[Editorial] ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ and Its Young Heroine for a New Generation of Horror Fans

Like the plucky young heroes of The Monster SquadScary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a gateway horror film with a protagonist obsessed with horror. From the moment the film introduces Stella, played by Zoe Margaret Colletti, we recognize her as one of our own. Save for a major arc involving her father, Stella’s entire persona and narrative is crafted around her being a horror fan. An aspiring writer with a boundless passion for genre, Stella was me as a young teen. For an entry point into genre, there’s nothing more powerful than seeing yourself represented on screen as a protagonist battling seriously spooky monsters.

stella

Growing up, one of my most formative horror movies was The Monster Squad. I related most to Sean Crenshaw (Andre Gower) and his love of monsters. I coveted his treehouse, littered with movie posters and merch. I desperately wanted membership into that club, filled with other like-minded friends. The downside? The Monster Squad didn’t seem interested in letting girls join their club. Little Phoebe (Ashley Bank) begged to be let in, much to the annoyance of her brother, Sean. It was only when she brought home a genuine monster that she’d befriended that they took her seriously.

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