"Scary Stories", the highly anticipated documentary about Alvin Schwartz’ iconic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series, explores the history of one of the most controversial works of modern children's literature. The series scared a generation of young readers and became one of the most banned books of modern times. Scary Stories creates both the ultimate celebration and dissertation of this iconic piece of horror literature.
The stories feel timeless, the books are infamous and the slice of nostalgia is priceless. And this documentary celebrates all of it. "Scary Stories" offers a deeper look into the controversy surrounding the books. The battle between censorship and free speech, framing literature as cultural heritage. Which is exactly what these books were then, and still are today. Cody Meirick, the director offers both sides of the argument, showing no forced, influential bias. Greatly appreciated because it allows for an authentic flow to the documentary's narrative.
The film includes introspective pieces from R.L. Stine, Amelia Cotter, Bruce Coville and Q.L. Pearce, plus plenty of artists and writers influenced by "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark". The real star of the documentary, and rightfully so, is the books' original artwork. Meirick guides the viewer through the three distinct topics explored in documentary nicely. The author, Mr. Shwartz, the controversy, and the legacy of the book series' influence on pop culture and horror fans. This is clearly a must for both the horror reader and anyone who's childhood included the books- especially those who maintain a love for "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark". It is a fun, informative, and entertaining watch. (5/5)