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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: November 5th, 2019 Movie Release Year: 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Overview -

Your childhood fears come to life with Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark. Pulling inspiration from Alvin Schwartz's iconic "kids" books, producer Guillermo del Torro and director André Øvredal keep things PG-13, but the show will give you plenty of scares - especially if you have less than fond memories of reading these books. Lionsgate unleashes Scary Stories to 1080p Blu-ray with a spooky good video presentation and a great audio mix to match. Bonus features are slim, but if you're nostalgic for the books they're a good watch. It's a fun show on a dark rainy night. Recommended. 

It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley, where for generations the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time. For a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home, the stories become all too real in this spine-tingling film.

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Length:
108
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, English Descriptive Audio
Subtitles/Captions:
English, English SDH, Spanish
Special Features:
Six Featurettes
Release Date:
November 5th, 2019

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Kids of the 80s and 90s beware! The most terrifying set of "kids" books comes to life in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. Head on over to our 4K UHD Blu-ray section for a FULL REVIEW of the flick. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Scary Stories arrives on 1080p Blu-ray in a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital set from Lionsgate. Housed in a standard two-disc case with identical slipcover artwork, the disc loads to trailers for upcoming Lionsgate releases before arriving at an animated main menu with traditional navigation options. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Scary Stories spins some 1080p love thanks to a solid 2.39:1 transfer that offers up some unique coloring and stylistic choices. I loved the film's visual stying with hyper-saturated colors. It's a nice contrast to the original book's stark black and white ink-blot styled pictures. The punched teal/oranges give the image this picturesque sense of "normal" before the horror begins and the books' central critters come to life. When they do, the image gains some nice stark coloring with the monsters in question coming in at a nearly black and white against the colorful world around them. Nighttime sequences look terrific with deep blacks and wonderful shadows to give the image some nice three-dimensional pop. There is some very purposeful color grading here that heightens specific colors to give them extra punch. At times some details can suffer - the Red hallways sequence is a moment worth noting. Thankfully this isn't severe or forces the image into becoming too soft. It just really pops. All in all, this is a spooky scary image transfer that holds up nicely. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

Sporting a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, Scary Stories offers up some effective scares. The biggest and best effect I loved about this mix was its smart and subdued surround presence. The audio mix actually works to not draw too much attention to itself until the moments that count most are on screen. Throughout most of the film the surround activity is pretty simplistic. Engaging yes, but not much more than gusts of wind or rustling leaves until some creepy creature pops out of the screen. When Harold comes to life, those sides and surrounds pop nicely giving some extra action along with some very welcome LFE. The film progresses like that when a new story is coming to life and a monster is about to enter the scene you get some crazy good audio effects to heighten the tension so it isn't all just loud music. It's also nice that the film isn't entirely reliant on jump scares letting the monsters and their own movements kick things up a notch. All in all a perfectly good mix for a solid horror jaunt. 

Special Features

Ranking:

While there are some decent bonus features to be found here, they're mostly tried and true EPK materials. The Creatures from the Shadows feature is a nice chunk of content so check that one out.

  • Dark Tales (HD 5:08)

  • Retro Horror (HD 5:06)

  • Creatures from the Shadows (HD 11:35)

  • Mood Reels (HD 24:27)

  • Behind the Scenes: Set Visits (HD 4:50)

Reading Scary Stories was a terrifying experience as a child. Seeing Scary Stories as an adult isn't quite as effective - but still a hell of a good time! While the need for a through-line plot may hamper the fear factor, the movie as a whole succeeds at providing some notable PG-13 friendly frights. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark spins a wild yard of frights in 1080p Blu-ray. Sporting a rock-solid A/V presentation and some decent bonus features, the film may not be the greatest thing in horror, but it's a great way to spend a cold dark evening and a fun way to relive your literary childhood terrors. Recommended.