Screenwriter Gary Dauberman Discusses Tone of Upcoming ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ Movie

by John Evans

If it’s a recent major horror production, screenwriter Gary Dauberman has probably had something to do with its production. His work can be found in Annabelle, It, The Nun, and upcoming projects like It: Chapter 2, the Annabelle sequel, and the Swamp Thing television series, making him one of the most in-demand talents when it comes to successful horror screenplays. Lucky for the horror tweens of the 90s, he’s also attached to a movie version of Nickelodeon’s popular television series, Are You Afraid of the Dark?. 

Dauberman recently sat down with /Film while promoting The Nun, and the conversation shifted toward his approach to the Are You Afraid of the Dark? screenplay. Here are some highlights:

The movie will not be based on any exact episode(s) from the television show. 

“It is a completely original story I came up with, but it still has the Midnight Society and it still has the campfire. It’s still a story being told.”

Dauberman will not “age down” the film. “Kids will be scared… and also they’ll laugh at times.”

“That show is so important to me. I didn’t want to age it down too much because for it’s time, it had some really disturbing episodes and some really dark episodes. Not every story the Midnight Society told ended with happily ever after or a person learning their lesson and it will never happen again. I really embraced that side of things and I think it’s been a long time. I think fear is healthy for kids. I don’t think we have to always sand down the edges of things and that’s something I really wanted to do with Are You Afraid of the Dark. I think it is scary and I think kids will be scared watching it at times, and also they’ll laugh at times. I think it’s got a great message. I think it’s got a great heart to it but it is still scary. I think that’s great. I think it’s going to open it up to a wider audience.”

So there you have it: the Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie will not be based on a specific episode of the television series, and Gary Dauberman is writing a script that’s edgy and scary for kids. The interviewer and he discussed films like Gremlins and Monster Squad for reference, and both titles certainly fit that description. It seems like, if everything goes as planned, the new film could be a hit with kids today and with longtime fans of the franchise who got their first scares from the original series.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more details on the upcoming Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie as they break!


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