It’s the show that gave you nightmares as a child and now it’s getting a reboot to give you nightmares as an adult. The 1990s Canadian children’s TV classic Are You Afraid of the Dark? is being made into a movie and that means the show that terrified you on your parent’s 22-inch TV will now be movie theatre-sized. And in case you’re wondering whether it was just scary because you were young, nope. Remember the Tale of The Frozen Ghost about the boy who froze to death? Who thought that was okay for kids to see?!
Are You Afraid of the Dark? first aired in 1990 and went on for seven seasons, amassing an incredible catalogue of 91 episodes. The series focused on a group of kids, known as the Midnight Society, gathering around a campfire each episode to tell ghost stories. The series featured a number of child actors who went on to have successful acting careers, including Elisha Cuthbert, Jay Baruchel, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Rachel Blanchard, Emily VanCamp, Jewel Staite, Aaron Ashmore, Tatyana Ali, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Hayden Christensen, Melissa Joan Hart, Neve Campbell, and Ryan Gosling.
No word on whether any of the famous faces that count Are You Afraid of The Dark? as one of their first acting gigs will be returning to the franchise (come on, Ry Gos!), but one thing we do know is that writer Gary Dauberman plans on making the film even scarier than the TV show. Best known for his work on It: Chapter Two, and The Nun (which is too scary for YouTube), Dauberman spoke with Slash Film about the upcoming reboot.
The new film unfortunately won’t feature any of the original storylines or monsters, which is too bad considering Zeebo the Clown and The Pool Creature are legitimately terrifying characters that deserve the big screen treatment. “It is a completely original story I came up with, but it still has the Midnight Society and it still has the campfire,” says Dauberman. “It’s still a story being told.” Hopefully, that story will retain some of its Canadian flare.
Dauberman told the website that scary TV shows and films are important to teach children fear in the safety of their own homes. Remind us not to hire him as a babysitter. “I have an eight-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. It’s interesting watching them develop that sense of is it too scary for me or is it not? That’s a lesson that we need to apply to the real world. If kids can’t learn that in the safety of their own homes trying to push the boundaries of what’s scary, what isn’t, what’s safe, what isn’t, then it’s a lot more difficult out there in the real world. I think there are those lessons that are taught by horror movies. I think we got a lot more of that when I was growing up. Somewhere along the lines it started to become a little too sanitized.”
The horror flick writer says that the new version of Are You Afraid of the Dark? will be one that both kids and adults can enjoy. “I think fear is healthy for kids. I don’t think we have to always sand down the edges of things and that’s something I really wanted to do with Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” says Dauberman. “I think it is scary and I think kids will be scared watching it at times, and also they’ll laugh at times. I think it’s got a great message. I think it’s got a great heart to it but it is still scary. I think that’s great. I think it’s going to open it up to a wider audience.”
So yeah, expect a film that will have kids (and possibly adults) sleeping with the lights on. Are You Afraid of the Dark? is expected to hit theatres on October 11, 2019.