overview

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Scary Stories is a 2019 American documentary feature film co-produced, edited and directed by Cody Meirick.


“Explore the history of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: The best selling teen classic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which scared a generation of young readers and became one of the most banned books of modern times. Scary Stories creates both the ultimate celebration and dissertation of this iconic piece of horror literature.

The film features “more than forty interviews from family members of Alvin Schwartz, to fellow children’s book horror authors such as R.L. Stine (Goosebumps) and Q.L. Pearce, to folklorists, artists and fans discussing the impact that the books have had on both themselves as well as the culture at large.

The documentary also explores the various times in which the books were banned or targeted by parent and religious groups as ‘satanic’ or otherwise too macabre for its targeted teen scholastic audience.”


” …the doc doesn’t seem interested in talking to anyone that doesn’t love the books. Considering the books have been super controversial over the years, a little more insight into the mindset of those who don’t care for the books would have been nice. Sure there is footage included from back in the day of parents whining about the books, but a more modern-day approach would have been appreciated.” Mike Sprague, Arrow in the Head

“In the case of Scary Stories, I don’t have a newfound urge to finally pick up Schwartz and Gammell’s three books. From the perspective of this particular uninitiated reader, a tighter focus on Schwartz’s writing, research, and impact while reducing fandom fluff would boost Scary Stories from decent documentary to definitive primer on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“The allure of Scary Stories is hit or miss, though. If you’ve never read the books or if you read them and weren’t impacted by the material, you’re going to think Scary Stories is quite boring or a little slow. If you’re a horror historian, a fan of the macabre books, and excited for the upcoming film adaption, then I highly recommend this documentary.” Michael Therkelsen, Horror Society


Scary Stories will be shown in select theaters from April 26, 2019. A VOD release will follow on May 7th with a DVD arriving on July 26th.


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