Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby and a scary story in mind, because the Midnight Society will be gathering under the stars once again in Paramount's Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie, which now has a slightly earlier release date than initially planned.
Originally slated for an October 11th, 2019 theatrical release, the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film is now scheduled to haunt cinemas one week earlier on October 4th, according to Exhibitor Relations. The prime Halloween season placement could make this the big horror movie of the fall in 2019, especially for those of us ’90s kids who have been craving the Nickelodeon nightmare fuel we grew up on.
Bloody Disgusting previously reported that D.J. Caruso is "in talks" to helm the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film—an adaptation of the popular horror anthology series that aired on Nickelodeon from 1992–1996 (after premiering in Canada in 1990) before being revived for new episodes in 1999–2000. Caruso is no stranger to horror, having previously directed 2007's Disturbia and 2016's The Disappointments Room.
As previously reported by The Tracking Board, the Paramount Pictures division Paramount Players hired Gary Dauberman (IT Chapter Two, The Nun) to write a screenplay for a movie based on the Are You Afraid of the Dark? series.
In addition to writing the screenplay, Dauberman will also produce the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film alongside Matt Kaplan. While specific plot details have yet to be revealed, Dauberman previously spoke with THR about the film adaptation:
"The show is about the shared experience of telling stories—especially scary ones. 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."
An entire generation of ’90s children and teens were raised on episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which took viewers to a crackling campfire in the woods, where every night teenage members of a group known as The Midnight Society told scary stories to each other that would come to life on screen, oftentimes containing a moral lesson or reflection of something going on in the storytellers' lives.
Featuring early appearances by actors such as Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Will Friedle, and Melissa Joan Hart, Are You Afraid of the Dark? has a high re-watchability factor, with several classic installments like "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" and "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" still managing to raise goosebumps decades after they premiered.
It will be interesting to see what approach Caruso takes to Are You Afraid of the Dark?, but the format of the TV series makes this material ripe for an anthology-style adaptation with new takes on the original stories a generation of viewers grew up on in the ’90s and 2000s.
With that in mind, gather close to the fire and prepare for The Midnight Society to hold council in the shadows of the trees once again. And if you'd like to listen to the Daily Dead team discuss Are You Afraid of the Dark? and more horror TV shows from the ’90s (and other decades), check out our previous episode of our Corpse Club podcast, and stay tuned to Daily Dead for more updates on the Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie.