The review of the Netflix film Nightbook contains spoilers, as well as a discussion of the Nightbooks ending. You can check out our spoiler-free review by clicking these words.
Alex (Winslow Fegley) smashes up his bedroom as he threatens to never write another story again. As his parents (Mathieu Bourassa and Jess Brown) speculate what is wrong with him, Alex sneaks out. He gets drawn to an empty flat where he finds some food and eats it. But he then collapses.
Waking up in an unknown flat, he shouts for help before going out of a window. But unluckily for him, it brings him back into the flat. He gets asked what his name is; he looks around and sees Natacha (Krysten Ritter). She’s a witch and claims to lure children inside. She then asks if he has a reason as to why she shouldn’t kill him. “I do write scary stories”. Just what Natacha needs! She tells him to write her lots of new scary stories.
After Alex gets attacked by the cat Lenore (played by Cat), he learns there is another child in the flat; Yasmin (Lidya Jewett). She tells Alex that the apartment travels all around the world luring children inside; Yasmin, in fact, was lured in from Washington. Next, she shows Alex the flat’s massive library. Not only does the flat lure children in, but it can hold anything. The only way to keep Natacha happy is to tell her stories every night.
When Natacha returns, Alex spots an exit. He runs for it, but it turns into a wall. “There’s no escape” claims Natacha. It’s storytime! Alex reads her The Playground. But Natacha hates it. Especially the happy ending. She tells Alex that there’s beautiful darkness that dances in his brain, and she likes it. But she’s key on one thing. No more happy endings.
In the library, Alex struggles as he tries to write a scary story. But as he searches the thousands of books in the library, he finds a hidden message. The message was by one of the other trapped children, Unicorn Girl. And as she escaped, Alex believes there must be a way out. Later, Yasmin takes him to the Night Nursery, which is where all of the potions gets made. Inside the Night Nursery are Shredder Eggs. If one falls, a Shredder will come to life and destroy everything. And if that happens, Natacha kills Yasmin. Unfortunately, a Shredder comes to life. In the midst of destroying everything, it brings more Shredders to life. Alex and Yasmin believe they’ve destroyed them all, but as Natacha returns a new Shredder starts to hatch.
Unable to write any more stories, Alex finds a sleeping potion recipe. Trouble is, there’s an ingredient missing. But he has a solution; he will trick Natacha into telling them what the missing ingredient is through the use of a story. It works! Alex and Yasmin learn that the missing ingredient is Cinaroot. Ready for the next storytime, Alex and Yasmin set about using cinaroot to send Natacha to sleep. But as they serve dinner, the potion is missing. And come to storytime, Alex has no story! Just as Natacha goes to kill Alex and Yasmin, she passes out. Lenore has put the potion into Natacha’s bottle of blue mist! All three escape through the door. Except, they’re in the woods; not freedom but just another section of the flat.
After an evil unicorn appears, Alex and Yasmin get chased to a house made of candy (sound familiar?). As Yasmin eats the house, Alex gets led downstairs, where he makes a shocking discovery. Natacha is Unicorn Girl! After Natacha/Unicorn Girl escaped, she found that her parents had sold their house and left. So with nowhere to go, she came back. As for the Original Witch Grizelda (Jill Frappier), she’s asleep in a coffin. After she ate all the children that Natacha knew, Natacha used the blue mist to steal Grizelda’s magic. As for the stories, they are like lullabies to Grizelda, and they are what keep her asleep. But with fewer stories to tell, Grizelda is starting to wake up. Natacha tells Alex another story, but when he provides one with a happy ending, Grizelda wakes up.
Witch Fight! Grizelda fights with Natacha and seemingly kills her. Although, in the aftermath, Yasmin steal a bottle of blue mist. She uses it to open the door, where they get taken back to Alex’s apartment building and head to the boiler room. But Grizelda chases, intent on eating them both. But after Lenore attacks Grizelda, Alex is able to distract Grizelda by reading her a story. He uses the opportunity to push her into the oven. Grizelda is dead! Yay!
With the disaster of being eating averted, Alex returns home, and Yasmin gets reunited with her parents after being missing for 3 years. Alex continues to write stories, with Lenore now his pet cat (aww), and Yasmin comes to visit him.
Happily Ever After.
Except for the closing moments that reveal Natacha is still alive.