I wish I had a nanny like Jennifer Stone when I was a kid. Not just because she’s hot, but also because she’s prone to delivering some scary stories for her charges before bed time. “Deadtime Stories” is the latest efforts by Nick (formerly Nickelodeon) to offer fans a horror show. While it’s no competitor for “Are you Afraid of the Dark?” the newest anthology does a good job of delivering “Goosebumps” level scares, and interesting stories. Sticking to the small budget, gone are the narrators of the undead or demonic variety and now most of the stories are told by Stone’s character, a devilish and somewhat enigmatic babysitter.
She’s an ornery and fun loving young girl who entertains her kids by reading them a scary story. And every episode ends on a surprise note. If the show does last long, I’d love to have it end on Stone’s babysitter character not actually being a babysitter at all. Instead she’s just some specter who gets off on taunting kids, and she was likely never there to begin with. That’s be a cool note to end the series run on. Any show that influences the lost art of storytelling and imagination, while also subliminally encouraging audiences to read books is fine by me, and “Deadtime Stories” really seems to be allowing for some edgy horror trips. Nick hasn’t had a good horror show since the nineties, and “Deadtime Stories” kind of carries that tradition. The episodes aren’t always filled with dread or tension like the aforementioned series, but they’re interesting tales, nevertheless.
The first episode features a pair of kids who visit a tourist attraction in their town that happens to be turning locals in to zombies by the advent of their apples. The second episode is a lot more entertaining if lighter on the scares, as two young boys face a vengeful spider after killing one earlier in the day. After dissecting it, the poisonous spider doesn’t die, and is hell bent on making their lives miserable, stalking them and even webbing their small dog up for a meal, at one point. “Deadtime Stories” is a fun and solid anthology series, and one I hope makes it to a good shelf life. Since this is Nick the series could last anywhere a season to only five episodes, so I’m not crossing my fingers. Future episodes promise more edgy scares, with one installment focusing on a group of kids who invoke the spirit of Bloody Mary. I look forward to seeing how this series eventually fares.
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