It’s a delicate balance, creating a fun spooky but not terrifying movie for kids. Netflix is up to the challenge with their newest scary movie Nightbooks. Read on for a full review of Nightbooks, streaming on Netflix.
Nightbooks starts out with Alex (Winslow Fegley), a scary story and The Lost Boys fan being tricked into the magical apartment of a moody witch. He must tell a spine-tingling tale every night, or stay trapped with his new friend Yasmin (Lidya Jewett) in the horror of the apartment. Alex’s stories are paired with animation sequences with Natacha (Krysten Ritter) butting in with her opinions and disappointments. Can Alex and Yasmin outwit the witch and back to their regular lives?
Nightbooks seems to get the importance of including campiness in the villain (Krysten Ritter was made for this role) and some serious jump scares as the kids make their way around the haunted apartment. Ritter plays a witch Natacha, who traps both Yasmin and Alex in her apartment and she has the perfect cackle, when she’s not totally annoyed by the kids. My kids immediately pointed out Natacha’s costumes which are so unique in this film. The costume designer has candy colored goth items that strangely work and looks like Natacha could be passing out candy to kids on Halloween night in every single scene.
Because this is a “scary kid movie” the jump scares in the haunted apartment work well. There seems to be an equal amount of jump scare scenes and then ridiculous scenes (usually involving an invisible cat.) The set design is pretty intricate with each room having a different theme that Yasmin and Alex hide out in. The special effects work and when they aren’t wickedly terrifying, they are silly- think vomit and turd jokes.
Surprisingly Nightbooks is an entertaining movie for the Halloween season that is enjoyable for both kids and adults.
IS NIGHTBOOKS STREAMING ON NETFLIX APPROPRIATE FOR YOUNG KIDS?
Younger children may be scared of some of the CGI so I would say this movie is appropriate for kids 10 and up.
Looking for more scary movie ideas?