‘Scay Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Review: Film is Super Fun With Lots of Nostalgia

Remember the good ol’ days of being 10-years-old and going to a friend’s sleepover and deciding to give all your buddies a good scare? The best way to do this was with the iconic horror series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. These stories had some of the most frightening tales filled with chills, thrills and jump scares. Now the stories have been brought to life in the live-action film opening in theaters on August 9.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark takes place in 1968 in the small town of Mill Valley where anything scary will come back to haunt its residents. This doesn’t actually include ghouls; some characters have their own unresolved conflicts that they’re dealing with. But little do they know the real terror of what they’d be facing. On Halloween night, teenagers Stella, Chuck, Auggie and Ramon make their way over to a “haunted” house where a girl named Sarah Bellows used to live hundreds of years ago. Rumor has it that she lived a terrifying life and wrote creepy stories in a book. But when the teens discover that book, they don’t realize that these stories are about to come to life and all of them will be on a fight for their lives against monstrous fiends.

Fans of the books will see memorable tales in the movie, including “Harold,” “The Big Toe” and the disgustingly fun one “The Red Spot.” The film’s director Andre Ovredal and screenplay writer Guillermo del Toro added some creative details in these stories that blend well with the books. The film’s stories don’t follow the exact moments that happen in the books, but del Toro and Ovredal added in unique elements to give these stories a new kind of twist. And thankfully, it doesn’t take that much away from what fans remember from the books.

Del Toro, who made a surprise appearance at the advanced screening in Hollywood, California, said that he wanted to put something together that horror fans would love whether it’s for an adult or a child.

“We wanted to do sort of a young adult equivalent in this movie for kids, for families,” del Toro said. “I think there are three generations who read this book. So Grandma, Dad, Mom, whoever wants to come is fine to see the movie. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, it’s creepy.”

What makes this movie so terrifying is how grisly each ghoul is. Harold, who fans might remember as the trotting scarecrow who lays skin out to dry, has the face of nightmares. With his pumpkin head and bugs crawling out of his face, that’s enough to give audiences a giant shudder. But when his story begins in a similar way as to what happens in the written story, that’s when the nightmare truly comes alive.

Speaking of nightmares, readers may also be familiar with “The Dream-” the story about the girl who sees a pale woman with long black hair in a dark bedroom and eerily whispers “This is an evil place. Run away while you still can.” Not only does the pale woman appear in the movie, but she makes her presence so memorable that it’s almost too much to handle.

With every monster that shows up, one of the most talked about ones will be the Jangly Man. He is technically a new character although he makes a connection with one of the most chilling stories from the original book. If the Jangly Man looks familiar at all, it’s because he’s played by Troy James- the contortionist from America’s Got Talent who made audiences scream and gasp with his spine-tingling twists.

The stars of the film ought to have promising careers ahead of them after putting all their dedication in becoming horror icons. Zoe Margaret Colletti plays Stella, the smart and shy girl who blossoms beautifully as the film’s final girl. Michael Garza also does splendidly as the leading man who stands up to bullies and knows when to run from danger. Then there is Austin Zajur who plays Chuck, the clown of the group and later finds himself in probably the most harrowing scene of the movie with the pale woman. Natalie Ganzhorn plays Ruth, the most typical 1968 girl one can imagine. Her big scene with “The Red Spot” is incredibly bizarre as she tries to find out what is happening with that red mark on her face. The second that spider leg pops out, all hell breaks loose- kind of literally.

The movie has a number of jump scenes that are frightening beyond belief. But the film is not like watching horror that is simply meant to cause panic and shock. This film is about the memories of being young and having those scary sleepovers when youth was just starting to appreciate horror. It’s those early moments that horror buffs will appreciate as they see their favorite ghost stories brought to life on the big screen. The film could’ve added some other classics from the books (“What Do You Come For,” “The Girl Who Stood on a Grave” or “The Bride”) even if it was just for a brief moment. But the ones that were used were fun, nonetheless, and are bound to give scary movie buffs a good time.

‘Above the Shadows’ Review: Film Delivers Mystery and Reclamation

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

It’s a question that comes to most people once in a while- what would we do if we could turn invisible? Would we use this power for good? Evil? Somewhere in between? What would it be like to do whatever we want without getting caught? It comes with a lot of imagination and curiosity. But what would it be like if we didn’t ask for this power and we had no choice? That’s what the new film Above the Shadows presents in a unique and tense melodrama.

The film revolves around Holly (Olivia Thirlby), who starts as a young pre-teen raised in a family that doesn’t really appreciate her. She’s the middle child and there are times she doesn’t feel like part of the family. That is, except, with her mother. The two have a lovely and meaningful relationship, but it falls short when Holly’s mother dies from cancer. This leaves Holly with a family that gradually forgets about her in the time of their grief. In a short amount of time, they forget about Holly completely. And it’s not just her family, but it’s the rest of the world too. No one can see nor hear Holly anymore even though she’s still walking and talking. This puts Holly in a cruel reality that while she’s still around, no one knows she exists.

The film cuts to Holly as a young woman and she somehow manages to become a useful member of society even if others don’t see her. She becomes her own type of private investigator who takes photos of others doing bad things and exposing them for who they are. It makes Holly appear to be a sneaky spy, but the job is obviously easy if no one can see her.

But something happens to Holly. While doing her photo work, a man kicks her out of a bar. So that means…he can see her! It turns out this man is Shayne (Alan Ritchson), a former professional fighter whose life has turned to tatters after committing his own sins. Now it’s up to Shayne and Holly to help each other find their paths again leading to a heartwarming yet strenuous connection.

As the film continues, Holly tries to help Shayne piece his life back together, but it comes with obstacles on both sides. Their journeys come with a need to find focus after feeling like giving up. It’s painful and it’s confusing. And it gets even more complicated when love gets in the way.

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

The film explained what was in store for Shayne’s path that he could only walk through with the help from someone else. And Holly comes to her own terms with what it really means to be invisible. As much as she wants to guilt the rest of the world for shutting her out, only she can decide if she can be brought back in.

Thirlby’s charisma fits smoothly with her role as Holly. She perfectly pulls off the lonely Jessica Jones-ish kind of misfit who sits in the corner with mysterious energy like a dark figure who disappears into the night. Ritchson, with his chiseled look and muscled physique, resembles a cage fighter well, but it’s his sensitivity and honesty that make him true to the heart.

There are also appearances from two bigger stars, including Jim Gaffigan, who plays Holly’s oblivious yet grief-stricken father. It’s definitely not the Gaffigan fans will know from his stand-up comedy, which can give the audience a new take that they can either appreciate or feel awkward about. Then there’s Megan Fox who plays Juliana, the ex-girlfriend of Shayne, who comes back into his life when he’s about to make a fighting comeback. Unfortunately, Fox’s time on screen is pretty short and doesn’t come with a lot of redemption. While the actress has always been known for her sultry looks and seductive vibe, who’s to say she doesn’t deserve a longer and more detailed storyline?

Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

The film has its slow moments, but overall, it delivers a powerful message about failure and redemption. When bad things happen, there is an urge to blame everyone else- and while others may hold responsibility, it is not up to them to keep it that way. It is only up to whoever is willing to make the change they so desperately want to see in the world.

Harry Styles Should NOT Play Prince Eric in ‘The Little Mermaid:’ Here’s Why

Harry Styles in talks to play Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid live-action…really?

The Little Mermaid is one of the most iconic and beautiful stories of our time. Sure, it’s problematic, but it’s still a magical Disney film with breathtaking music, gorgeous scenery and some of the most beautiful characters in cinema.

When it was announced that Halle Bailey was to star as Ariel, the Internet was all for it (actually, a lot of them weren’t, but that’s an entirely different story to tell). Bailey can sing, has Disney-esque features and shows lovely mermaid charisma.

Styles, on the other hand, has zero prince charisma. His long hair, weird face and discomforting smile possess the qualities of that emo misfit from high school who thought he was all “above it” even though his parents paid for those ripped jeans.

Here’s another thing- Styles can sing for a boy band and the public loves him. But to play the the romantic hero who sweeps the princess off her feet (literally with Ariel) is just not where his energy lies. Even though the One Direction members went their separate ways, Styles stayed pretty relevant because everyone is so in love with him…despite the fact that every other member of that band is far better looking and charming than him. Seriously, they couldn’t get Zayn for the role?

For 2019 standards, Prince Eric is a dud. But for Disney standards, he’s lovable, handsome and ravishing. A classy young man with a gorgeous face, pearly white teeth, suave hair and sings like an angel is what this character is known for. Not a grungy beatnik with a horrible hair-cut who can only look like a fake Prince Charming to girls under 13.

Come on, Zayn, it’s not too late!

Halle Bailey News: All Those ‘Little Mermaid’ Ariel Haters Are Ignorant And Freeform Just Proved It

Embed from Getty Images

Of course, when someone of a different race gets cast for a (quote on quote) “white” role, the Internet goes crazy. People have argued that since the story of The Little Mermaid is Danish, that means she’s supposed to be white. That is not the case here, folks.

Freeform took to Instagram on Saturday to let the racists (yes, racists) know that to claim the Danish argument is weak.

“Yes. The original author of ‘The Little Mermaid’ was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid,” the post says.

It continues with, “But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.”

The post finishes by saying that Ariel is, once again, a fictional character. Therefore, her skin color can be absolutely anything. And given Bailey’s singing voice, it sounds like she’s going to nail the role.

Still have doubts about Bailey as Ariel? Watch the video below and try not to get excited about what that voice will bring to the role.

‘Mulan’ Live Action Trailer: Teaser Was Just Released And It’s Breathtaking

She’s a girl worth fighting for, indeed!

The trailer for the live action version of Mulan was just released and it looks incredible. It starts off with the main character, played by Yifei Liu, riding to her home on a horse. It then cuts to her mother telling her that she has good news- the matchmaker found someone for her daughter.

Mulan doesn’t look happy about this, but her father tells her that it’s been decided. Little do they know that Mulan is way ahead of their time and doesn’t need a matchmaker to fulfill her destiny.

Still, our favorite Chinese warrior tells them that she will bring honor to the family.

The trailer moves into a number of amazing moments with Mulan in full-blown makeup and showing some bad-ass karate moves. There are also moments of her epic battles when she’s fighting in the wilderness to bring true honor to her family.

Check it out below.

So far, the movie looks great although reports are saying there won’t be any signing nor any Mushu. That’s going to be strange since Mushu is all about comic relief and the music adds in the beautiful artistic elements. But can the film work without this? It could, but fans are going to spend a lot of time comparing to the original. Without any comparisons, it looks great, but only time will tell how it does in the long run.

Mulan hits theaters on March 27, 2020.

‘Little Mermaid’ Live Action News: Former Ariel Joanna Garcia Reveals Her Hope For Character In Anticipated Film

Embed from Getty Images

It was just announced that Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid. But what kind of Ariel are we going to see? Well, Joanna Garcia-Swisher, who notoriously played Ariel in the TV series Once Upon a Time, exclusively revealed what she would love to see on-screen when we all witness the new Ariel.

The actress made an appearance in Beverly Hills at an event to launch St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support research and treatment for children with cancer. During her attendance, Garcia-Swisher mentioned that with a new version of The Little Mermaid coming out, she would love to see all of Ariel’s strengths brought out while seeing something new and exciting.

“I was thinking about the story of The Little Mermaid recently, and certainly as fairy tales sort of age, I would love to see a more modern approach, maybe taking a little bit of a different stand of seeing Ariel,” Garcia-Swisher said. “She’s very strong and she’s dedicated, and I appreciate all of those qualities. But what I would really love to see is maybe a little bit more of a feminist Ariel.”

A feminist Ariel would not be a bad idea!

The 39-year-old also discussed how grateful she is to be part of an event for St. Jude and how important it is to spread awareness.

“Obviously, St. Jude is a very established children’s hospital and they do amazing things, but I love exposing it to people and when you really understand what St. Jude does for families and children in the time they need it the most it’s hard to not be in awe of them,” Garcia-Swisher said.

As a parent to two daughters, Emerson, 6, and Sailor, 3, the actress is glad there is a hospital willing to be so accommodating to families who truly need help.

“I think for us, as parents of little ones too, not only are they getting everything free of charge, but they’re also getting world renowned care and the opportunity to really save lives, they’re getting the best possible treatment and taking all the stressors away, and it’s really miraculous,” she said.