Raise your hand if Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark completely f-cked you up for life. Thanks to the Scholastic Book Fair, I got all of those nightmare tomes long before I should have been allowed to read them—where were the adults in my life?!—and now I have a life-long fear of spiders (THEY WERE IN HER FACE), elevators (EVERYONE DIED), long dark cars (NO I DON’T WANT A RIDE), gardens (KEEP YOUR TOES TO YOURSELF), second-hand dresses (FORMALDEHYDE), hi-beam headlights (LOOK IN THE BACKSEAT), large creepy women with stringy hair (I AM FLEEING), and scarecrows (F-CK HAROLD FOR F-CKING LIFE I LITERALLY THINK ABOUT THAT STORY ALL THE GODDAMN TIME). Well, now Scary Stories is here to make a generation’s nightmares real, thanks to a movie produced by none other than Guillermo Del Toro. 

Throughout the Super Bowl teasers from the movie were released and f-ck no, I can’t do it. The large creepy woman with stringy hair is TOO REAL. The toe is ALREADY GONE. 

F A C E  S P I D E R S

Nope to all of it. They didn’t even get to “Harold”, which is good because my heart can’t take it. I’m not joking when I say those books left an impression. I can recall specific illustrations with crystal clarity. Certain stories—“Harold”—pop out of my subconscious in alarming detail. I think a good 60% of the reason I’m so goddamn macabre is because of those books. So the movie has a lot to live up to—the books wrecked a generation. In these teasers, the movie creatures look like those godawful illustrations come to life. If the movie was just live-action vignettes from the books, it would be f-cking terrifying. But there seems to be an actual plot. Something about teens and murders, and teens trying to solve murders before they all die. 

Frankly, I can live without that. I can also live without the loud noises highlighting the scary bits. That’s an overplayed technique at this point. So I don’t know how I feel about the movie, overall. Seeing those frightening images realized is inherently scary, thanks to the emotional trauma inflicted by the books. But take that away, and Scary Stories looks like any bad teen horror movie. Also, there is a creature called the “Jangly Man”, which I don’t remember from the books. Sounds like he could be from Riverdale, though, everyone’s favorite dealer of Jingle Jangle, maybe. I’m not sure I’m scared of the Jangly Man. But the rest of it? Can f-ck right off forever. I don’t need the nightmares.