Arts, Review, Movies

‘Nightbooks’ Portrays a Light Halloween Adventure

With Halloween just around the corner, there is a wide variety of scary, supernatural movies to choose from to get into the spooky season spirit. Netflix’s new movie, Nightbooks, released on Sept. 15, is another one to add to the myriad of movies to choose from. 

Based on the novel by J.A. White, Nightbooks tells the story of Alex (Winslow Fegley), a young boy who loves to write scary stories. One day, he ends up in a scary story himself when he is lured into a magical apartment by an evil witch (Krysten Ritter). The witch orders Alex to write a new scary story (as scary as one written by a 12-year-old can be), and if he does a poor job, it will be the last thing he will ever do. While at the apartment, Alex befriends a girl Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), and together they plot their escape from the witch.

If you’re looking for a scary movie, then Nightbooks may not be the movie for you. As its target audience is young kids, there are not many jumpscares, other than a couple scenes involving some menacing spider-like creatures. But, the movie is a nostalgic reminder of the many Disney Channel Halloween movies, such as Halloweentown and Twitches, that most young adults today grew up watching. 

Along with magic and fantasy, Nightbooks adds a sense of mystery to the film, making the viewer curious to see what will happen at the end of the movie. Fans of Ritter will also be happy to hear that the Jessica Jones protagonist is starring in the film. But, instead of playing the superhero who saves the day, Ritter is switching roles to play the evil witch that lures kids into the apartment for an unknown reason that keeps the viewer guessing.

Although Nightbooks does not bring out the scariness of Halloween, it does address important values that people of all ages can take away from watching it. Childhood is all about figuring out who we are and discovering our interests and hobbies. For Alex, his fascination with all things scary is what makes him who he is. While on a quest to escape the apartment and the witch’s clutches, Alex and Yasmin are also on a separate quest of self-discovery and self-acceptance. 

As well as being a movie that emphasizes the importance of accepting ourselves, Nightbooks is also about finding a friend during hard times as well as building up the courage to stand up for oneself. Overall, if you are in the mood to watch a classic, childhood Halloween movie, but also want something new at the same time, Nightbooks is the movie to watch this Halloween season.

Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix

October 3, 2021