Netflix’s Nightbooks Review: Captivating Tale of Allegiance and Wit

Two kids get imprisoned by the most powerful Witch in New York City. Sounds creepy, right? If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be loved by the Witch of the East Village, here’s your chance!

Nightbooks is from the fantasy-horror genre. The film’s original story is from the novel by J. A. White, who is known for his novels like Thickey and Shadow School. The movie revolves around two kids- Alex (Winslow Fegley) and Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), whose only source of survival in a creepy apartment in New York City is a witch who captures Alex to hear a new story every night from him.

Netflix’s Nightbooks Review does not contain spoilers

Nightbooks isn’t your Typical Horror Fantasy

A tale of modern-day monsters, evil spirits and the kids who try to escape from the maze, Nightbooks is not your average children’s film. What exactly is it, though?

NB 20201105 Unit 06079R scaled e1631028514659
NIGHTBOOKS. LIDYA JEWETT as YASMIN, KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA, WINSLOW FEGLEY as ALEX in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021

If you’ve ever stayed up past bedtime with a scary story, Nightbooks is the horror film for you. Sam Raimi and David Yarovesky join forces to bring this kids horror movie to Netflix on September 15. It has one of the most ludicrously intriguing openings to a film that I’ve seen in a while.

Nightbooks is a deeply atmospheric, exquisitely well-made horror/fantasy film with one of the most memorable sequences I have seen in any movie. It’s also a film that plays with your mind in some pretty clever ways, constantly forcing you to re-evaluate what is happening on screen or whether there is, in fact, any reality at all in this dark fantasy world.

The two clever kids will have to find some great courage to decode the secret traps. You can watch this movie to see how they crack the codes and escape the evil traps.

This is a fast-paced movie that will keep you gripped. Each passing second conveys to you how much time has been wasted in this absurd place. Their second most significant challenge is the cat, Lenore, who hates them. She’s the Witch’s pet and is very smart for a cat. The two are never left alone for even a minute because of her watchful eyes.

Also Read: Netflix’s Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father Review

Krysten Ritter as the Witch sets a Compelling Narrative for Nightbooks

Where does the dream world meet the real world? What defines our reality? And is it even possible to change it? These are all questions that the “Witch” played by Krysten Ritter poses, and it does so in a visually coherent and structurally sound way.

Alex must write a scary tale to stay alive. Forced at the point of a pencil to conjure up the most frightening story he can, Alex soon learns that sometimes reality is scarier than anything you can imagine.

ie 75099
NIGHTBOOKS. KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021

Its earnest ambition to create a special kind of movie is both its strength and its weakness. Though it boasts an original premise that feels like the most recent attempt at an updated Faust tale for this century, it’s also uncomfortably self-serious for most of its running time. The bright spot is that the film is beautifully shot, emphasising offbeat, surreal imagery (like a mirror maze or house of mirrors), rather than traditional scares or thrills.

Do you remember the inverted funhouse from “Poltergeist”? This one is a lot like it, but with a darker purpose. The set design also serves a two-fold purpose: a confusing maze for the captives and a necessary part of the plot.

What comes to your Mind when you Think of Horror Fantasy?

Alex faces a terrifying test of imagination, wits and bravery as he battles demons, fantasy creatures and spectres with his words as his only weapon. Will Alex step up to the challenge?

When you think of horror movies made for kids, certain concepts come to mind right away: bloodless violence, comedic one-liners, and a lack of suspense. Nightbooks, a new horror flick that may be terrifying for most adults — but it’s precisely what “kids these days” need.

https netflixlife.com files image exchange 2018 08 ie 75102
Netflix's Nightbooks Review: Captivating Tale of Allegiance and Wit 6

Alex is a brave middle schooler whose most remarkable talent lies not in the classroom but the haunted halls of the local library and the frightening stories contained within. Alex’s obsession with scary stories and his desire to write draw the attention of the Witch and her vindictive cat-Lenore. While trapped by the Witch, the cat watches his every move and is ready to attack every time he moves.

What makes Nightbooks Stand Apart from the Rest?

The cinematography was well done, and it had a very classic horror movie feel. Throughout the movie, we see how his love for scary stories will help escape and lead the duo to their ultimate destination: freedom from the Witch.

It features a wonderful mix of dark-yet-whimsical visuals, including those beautifully designed hallways; the effect is something like what would result if Tim Burton were ever to make a fantasy action movie.

nightbooks 2
Netflix's Nightbooks Review: Captivating Tale of Allegiance and Wit 7

Witches are the best allies you can find if you are looking for bad guys. They can perform fantastic spells, cast magical potions and do so many things that surprise the world. There is another kind of Witch called the evil Witch. The story of Nightbooks revolves around this powerful Witch.

Alex’s desire for a scary story to give him the chills mirrors the audience’s desire for a movie to provide them with an adrenaline-pumping thrill. The duo is fighting hard to get into the spotlight so that they may not understand what’s happening around them. Thus, we reach the halfway point in the movie with many riddles waiting to be solved and several twists and turns in this amazing story.

Stream It or Skip It?  

Nightbooks
Netflix's Nightbooks Review: Captivating Tale of Allegiance and Wit 8

Nightbooks is a fresh horror film. It’s swaddled with a sweet blanket of whimsy, but occasionally the blanket gets pulled back to reveal a fearful set of stout fangs. There are several intriguing sequences, most notably from the witty banter between the teenagers, thrust into captivity and isolated from their neighbourhood.

Nightbooks is streaming on Netflix.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Nightbooks is a deeply atmospheric, exquisitely well-made horror/fantasy film that keeps you hooked.

Leave a Reply

Popular

Bob Biswas (2021) Review: Abhishek Bachchan Is the Town’s Hitman for Hire

Bob Biswas is a film that you need to watch only for the actors delivering their very best performance.

The Whole Truth (2021) Review: Sutatta Udomsilp-Starrer is The Visit But Not Really

The Whole Truth, starring Sutatta Udomsilp, is a lot of things and is thus, not a lot.

Reflection of You Episode 16 Recap: Ko Hyun-jung vs Shin Hyun-been

Reflection of You episode 16 is decent - an outcome I did not expect from a show I liked so much in the beginning!

Next Story