As a child of the ’90s, there were two shows that continually scared the crap out of me and forced me to sleep with the lights on: Unsolved Mysteries and Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? (And if I’m being honest, they’d probably still have the same effect on me now.)
Well, guys, it appears the latter of the two is making a comeback — and based on initial reports, it’s definitely going to kick things up a notch. Or make that 50.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Are You Afraid of the Dark? is being turned into a movie, and it’s being written by Gary Dauberman, whose most recent credits include the horror film Annabelle and the big-screen revival of It. (AHHHHHHHHHHHH.)
“The show is about the shared experience of telling stories — especially scary ones,” Dauberman told The Hollywood Reporter this week. “We’re going to celebrate that with this movie and honor the darker, scarier tone of the show, which was really groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time. I hope the Midnight Society approves.”
In case you weren’t as obsessed with the show as I was, each episode opened with a different spooky campfire tale, told by a group of teens who referred to themselves as the “Midnight Society” (which in and of itself felt creepy AF, amiright?). It had a very early-’90s Black Mirror vibe to it (for the 13-and-under set), with episodes like “The Tale of Watcher’s Woods,” where, legend had it, people went to disappear forever (including three campers who went missing 75 years ago); and “The Tale of the Captured Souls,” which told the story of an innkeeper who hatched some sort of an elaborate plot to steal the souls of his guests. It involved mirrors that would shock anyone who touched them, a secret “soul-sucking lab,” and other spooky things that are honestly still fuzzy to my memory, but that I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, still scare the bejeezus out of me to think about now. (Almost as much as the actual show intro does.)
The show was a pretty big deal for the 13-and-under set, as it was basically a step above Goosebumps without going full-on Stephen King. (Hey, this was Nickelodeon, after all.) It also featured some pretty memorable cameos from future stars like Neve Campbell and Ryan Gosling.
I don’t know about you, but I am simultaneously spooked and excited to see it come to the big screen … It’s totally acceptable for a 32-year-old to sleep with the lights on still, right?