Nickelodeon has announced the return of its popular 90s era series Are You Afraid of the Dark?” via press release,
“The beloved anthology series will return this October as a brand-new miniseries and follow new members of the Midnight Society as they gather around a campfire in the woods to share scary stories. The miniseries will coincide with the upcoming Are You Afraid of the Dark? theatrical movie from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players’, and Nickelodeon Movies, in theaters October 2019.”
The original TV series debuted on Nickelodeon in 1990, delivering young viewers tales of terror in the vein of Tales From the Crypt, yet with tamer subject matter. Each episode featured a group of teenagers, dubbed the “Midnight Society,” coming together around a campfire in hopes of scaring one another.
The open-ended nature of the original series meant that there was rarely a focus on crafting an overall narrative to the series, leaving us to wonder if the miniseries will take the same route or, knowing there are a limited number of episodes, if it will craft not only episodic horror stories but also a narrative among the Midnight Society themselves. Additionally, by delivering audiences not only a movie but also a miniseries, this could be Nickelodeon attempting to see if there is enough interest to revive the series in an official capacity.
Since the announcement of the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film, fans have speculated about how the anthology format will translate into a feature film. While details about that narrative are still being kept under wraps, writer Gary Dauberman promised the film will honor the spirit of the original series.
“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,” Dauberman admitted to SlashFilm. “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.”