The Norwegian director’s first American film is an adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s popular series of horror tales for young readers, creating a time and place (a small town in 1968) for them all to play out and a group of teenage buddies who are subjected to individual nightmares. They include such creatures as The Jangly Man, Harold the Scarecrow and The Toe Monster. The film’s tone is reminiscent of nostalgic fiction like Stranger Things; the kids are likable and there’s a sense of humor. Hyped because of Guillermo del Toro’s involvement, it has good-enough thrills.
2019-U.S.-Canada. 111 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by André Øvredal. Screenplay: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Guillermo del Toro. Short Stories: Alvin Schwartz. Cast: Zoe Colletti (Stella Nicholls), Michael Garza (Ramón Morales), Gabriel Rush (August ”Auggie” Hilderbrandt), Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows.
Trivia: Co-produced by del Toro.