The cinematic adaptation of Nickelodeon’s anthology series Are You Afraid of the Dark? will hit theaters on October 11, 2019. Back in 1992, Nickelodeon’s two-hour programming block SNICK premiered the horror fantasy-themed series Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which – along with the rest of the shows from the block – was aimed towards an older audience of pre-teens and teens.
The series centered on a group of teenagers who called themselves “The Midnight Society” and gathered around a campfire to tell scary stories. Each episode focused on a single story told by a member from the Midnight Society and would often have a “happy ending” – though that was not always the case. Are You Afraid of the Dark? served as a first approach to the horror and fantasy genres to many kids in the early 1990s, so it’s not surprising that the announcement of a film adaptation was well received. Now, the project has an official release date too.
Deadline is reporting that Paramount has set October 11, 2019 as the release date for Are You Afraid of the Dark?, just in time for Halloween season. Gary Dauberman, the co-screenwriter of the IT movie adaptation, is onboard as writer and producer along with Matt Kaplan (You Get Me). In addition to his work on Andrés Muschietti’s IT, Dauberman has established himself in the horror genre by writing the scripts for Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and next summer's The Nun. He is also writing the script for IT: Chapter Two alongside Jeffery Jurgensen. A director for Are You Afraid of the Dark? has yet to be announced.
Although aimed for a young audience, Are You Afraid of the Dark? had some very dark episodes that have stayed in the memories of its viewers for years. Stories like “The Tale of the Dollmaker”, “The Tale of Dead Man’s Float”, and “The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner” are just a few examples of episodes that are engraved in the memories of most ‘90s kids, thanks to a combination of visuals/make-up and how they explore some common fears. Although the plot for the movie adaptation has yet to be revealed, the film's creative team will hopefully take a hint from some of the show's best episodes and craft a story that will stay in everyone's minds for a long time afterwards.
After years of financial and critical failures, the horror genre has been on the rise of late, thanks to films like Get Out and IT. These movies not only feature well-written stories with great casts and excellent direction, but also managed to convince both horror fans and those who are not into the genre that these sorts of films are worth their time. With Dauberman’s experience in the genre, we can be sure that Are You Afraid of the Dark? will remain loyal to its roots, and will hopefully introduce a younger generation to the horror genre, just like the original series did.
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