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Are You Afraid of the Dark? is about to get the movie treatment. In 1992, Nickelodeon premiered a two-hour block of shows on Saturday nights, called SNICK – for Saturday Night Nickelodeon. The shows featured at this time were geared towards older kids and teens. The shows aired during SNICK frequently changed, though they all had somewhat more mature content and imagery than was typical for the children’s network. Right from the start, SNICK’s final program of the night was Are You Afraid of the Dark? – a horror based anthology show.
The central plot of Are You Afraid of the Dark? was simple. A group of friends would gather in the woods, light a campfire, and tell scary stories. Each episode was dedicated to a single story, with the kids telling the story – who referred to themselves as The Midnight Society – book-ending each episode and providing some consistency. Several members of The Midnight Society went on to become well known actors as they grew up, including Rachel Blanchard (TV’s Clueless), JoAnna Garcia ( Reba,
Once Upon a Time), and Elisha Cuthbert ( 24). Several young actors who appeared in one or more of the ghost stories also went on to have very successful careers, including Ryan Gosling ( Blade Runner 2049 ), Jewel Staite ( Firefly ), and Jay Baruchel ( How to Train Your Dragon , RoboCop ).
Now it looks like Are You Afraid of the Dark? will be getting a film adaption. Tracking Board is reporting that a film version of the series is being worked on by Paramount Players, a new division of Paramount Pictures which is dedicated to projects intended for younger audiences.
The script for Are You Afraid of the Dark? is being written by Gary Dauberman, who is making quite a name for himself in the horror community as a screenwriter. Dauberman wrote the screenplays for both Annabelle films and IT , as well as the newest film in The Conjuring universe, The Nun . The movie is being produced by Matt Kaplan.
Horror has been doing better than it historically ever has at the box office, with the great success of IT and Get Out leading the way this past year. And there has also been quite a lot of love for nostalgic horror, as both IT and Stranger Things have clearly been demonstrating. Whether this movie will trade on that and set itself in the 1990s – when the original series aired – remains to be seen.
Many adult fans of horror first got started in the genre as children and teenagers, watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? on Saturday nights. This new movie has a chance to provide those adult fans with some nostalgia, while introducing the younger generation to the horror genre and helping create new fans of things that go bump in the night.