Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark Looks Like Our Nightmares | The Mary Sue
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Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Looks Like Our Childhood Nightmares

I am so ready.

The poster for Guillermo del Toro's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

A corpse asking where their big toe has gone. A girl with spiders in her face. A nightmarish, pale figure in a hallway.

These are the images haunting Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, from writer Guillermo del Toro; the Oscar winner developed the project and penned the script with Daniel and Kevin Hageman, from the series of children’s books by Alvin Schwartz. While the original stories were not connected, del Toro and his cowriters have come up with an excellent plot to tie the stories together.

The film, directed by André Øvredal, follows a group of teens trying to solve the mysteries and murders that are slowly taking over their small town. During the Super Bowl, CBS Films released four teasers for the film, but be warned: You might want to watch with the lights on.

The best thing about these shorts is how well they translate the visuals from the original material. Schwartz’s books came packed with creepy, horrifying illustrations that would haunt your nightmares if you read the books at a late hour, and it’s amazing to see them translated so beautifully to the big screen. In particular, the Big Toe spot and the Pale Lady spot looked exactly like both the illustrations from the books and how I pictured them while reading them as a child.

The pairing of del Toro and the Hageman brothers will be a great choice for the film. The Hagemans are best known for crafting the story for The LEGO Movie and worked with del Toro previously on his animated show, Trollhunters. They will undoubtably be helpful in crafting the dynamics between the teen protagonists, and for bringing a little humor and self-awareness to a film that will be aimed towards younger audiences.

Still, del Toro’s horror genius shines through in these teasers, which center on the creep factor. They already provide an atmospheric, frightening look at the film that will be incredibly familiar to those of us who grew up with the books. Director Øverdal has done a masterful job of bringing some of these stories to life, and I cannot wait to see the finished product.

As a fan of these stories for years—I vividly remember memorizing a couple for retelling during Halloween sleepovers—seeing them brought to life onscreen is a decidedly delightful treat, especially with del Toro involved. del Toro is a creative genius with an unparalleled sense of what makes a horror movie tick and what makes a monster work. If anyone can do justice to these stories in a beautiful, frightening, and human way, it’s him.

Are you excited for Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark? Do you have a favorite you hope that they adapt during the film? Let us know in the comments.

(via Variety, image: CBS Films)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.