Nightbooks review – a PG horror that might be too scary for its audience

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 16, 2021 (Last updated: February 1, 2023)
Nightbooks review - a PG horror that might be too scary for its audience


A genuinely well-made fantasy horror, that although not scary enough for adults, may be too scary for young children. Those that fall in the middle, however, will find Nightbooks a truly scary ride. 

The review of the Netflix film Nightbooks does not contain major spoilers. 

Nightbooks is essentially a fantasy horror for Young People. And it provides exactly what it offers! Based on the 2018 novel of the same name written by J. A. White, Nightbooks features genuine scares for its young audience. It even comes with a story that is interesting enough to keep the adults invested throughout its runtime.

The lead villain Natacha gets played by Krysten Ritter, and she’s great in the role. She has a terrifying vibe, and she’s sure to frighten any children watching at home.

The one problem with Nightbooks is the possibility that it’s too scary for its young audience. It deals with adults themes, and some of the jumps may be just a little too much for young minds to handle. A slightly older audience, i.e. young teenagers, could find the film a lot easier to watch and are not as likely to be as horrified by some of the sequences within Nightbooks

The story itself is about the bookworm Alex (Winslow Fegley), who gets kidnapped by the witch Natacha and attempts to find a way out after making a friendship with a fellow trapped child Yasmin (Lidya Jewett). Although the plot itself isn’t that scary, the undertones, actions sequences, and CGI effects are what could frighten younger eyes. 

Despite the levels of frights, Nightbooks is a very well-made movie. The casting is perfect; there’s a well-written story, and the characters are easy to like (or dislike). With this pretty much being a children’s horror movie, it’s fair game to guess on how it concludes, but even so, it’s a thrill ride. And although Nightbooks does a sound job of concluding the story, a sequel would not be the worst thing!

In a nutshell, Nightbooks is scary, entertaining, and features stellar performances from the cast. None more electrifying than Krysten Ritter.

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