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08th Sep 2018

The scariest kids show of the 1990s is becoming a movie

The 1990s was kind of a golden era for kids horror anthology shows.

Wil Jones

The 1990s was kind of a golden era for kids horror anthology shows

There was, of course, the small screen adaptation of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, which memorably gave Ryan Gosling an early role alongside a murderous haunted camera (seriously, if you’ve never seen that episode, you need to – it is on Netflix and it is hilarious).

There was also Eerie, Indiana, which while technically featuring a regular cast of characters so it wasn’t strictly an anthology, still delivered one-off Goosebumps-style tales every week, and remains a cult classic just for its sheer weirdness.

One of the biggest though was Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark? 

Every episode of the Canadian started out with a regular group of kids – dubbed ‘The Midnight Society’ – sitting around a campfire, taking turns to tell the scary story for that week. Memorable episodes included ‘The Tale Of The Dollmaker’ about a sinister a doll’s house, and ‘The Tale of the Night Shift’, which had a vampire causing havoc at a hospital.

The show ran from 1992 to 1996, with a short-lived revival in 1999 that featured 24‘s Elisha Cuthbert as one of the storytellers.

Now Paramount are bringing the show to the big screen. Last year it was announced that IT writer Gary Dauberman was penning the movie version, and in a new interview with /Film, he revealed a few details about Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

Dauberman, also wrote The Nun, sad that it will be an original story, not based on any previous episodes of the show.

It is a completely original story I came up with, but it still has the Midnight Society and it still has the campfire,” Dauberman explained. “It’s still a story being told.”

He also went on to say that the original show meant a lot to him as a young horror fan.

“That show is so important to me. I didn’t want to age it down too much because for it’s time, it had some really disturbing episodes and some really dark episodes. Not every story the Midnight Society told ended with happily ever after or a person learning their lesson and it will never happen again. I really embraced that side of things and I think it’s been a long time. I think fear is healthy for kids. I don’t think we have to always sand down the edges of things and that’s something I really wanted to do with Are You Afraid Of The Dark? I think it is scary and I think kids will be scared watching it at times, and also they’ll laugh at times. I think it’s got a great message. I think it’s got a great heart to it but it is still scary. I think that’s great. I think it’s going to open it up to a wider audience.”

And if you want a nice shot of nostalgia, a load of episodes of the show are available to watch for free on YouTube.