I was immediately interested in seeing this movie, as I always enjoyed R.L. Stine’s books when I was younger.
There were some creepy moments in this movie, but there wasn’t really much in the way of jump scares. A lot of it was very predictable.
I found Deena easy to relate to. I couldn’t say I was that happy about Sam, though. While I did only see their relationship from Deena’s point of view, Sam came across as a much weaker person.
The fact that Deena and Josh’s father didn’t appear was really telling. All that I knew about him came from what the other characters said.
The scene at the beginning did a good job of setting up the feel of the rest of the movie, even though it was a fairly normal start scene for a horror movie. However, there were a lot of questions raised for me with everything that was going on. Even by the end of the movie, I had very little idea of what was going on with the history. But the first movie did a good job, because it made me want to watch the next two movies in the trilogy.
I did notice that there was a very clear divide between the two towns right from the beginning and it came across as very much a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ vibe involving Deena and Sam and the conflicts between the two towns. Plus, the only character from Sunnyvale who actually seemed to have any real depth was the Sherriff. And I was definitely intrigued by what seemed to be his knowledge of what had happened before.
I did find it strange that so many of the town’s residents seemed to just accept that violence and murder was part of their lives. While Josh was talking to someone online who seemed to believe in the witch and clearly believed in her as well, it didn’t seem like there were that many people who were questioning just why so much evil was happening in one small town. The headlines at the beginning of the movie seemed to indicate murder was occurring extremely frequently.
I did feel like the world of this movie was very small. In a way, it was good, because it allowed for more focus on the main characters. On the other hand, it didn’t much feel like there was a wider world outside of Shadyside.
I can’t really say that this movie stood out much from the crowd, but it was entertaining to watch and I liked the fact there was representation. Plus, I am interested in watching the next two movies, even if I’m in no hurry to watch this one again.