FILM REVIEW | Night Books | Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser
Some children’s films are made so well that adults enjoy them as much as the little ones.
This is customary for Pixar production and many ’80s adventure films.
But sometimes you will have children’s movies that are really not suitable for adults.
And, unfortunately, the second category is where we’ll find Netflix’s latest offering: Night books.
The kid-friendly horror film sees young scary fan Alex (Winslow Fegley) lured to a magical apartment building after a traumatic night, only to find himself kidnapped by a witch.
Said the witch, Natacha (Jessica jones‘Krysten Ritter, clearly relishing his opportunity to portray a campy and exaggerated witch), threatens to kill Alex if he’s not useful to her.
But when she finds out that the youngster is writing scary stories in his “night books”, she demands a new tale every night. Another child, Yasmin (Lidya Jewett, Good girls), who cooks, cleans and takes care of Natacha’s magical nursery.
Trying to find inspiration for new stories in the apartment’s magic library, Alex finds secret messages written in some of the oldest books and discovers a girl who was kidnapped before him and Yasmin managed to get away. escape.
So they concoct a plan to escape too.
The story itself leaves a lot to be desired, especially the central vanity – it just seems ridiculous that an adult witch needs childish horror stories every night.
Even when the full reason behind this is revealed, it is a serious disappointment.
On the positive side, the young actors are quite good, especially Fegley (whose lookalike brother Oakes has already directed several of his own films including Pete’s dragon, The goldfinch and War with grandfather) in a rather tragic and moving monologue moment.
Some of the set design is engaging and enjoyable, and Natacha’s costume – while utterly outrageous and campy and not in the least scary – is quite fun.
Some younger kids may have fun at some spooky or scary parts of the movie, but older kids and adults are unlikely to be impressed from start to finish.
The ending seems to suggest that a sequel is expected. Surely one is not justified.