NIGHTBOOKS. WINSLOW FEGLEY as ALEX, KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021
NIGHTBOOKS. WINSLOW FEGLEY as ALEX, KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021

Movie Review: Netflix’s ‘Nightbooks’ (2021) A Dark and Magical Story That Will Bewitch You!

As soon as I saw the official trailer and key art for Netflix’s Nightbooks, I knew it would be right up my alley as I love dark fantasy stories. The film was directed by David Yarovesky with a screenplay by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, which is based on the book by J.A. White. It was produced by Sam Raimi, Romel Adam, Mason Novick, Michelle Knudsen. The film stars Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, and Krysten Ritter.

Nightbooks
Property of Netflix

Synopsis for Nightbooks

Alex (Fegley) is a creative boy with a strong passion for writing scary stories. But when he’s labeled weird and rejected for what he likes, he swears he’ll never write again. That’s when an evil witch (Ritter), captures him in her magical apartment in New York City and demands that he tell her a new tale every night if he wants to stay alive. Trapped inside with Lenore, the witch’s spiteful cat watching his every move, Alex meets Yasmin (Jewett), another young prisoner who has learned how to survive the witch’s wicked whims. With Yasmin’s help, Alex must learn to embrace what makes him unique – his love for scary stories – and rewrite his own destiny to break them free.

Right from the beginning, I (and I’m sure many others) could relate to this story. As horror fans, many of us have felt rejected by our peers because we love all things strange and obscure. Outsiders think of us as only wearing black and wearing a vial of blood, which sure some people do, but really our fandom has no “look” and if anything it just means we are passionate and creative, much like young Alex in Nightbooks. He just wants to be accepted for who he is, but instead faces rejection because of his style and hobbies, which in turn makes him give up on his writing. That is until he is kidnapped and the only way to survive is to write scary stories for an evil, soul-sucking witch.

NIGHTBOOKS. WINSLOW FEGLEY as ALEX, LIDYA JEWETT as YASMIN in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021
NIGHTBOOKS. WINSLOW FEGLEY as ALEX, LIDYA JEWETT as YASMIN in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021

I loved all of the characters. Winslow Fegley, who played Alex, delivered a phenomenal performance and has such amazing character development throughout the film. He learns the true meaning of friendship and that his writing is a gift. The chemistry between him and Yasmin (Lidya Jewett) is sweet and I love that the film takes its time building their friendship and the trust that one must have to have a good relationship. Lidya delivered a brilliant and charming performance and you can’t help but love her character and sympathize with her storyline. Although the witch was dreadfully horrid, she’s also beautiful, mysterious, and has an undeniably wicked and fashionable style. Krysten Ritter played her perfectly.

NIGHTBOOKS. KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021
NIGHTBOOKS. KRYSTEN RITTER as NATACHA in NIGHTBOOKS. Cr. CHRISTOS KALOHORIDIS/NETFLIX © 2021

Nightbooks delivered a wimsical and mysterious story, but the beautiful and dreamlike cinematography, high-end special effects, detailed makeup, and fun costume designs are what really make this film stand out and help bring the story to life. It’s a new world of mystery, bright colors, unique creatures, and the deadly unknown. Growing up we had several fantasy films that took us to a different world or turned that world upside down and became a staple in our lives like The Labyrinth, Beetlejuice, Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Bridge to Terabithia, and so on. I think Nightbooks will be that film for this current generation.

Now that I’ve watched the film, I must read the book (which I already own) and see how it compares. I haven’t been this intrigued by a fantasy film like this in quite some time and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to check it out. It’s a dark and magical story with great character development, trapped in a beautiful and mysterious world that you’ll both want to live in but also escape from at the same time. Plus it’s perfect for the whole family! Be sure to check Nightbooks out on Netflix now!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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