Nightbooks

Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories, is trapped by a witch in her modern, magical New York City apartment. His original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping him safe as he desperately tries to find a way out of this twisted place.

  • Released: 2021-09-15
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Genre: Family, Fantasy, Horror
  • Stars: Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, Krysten Ritter, Luxton Handspiker, Liam Couvion, Eden Gjoka, Jill Frappier, Neil Emmanuel Lu, Jess Brown, Mathieu Bourassa, Khiyla Aynne, Stephen R. Hart, Miley Haik, Taylor Belle Puterman, Riley O'Donnell, Evan O'Donnell, Jess Brown
  • Director: David Yarovesky
 Comments
  • markthomassintek - 19 August 2022
    Better than I expected
    REVIEW - NIGHTBOOKS

    Scrolling through one evening and in the new releases I came across this, saying it's a kids fantasy horror I became interested how you could possibly have a fantasy horror film for children so......

    Actually very pleasantly surprised as a very original story with a young boy being kidnapped by a witch, the young boy writing horror stories being told he must write an original horror story every night to read to the witch or she would kill him.

    Unknown but which becomes apparent during the film these stories hold another meaning.

    Very original story with enough twists and turns that certainly kept me interested to actually say I enjoyed this child's fantasy horror and I'm an adult.

    One to certainly give a try, one to certainly sit with you're children and watch, horror family time, what else could you ask for especially in time for Halloween.

    Rating 7 out of 10.
  • zalouteacher - 29 December 2021
    Creative Writing revisited in Nightbook
    The movie is for children and the main stars are children. I liked the fact that it was hunting at how stories should be written and what the building blocks of novels are. Actually, every movie hints at s truth that lies behind Truth with capital T. Nowadays movies are hardly labouring and striving on to keep the watcher hooked I the dynamics of the textual elements of movies but rather lure them to the ephemeral effects of gimmick used in the movie.
  • MoviePeek - 18 October 2021
    Spooks the whole family can enjoy
    Horror films are usually associated with bloodshed and shrieking blondes, so it seems counterintuitive to aim such a film at a younger audience and slap on a PG certificate. Nightbooks is one such movie that intends to thrill and terrify its young audience, without guts, blood, and other staples of the genre. The film sees Alex, a young boy with a knack for writing short horror stories, abducted by a wicked-tempered and wickedly dressed witch. Now trapped in a strange house Alex follows in the footsteps of great horror writers before him such as Stephen King and R. L Stine and write stories that please the witch and keep him alive.

    The story is simple and features only a few characters, however, it is my opinion that this is one of the film's greatest strengths, as every one of them is able to become more fleshed out and never become side-lined. Where so many movies are bloated messes filled with side plots, characters primed for spin-offs, and sequel bait, Nightbooks is refreshingly old-fashioned in its structure. Alex played Winslow Fegley is a talented writer who has trouble fitting in, but is obsessed with all things horror and loves nothing more than writing his nightbooks. Winslow gives a good performance for an actor so young and his kindness to others and eternal optimism make you root for his survival.

    But Alex isn't the only captive locked inside the witches' magical house, Yasmin is also trapped there, and has been forced to perform all manner of tasks to survive. Yas is played by Lidya Jewett, who is an altogether different character from Alex. Where he has hope and optimism, her prolonged stay at the immaculately carpeted prison has changed her perspective and worn away her resolve. Together the pair form an interesting duo, who play off each other well and develop a friendship that feels believable.

    While Alex may be the protagonist of the film, the real star is Natacha, the evil witch. Now we've all seen evil witches before, warts, the long nose, the hunched backs. The old crones are easy to spot and should be avoided at all costs, however, Natacha takes the witch handbook and tears it up into a million pieces. For one thing, she's young, for another, she's fabulous. Her outlandish platform shoes, sequined gloves, and bright blue hair make Natacha look like a cross between Lady Gaga and Ramona Flowers. But's it's not just Natacha's appearance that makes her the star of the show, it's also Krysten Ritter's fun larger-than-life performance. It's clear that Krysten is having a lot of fun embracing her bad side and letting loose. Natacha is a wicked witch, on top of all that she's terrifying and kills children, but Krysten manages to elevate her character that could have been cliché or boring and make her fun and engaging.

    What would a film called Nightbooks be without a little nightbooks? Well, if you were in the mood for a chilling tale, Nightbooks has you covered. The film features several sequences in which Alex must present his day's work to Natacha, in the hopes that the material is sufficiently chilling to satisfy her thirst for all things macabre. These sequences are a highlight of the film and are hugely enjoyable too, as instead of simply watching Alex read his nightbook, the audience is instead treated to seeing the action unfold. These stories and render in eerie colors with dirty whites and bold reds which make them all the more captivating and creepier.

    While the story that unfolds in Nightbooks is by no means a game-changer, it is enjoyable to witness Alex explore the house and discover all the secrets that it holds. This is after all a film aimed at a younger audience and is intended to be watched by all the family. Nightbooks features many magical items and surreal creations, one such creature is Natacha's faithful Sphynx cat, Lenore. Where some cats can give a high five or recognize their name, this cool cat's party trick is its ability to turn invisible. She's a sneaky spy who sees all and something of a snitch. While Lenore was a welcome addition to the cast and an interesting character in her own right, some of the CGI used to bring her to life during particular sequences was pretty poor and very distracting.

    Nightbooks is a surprisingly enjoyable adventure that offers plenty of surprises and scares. Krysten Ritter delivers a wicked performance as Natacha and is one of the most memorable witches of recent memory. The movie is rated PG, but some sequences (particularly towards the end) may prove too much for some viewers to handle. But for kids like Alex who adore all things horror, Nightbooks is a welcome addition to the pantheon of horror films that came before.