From 1990 to 2000, Are You Afraid of the Dark? haunted Canadian kids on YTV and American audiences on Saturday night’s programming lineup, SNICK. These were the best of times. For many, the Members of the Midnight Society and their spooky campfire stories were the first foray into horror, a foot in the door that opened into the madness of H.P. Lovecraft, the saints and sinners of Stephen King, and the pantheon of horror gurus on the big and small screen. Next year, the horror anthology TV series will get a chance to jump into the feature film market with Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures production by the same name.
Now, as Bloody Disgusting reports, Are You Afraid of the Dark? is one step closer to starting production now that D.J. Caruso is in talks to direct. There’s no meat on the bones of this story just yet since no official announcement has been made and, presumably, the casting process hasn’t started. However, as we’ve previously reported, IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman is penning the script for this adaptation, something that should have horror fans very excited. Dauberman’s previous efforts also include the Annabelle franchise films and The Nun, so he’s not exactly a one-shot wonder. Caruso on the other hand …
Caruso’s an interesting choice for a director of this particular film. If you go back to his 2007 feature Disturbia, he’s actually a good fit. But if you also note every film he’s directed since then–Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four, Standing Up, The Disappointments Room, and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage–things get muddy quickly. His shot at horror in The Disappointments Room was savaged by critics and general audiences alike, his brush with the YA boom in I Am Number Four was forgettable on all fronts, and his entry in the high-octane xXx franchise anchored by Vin Diesel earned a lukewarm reception at best.
But Caruso’s 2013 effort Standing Up offers an interesting peek into what his take on Are You Afraid of the Dark? might look like. Granted, it’s up to Dauberman’s story for the most part, but Caruso’s adaptation of the Brock Cole novel that told the story of two kids who fought back against bullying at a summer camp and found mutual support in each other serves as something to build from. That picture, too, was met with ambivalence from critics and audience-goers, so we’ll see if something special can come together for this new project.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? is currently slated for an October 11, 2019 release by Paramount. For more on the Nickelodeon series-inspired feature film, be sure to get caught up with our recent, relevant write-ups linked below:
- Classic Nicktoons and 90s Nickelodeon Shows Now Streaming on VRV’s New NickSplat Channel
- Paramount’s ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ Movie Gets a Release Date
- An ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Movie Is Happening with ‘It’ Screenwriter
- Nickelodeon’s Best Live-Action Kids Shows from the 90s, Ranked
- Nickelodeon Reviving 90s Programming; Includes ‘All That’, ‘Hey Dude’, and Much More
- Hollywood! Adapt This: ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?