Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. /USA, . , , , , , . Story by , , Screenplay by , , , based on the novels by . Cinematography by . Produced by , , , Guillermo del Toro, . Music by , . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by
The popular series of children’s books, whose terrifying illustrations made us really wonder if they were actually meant for children, are adapted to an enjoyable if ultimately too familiar horror movie. Set in the late sixties, it takes place in a small Pennsylvania town where a group of teenagers enter an abandoned old house on a dare, one that was once owned by the family whose mill was the hamlet’s main industrial force in the late nineteenth-century, and whose daughter was rumoured to have killed them all. These youngsters find the alleged murder’s notebook and discover that it is full of terrifying stories that, oddly enough, continue to be written this many years after her death, stories that appear on the page by an invisible hand and tell tales of the people reading them and the nasty ends that they will meet. is the young woman at the centre of this plot who tries to get her friends to realize what is happening and save them from their dark fate, while at the same time trying to solve the mystery that will put a stop to these horrors happening at all. There are some clever sequences, and true to its targeted demographic the film is never overtly gory but focuses on being wonderfully eerie, boosted by beautiful cinematography and some truly committed performances. The participating of Guillermo del Toro on the writing and production team, however, becomes more obvious as we move towards a highly unimaginative ending that is basically The Devil’s Backbone all over again (or The Uninvited to go further back in his influences), its familiar conclusion ruining the great attempts at originality with which it begins.