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Children’s Horror

Children's Horror

Children's Horror With Such Films As "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?"

I didn’t really know any horror fans growing up; it’s not a genre any of my family particularly likes. And there was certainly a difference between the kind of horror I was allowed to watch as a kid versus the kind of horror I… um… accidentally stumbled across at a friend’s house. 

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
“Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”

But, as much as I do still love those movies I definitely totally didn’t watch as a kid, I must say that I still have very fond memories of children’s horror.

If I had to choose, I would’ve called Are You Afraid of the Dark? my favorite. The acting may have left some to be desired, but the stories were often pretty strong. 

Are You Afraid of the Dark? tended to keep to the children’s show tradition of taking media stories meant for adults and repackaging them for a young audience. “The Tale of the Dream Machine,” for instance, is a retelling of the Twilight Zone episode “A World of His Own,” albeit a retelling that took itself a fair amount more seriously than the Twilight Zone episode. We can debate how creative this practice is until the cows come home, but let’s face it: many of those stories are entertaining.

In turn, Are You Afraid of the Dark? had its own influence on horror for adults. Most famously, the Sixth Sense took influence on the episode “The Tale of the Dream Girl,” a very sweet and sad episode.

I’d recommend the episodes The Tale of the Shiny Red BicycleThe Tale of the Unfinished Painting, and The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner.

Goosebumps is still pretty synonymous with children’s horror, which makes me smile. I had personally preferred the books over the TV show as a kid, although it is also fun. 

Goosebumps also repackaged many stories traditionally meant for adults into children’s stories. Still, RL Stine has always taken a very different approach. Are You Afraid of the Dark? It had some humorous elements, but it generally took itself pretty seriously. Admittedly, it sometimes took itself a little too seriously.

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
“Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”

On the other hand, Goosebumps is as much a child’s first introduction to somewhat dark comedy as it was to horror. Goosebumps books were a lot more likely to have downer endings than episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Were, but you usually also ended the book laughing.

Children’s horror has continued over the years, and RL Stine certainly hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s still writing Goosebumps books, made a few Goosebumps movies, and has had several horror anthologies shows over the years. I personally enjoyed the Nightmare Hour a lot. It’s a fun show that targets the age group between Goosebumps and Fear Street.

There’s also Creeped Out, which aired between 2017 and 2019 but is still on Netflix. It has a very similar tone and atmosphere to Are You Afraid of the Dark? But the types of stories it chooses are a lot different, and the acting is better. I would recommend the Season Two episodes “The Many Place” and “Tilly Bone.”

It’s nice to see the tradition of children’s horror holding up. It’s a lot of fun and something that brings back a lot of fond memories.

Source: Dead Talk Live

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