Are You Afraid Of The Dark?: Season 1 (1990)

DVD Cover (Direct Source)
Genres / Traits: Anthology Series, Children's / Family, Teen Show, TV Horror, Clowns
A group of kids calling themselves "The Midnight Society" spends each episode sitting around a campfire swapping scary stories. Creepy, but never gory or excessively frightening, common subjects included haunted houses, what goes on behind the neighbor's walls, and other things that go bump in the night. --IMDb

8.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Griffinheart
Added: February 27, 2012
Welcome back to one of the most amazing shows of your childhood. Are You Afraid of the Dark is suspenseful and features excellent storytelling. Just enough horror is mixed in to provide a thrill without scaring the bajeezus out its target audience of kids in their low teens. Don't be fooled, though. This show can be enjoyed by all ages. Watch it, and you'll love it.

Are You Afraid of the Dark is essentially the Twilight Zone for kids. The plot is a little lighter and the messages aren't as deep, but a similar level of quality exists here. The producers obviously cared about this show. But, enough of my ramblings, let me tell you about what the show contains.

The basic premise is that every Saturday, a group of kids meets to tell scary stories around a campfire. They call themselves the Midnight Society, and each member takes a turn bringing to life a tale designed to startle and unnerve. Then the show shifts to the perspective of those inside the story, and, while they may fight valiantly, few of the episodes end happily. I love horror in general, and this show is multiples more terrifying than your average scary movie.

Aside from those telling the stories, each episode features a fresh batch of actors. Occasionally someone will show up more than once, but that typically means they are playing the same character multiple times. The quality of the actors is always pretty decent, especially for a kids show. Most are fairly young, and, yet, I can't think of a single one that I wanted to strangle. I haven't checked, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if several successful actors got their start on this show.

Everything else in the show is done well. The lighting and general filming are good, sets are decent, and most everything else ranges from acceptable to excellent. Even the special effects, while somewhat rare, are surprisingly good.

This season starts out a little weak with episodes that are only mildly scary. The show got progressively better across the season to the point that some episodes are genuinely freaky. My personal favorite is "The Tale of the Dark Music" where a kid learns to fight back at a bully in a way that will shape the rest of his own life. Other good episodes involve a guy getting trapped inside a fantasy-based pinball machine and one where a pair of X-ray glasses allow the wearer to pear into another dimension.

Overall, I really love this show and am glad I sat down and rewatched it. I'll put my overall score below but keep in mind that this score is how good the average person would probably find this show. If you have any fond memories of the series, loved the Twilight Zone, or like light horror and suspense, you could probably add a point or two.

Are You Afraid of the Dark - Season 1
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 03/09/2012, 11:32 PM
Haven't seen one of these is a very, very long time. They had a couple of good episodes from what I remember though.
Griffinheart #2: Griffinheart - added 03/10/2012, 02:32 PM
They're definitely good. I didn't see one episode in the first season that was bad.
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