Paul Andolina is back to watch another movie for us. If you like his stuff, check out his site Wrestling with Film.
Scary Stories is a documentary about the controversial Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books written between 1981 and 1991. It focuses on the attempts to remove them from school libraries, the impact that they had on future writers, visual artists, and musicians, and Alvin Schwartz’s legacy including his son.
The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books were a huge part of some people’s childhoods. I remember seeing them in my school library and I read a few stories but they were nothing more than a morbid curiosity to me.
This documentary explores in depth the controversy that the illustrations in the books caused. Parents thought the books were too graphic for children and attempted to remove them from schools. It also is full of interviews with horror writers, artists, and musicians who were hugely influenced by the books.
The film includes segments with Alvin’s son who talks about his father and the relationship they had. I enjoyed this documentary as I learned a lot about these books of folklore that Alvin threw himself so completely into.
If the books played a part in your life and your love for horror you owe it yourself to give this a watch. Even if you only vaguely remember the covers of the books you should check it out.
NOTE: After a limited theatrical release – which includes Los Angeles, New Orleans, Columbus, and Texas – Scary Stories will be available on VOD May 7 with a DVD release set for July 16. A feature film adaptation of the books, produced by horror icon Guillermo del Toro, is due in theaters this summer.
DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent to us by its PR agency, but that has no impact on this review.