If you were a child of the 90s, now is a magical time to be alive. Hollywood is looking to appeal to a millennial generation that has grown up and now has spending power. To do this they are tapping in to the potent power of nostalgia. For those of a certain age, there was no greater time or age more golden than Nickelodeon in the 90s, and the studios know this. Rocko's Modern Life is making a comeback and everyone's favorite football head is returning to answer that series biggest mystery in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie which premieres this very month. It looks like this trend will continue as we now know that an Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie is in the works.
Indeed the Midnight Society is returning for more tales around the campfire and this time they'll be doing it on the big screen. The Tracking Board reports that none other than Gary Dauberman will handle scripting duties on the film. Gary Dauberman wrote Annabelle: Creation but he also worked on the script for this year's smash hit It and will be working on It: Chapter Two as well. Paramount's new division Paramount Players will produce Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which does not yet have a release date or any plot details.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a staple of Nickelodeon's SNICK lineup throughout the 90s. The SNICK shows ran later at night on Saturdays and were geared towards slightly older kids than Nickelodeon's standard fare. The show, which amassed seven seasons and 91 episodes, ran on and off from 1990-2000. In the show, a group of teens, melodramatically self-titled the Midnight Society, would meet in the woods every week to tell each other scary stories. These stories would vary in scariness and often deal with the supernatural.
Horror is going through a bit of a renaissance over the past year or two, receiving both critical acclaim and commercial success. Gary Dauberman is an inspired choice for this film as it will need to strike a delicate balance between being scary, but not too scary if it is to maintain the tone of the original series. Stranger Things became a phenomenon through the power of nostalgia, well that and telling a story that had scary moments but also delivered on the relationships between the characters. It, while not terrifying, struck a similar balance and delivered a solid coming of age tale. Are You Afraid of the Dark? will hopefully do the same by being a fun and slightly scary tale that evokes what it feels like to be a teenager.
I'm very interested in what form this movie will take, if it tells one long tale or is more of an anthology. Thankfully, that campfire has not been put out for the last time. Now, if only The Adventures of Pete and Pete could make a comeback...