Nightbooks (2021)

Nightbooks is a Netflix Original that puts a modern twist on an old nursery rhyme! A boy with a knack for writing scary stories, finds himself trapped by a witch in need of a storyteller. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Nightbooks…

Pros: Firstly, Winslow Fegley is in at least 98% of this movie and holds his own very well, opposite Krysten Ritter. I’m usually not a fan of child actors, but Fegley has great comedic timing in spots while also acting convincingly frightened. Secondly, is the clever flourishes and direction from David Yarovesky. Because Alex reads several of his short stories aloud, the audience gets the visuals to go along with the narration. It’s a view inside this talented child’s mind, and a refreshing escape from the witch’s apartment. Lastly, is the positive message this movie sends about embracing your quirks and being yourself! It’s laid on pretty thick, but a valuable lesson nonetheless.

Cons: Although it is a twist on a classic tale, the plot is mighty predictable. Events are telegraphed in such a way that it leaves little room for surprises. Secondly, the CGI, especially around the pet cat, is egregious. Maybe it’s meant to look cartoonish, but since the cat is invisible half the time, I feel like the budget should’ve allowed them to polish it up a bit. Lastly is the PG rating, which ultimately holds this movie back. It’s a fantastical story that kids will enjoy, but the low stakes will have adults checking their phones.

I give Nightbooks a C+. It’s a harmless kids movie that sends a positive message about being yourself! Overall, I’m not the target audience and unsurprisingly it wasn’t for me. However, if you have kids, or are looking for something spooky and light, this is a good option. Happy Watching!





  • Direction
  • Pacing
  • Theme
  • CGI
  • Originality

Where to Watch

“You wanna live? Write scary stories.”

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