Written by Luke Barnes
A long dead witches’ curse turns mild mannered residents of the quiet town of Shadyside into vicious killers.
I remember loving the books of R.L Stein when I was a kid, I must have read them all hundreds of times over. This film not only manages to capture the spirit, but also does a much better job of being a ‘Goosebumps’ esque film that the one staring Jack Black that came out a few years ago.
I found the film to not only be scary, but also surprisingly well done. The scares were built through atmosphere and tension rather than through forced jump scares. I found the wider mystery of all these small town serial killers to be quite unnerving, and I think the film does a good job exploring that: with the answer given feeling satisfying and making sense.
Though usually I find teen characters, especially in a Netflix film, to be grating, vapid and deeply unlikeable I didn’t mind the line up here and almost warmed to them by the end of the film. The one thing I would comment on though is the asinine and cringe story choice to have the kids hook up whilst having the killers chasing them, there is a time and a place guys. I understand that the higher ups at Netflix clearly wanted some form of titillation put into the film, but this just feels forced in.
Moreover, the dialogue is cringe as hell and often there are lines where you’re baffled that someone actually got paid to write that.
Overall, a good film that suffers from a lot of familiar Netflix teen cliches and draw backs, but manages to overcome them in the long run.
The world and the characters therein
The forced-in needless teen romance scenes
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