What You Need To Know:
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK tries hard, but it’s often silly and unconvincing. Ultimately, the reason behind the hauntings, a ghost’s revenge, doesn’t make sense. The biggest problem, however, is that the surviving main characters end up appealing to the ghost’s moral conscience to get her to stop haunting them and their friends. God strongly condemns consulting with dead people in the Bible. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK also has an excessive amount of foul language, a few lewd comments and some scary, gruesome violence and creatures.
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK is a horror movie about three teenage friends in a small town in the Autumn of 1968 who encounter a female ghost that conjures scary creatures to wreck her vengeance on the world. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK is sometimes rather silly and unconvincing, and has a strong occult worldview where the plot problem is solved only by appealing to the ghost’s own moral conscience.
Set in a small Pennsylvania town, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK opens on Halloween night in 1968. Three high school friends, Stella, Chuck and Auggie, plan a prank against the school bully, Tommy, who’s always taking the bags of candy from the town’s trick or treaters. After they pull the prank, which includes using eggs and dog poop, Tommy and his friends chase them into the drive-in. Stella, Chuck and Auggie find refuge in the car of a Mexican teenager named Ramon, and the drive-in manager runs off Tommy and his friends. Chuck’s sister, Ruthie, was with Tommy in his car, but she stays.
With the mean bullies gone, Stella suggests they all go to the town’s local haunted house, a big mansion once owned by the Bellows family, which nearly 100 years ago, started the paper mill that put the town on the map. Legend has it that the Bellows family confined their daughter and sister, Sarah, to one room. A rumor started that Sarah would tell scary stories to the children in town, who then disappeared.
While exploring the mansion in the dark, Stella comes across Sarah’s book, which appears to be written in blood. Unknown to the others, Sarah hides the book in her backpack.
The next day, Stella sees in the book a new story written in blood or red ink about Tommy. Cut to Tommy trapped in his family’s cornfield, where he’s attacked by the scarecrow there. Stella and her friends learn that Tommy has disappeared, then Auggie’s sister is attacked by scores of baby spiders coming from a spider bite she got while in the haunted house.
Stella tries to return the book to Sarah’s room in the haunted house, but the book shows up again in Stella’s room and starts writing a story about Auggie. Stella, Ramon and Chuck figure out that the ghost of Sarah Bellows must be writing these stories, but how do you stop a ghost?
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK tries hard, but it’s sometimes silly and unconvincing. Ultimately, the reason behind the hauntings in the movie, a ghost’s revenge, doesn’t make much sense. Why punish the townspeople for something your evil brothers did to you? Of course, the whole idea that the spirits of dead people hang around the earth doesn’t make much sense in the first place.
The biggest problem with the movie, however, is its occult worldview. Thus, the surviving main characters end up trying to appeal to the ghost’s moral conscience to get her to stop haunting them and their friends. As God says in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.”
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK also has an excessive amount of foul language, a few lewd comments and some scary, gruesome violence and creatures.