Parents' Guide to

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Horror series reboot thrills with tense, frightful story.

TV Nickelodeon Drama 2019
Are You Afraid of the Dark? Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 9+


When I watched, this I was ten years old. It was amazing but VERY scary. People come out at night. They pop out from behind trees wearing creepy masks. If you are a fan of thrillers, this is the show for you.

This title has:

Great role models
age 12+

Goosebumps R.L. Stine Haunting Hour Scary

Loved scary, yet not overly scary. If your kid can handle Goosebumps movies, Haunting Hour movies or series. Then I can say with confidence this is a great scary alternative to your kids watching or peeking on your scary movies that are clearly not for kids. This is great for Kids to watch who love Netflix's Stranger Things. It is scary and yet fun unless you or your kid are scared of scary circus themes. However season two is different and might be less circus themed. Also lastly it is much tamer then Stories to Tell in the Dark the movie which is much scarier and for teens to adults who loved the books has kids. Great friendship message.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (13 ):

This self-contained three-part series is shivery, quivery fun for tweens and teens who like scares. Viewers are introduced to Rachel, a thoroughly sympathetic new kid in town who doesn't make acquaintances easily but falls into a group of like-minded horror fans and discovers the kind of friendships she's longed for. Unfortunately her happiness is short-lived, as the Midnight Society members threaten to turn on her when she can't explain how her nightmares wind up threatening their town in a very real way. As they attempt to solve the mystery and get drawn into the fearsome happenings, Rachel becomes more concerned with keeping her friends alive than with keeping her friendships going.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? takes a refreshing stance on the diversity of the characters; both boys and girls are represented, and there are notable racial and social status differences among them, all of which reminds viewers that people can relate to each other on various levels despite what separates them. It also does a good job escalating the fear without actual violence. Most of what scares here is the power of suggestion, the hint of the unexplained, and the characters' visceral reactions to what they see and hear. Depending on your tweens' sensitivities, this may make it a slightly safer option than a show with more physical violence. Ultimately it's a real know-your-kid scenario; the scares are real, so knowing up front whether these kind of scares will affect yours is the key.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate