The Super Bowl teasers for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie left a mixed impression. The images in the teasers that are recreated from Stephen Gammel’s f-cking nightmare illustrations are enough to revive my childhood trauma left over from the books. But the suggestion of a plot about teens did not interest me at all. Now, with a teaser trailer to look at, that impression…does not change. The live-action creatures look amazing. The bit with the girl with the spider bite is a living nightmare. I like the use of the creepy piano version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. But I do not like the use of loud bangs and clangs to scare us. That tactic is way overplayed at this point. And there are teens with a haunted book I couldn’t give less of a sh-t about. I have a feeling Scary Stories is going to be a real mixed bag, where the actual Scary Stories are cool, but the filler around them suck. (Ten to one we end up wishing this was a TV series a la Lore.)
H A R O L D
F-cking Harold looks EXACTLY like the illustration. You know, the one that has haunted our collective nightmares for a generation. I am not kidding when I say that Harold haunts me. I can’t stand scarecrows because of Harold. One of my relatives has a ranch and when I was 20, I went to visit. The room I always stay in overlooks the vegetable garden. They had a scarecrow up at the time and I had a night terror the first night because the scarecrow was coming to flay me alive like Harold. I was TWENTY, a solid decade-plus since I read the story and I still had nightmares because of it. My family thought I was being dramatic, so they left the scarecrow up and the second night I had another night terror except this time I was in deep enough sleep not to wake up, and I got halfway down the gravel ranch road in my bare feet screaming about the scarecrow by the time anyone caught up to me. Harold F-cked Me Up For Life: A Story of Childhood Trauma is my autobiography.
So as mediocre as the surrounding parts of Scary Stories looks, and as unimpressed as I am by the loud sound effects and teen horror plot, that single glimpse of Harold is enough to freak me the f-ck out and convince me that this is the scariest sh-t I will see all year. Us didn’t bother me, I’m not worried about It: Chapter 2, and I doubt Pet Sematary will be a problem. But Harold? NO THANKS. I do not need to bring this evil back into my life. I’m already worried about my ability to sleep tonight. If the movie gets Harold even 60% right, I might not sleep for the rest of the year.