The new season of Are you afraid of the dark? It may be a reboot, but it remembers its past and makes more than subtle nods to the original show.
The new Nickelodeon season Are you afraid of the dark? adds to the long lineage of the show. After its original run in the early ’90s, it had a short-lived revival around the turn of the millennium before returning in 2019. Are you afraid of the dark? It had always been episodic in nature, providing an anthology of horror stories appropriate for younger audiences, earlier versions of the show still establishing a canon and introducing fan-favorite characters among the stories and the storytellers. In fact, some of these are even mentioned in the new Are you afraid of the dark ?: Curse of the Shadows.
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The original Are you afraid of the dark? The series featured a group of teenagers who gathered in the woods at midnight to tell scary stories. It was the general link for an anthology show, giving a series of unrelated episodic horror stories a reason to exist in the same universe. The Nickelodeon reboot makes the group of friends more integral in the stories and turns them into characters in their own supernatural stories.
One of the first references in the Are you afraid of the dark ?: Curse of the Shadows The premiere is a sighting of the Ghastly Grinner. This drooling buffoon came out of a comic book thanks to a microwave accident in the original series, quickly turning Joker-style people into imitations of his hideous face. The comic itself reappears in the new series, and Jai proudly shares it with Luke at the beginning of the episode. Jai had also hidden a doll version of the Ghastly Grinner in Luke’s locker for an early jump scare.
The biggest call is the return of Sardo and his Magic Mansion. Sardo, a recurring character from the original version of the show, was a magician who sold expensive magical supplies that most of the time turned out to possess real magical powers. He and his wares were often the source of the episode’s supernatural trouble. In Curse of the shadows, Sardo appears to know that he is in possession of an actual magical book, and a missing member of the Midnight Society had broken into the Magical Mansion returning to steal it.
Even the inclusion of Hanna’s little brother, a member of the Midnight Society, can be seen as a reference to the original series. Gary, the leader of the original Midnight Society, had a younger brother who was also included in the group. His initiation was a vehicle to take the audience on the journey, much like the first season of the Nickelodeon reboot. Are you afraid of the dark? – but it also led to some interesting sibling dynamics around the fire. As Seth tries to earn his place in the latest Midnight Society, his antics with older sister Hanna feel similar. The show has always had a tradition of creepy storytelling brothers, which this latest series draws on.
There will surely be other references sprinkled throughout the rest Are you afraid of the dark ?: Curse of the Shadows Serie. Sardo’s shop alone is probably nothing more than Easter eggs and references to previous episodes. Even the Midnight Society’s walk through the cursed woods uncovered what the fire pit looks like from the original series, which friends stop and admire.
Are you afraid of the dark ?: Curse of the Shadows stars Bryce Gheisar, Arjun Athalye, Beatrice Kitsos, Malia Baker, Dominic Mariche, and Parker Queenan. The new episodes air on Fridays on Nickelodeon.
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