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Nightbooks Movie Review (2021)

Today, I’m going to be talking about the new family-friendly fright-fest from Netflix called Night Books.

Nightbooks 2021 is an American dark fantasy film based on the 2018 horror-fantasy children’s book of the same name by J. A. White.

The film is rated PG and it is an hour and 43 minutes long. It was released September 15, 2021, on Netflix.

Is it too scary for kids and too silly for adults? Let’s Find about it…

Nightbooks Movie Review

Nightbooks is directed by David Yarovesky and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The film stars Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, and Krysten Ritter.

Follows Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories who is imprisoned by an evil young witch in her contemporary New York City apartment.

KnightBooks is a film very reminiscent of Goosebumps and Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark.

But it also mixes in a bit of producer Sam Raimi’s own Drag Me to Hell into the mix as well.

Yes, this is a weird movie. Nightbooks 2021 is a film with frightening images, fantasy based action, and it happens to follow two kids.

And while it certainly is not for a super young audience, the 12-year-old inside of me would have absolutely loved this movie, and the adult version of me also had a blast with it.

The film follows Alex, a young boy who is obsessed with scary stories. A traumatic moment in his life has caused him to try and hide away his pension for storytelling, though, until he is imprisoned by a witch in her New York apartment who swears to kill him if he doesn’t tell her an original scary story every night.

In his new prison, he meets a girl named Yasmeen, who has become a slave for the witch.

The two put their ingenuity to the test to try to escape the apartment and get to the bottom of who their captor is and what her motives are.

A film like this rides or dies on its child actors as they have the weight of the entire film on their shoulders.

And I am so happy to say that young Winslow Fegley and Lidya Jewett are absolutely phenomenal in their roles.

The charisma these two performers have is extraordinary, and these two not only have extremely emotional scenes to pull off but also comedy and horror scenes to get through as well.

The two together really make a fantastic team, and I never once felt like I was watching a kid’s movie in their shirts hands.

Krysten Ritter, who blew me away, and Jess Brown Breaking Bad and one of my personal favorite underrated sitcoms, don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23 is having the time of her life playing the evil witch Natasha.

Her wardrobe, makeup and hairstyling is so extravagant that you can feel like she is living for playing this role.

Krysten Ritter is able to balance being absolutely terrifying with her own brand of quirkiness that works so well in a family film like this.

You can’t hate her because she is so fabulous, but you also still feel her menace in every scene as well.

Nightbooks movie surprised me and how terrifying it became, and it will surely scare the heck out of kids who are faint of heart.

But I still think this is a great movie for families, especially ones with kids in their tweens or teens, because it mixes just enough fantasy and heart into the mix.

While there are effective jump scares and images that might keep the kiddies up at night, it is able to mix that with a sense of childlike wonder that really captured me. It also has so many themes that resonated with me as well.

Embracing creativity in our youth, highlighting the importance of literature and writing in a social media world, and also finding vindication in your ideas and who you are as a person.

There is so much here to grab onto for not only the kids, but the adults in their life as well.

By no means is night books a perfect film. There was one gross out humor moment in the movie that rubbed me the wrong way.

Why do filmmakers think that they need to put this type of comedy in a family film to keep the kids engaged?

It just felt really out of left field and not in line with the tone of the movie. I also think that nightbook starts off so strong, but there are some very cheesy scenes in the end that take away from the gravity of this situation.

Last but not least, I don’t think Ritter, who has been chewing the scenery during this movie’s entirety, got the send-off that she deserved.

But at the end of the day, Nightbooks is a fantastic entry into the small, little niche market of scary, family-friendly content.

I think it’s definitely worth a watch whether you are a kid or a kid at heart.

So I am going to give Nightbooks movie 2021 a B-Minus.

Nightbooks Movie Review

This is a horror film for kids that does not insult their intelligence. It is fun, frightening and full of heart. And while it certainly has its issues, the performances, creativity and poignant messages make it a must see for mostly the entire family.

Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of Nightbooks Netflix original movie. See you next time.

Nightbooks Movie TrailerĀ 

Check out the trailer of the new Netflix original movie, Nightbooks.

A full-time movie/Series critic and editor of with one goal: To help you find great content.


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