If you're a child of the 80's and 90's, you're familiar with the series of book fair favorites named Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. With three volumes of eerie tales, and equally chilling artwork, the stories inside came from the darkest recesses of the imagination, and still hold up to this day. So naturally, if anyone were to bring these books into the cinematic realm, it'd be horror impresario Guillermo del Toro.
In a tweet issued this morning through his official Twitter feed, del Toro announced the good news with this special photo from his inner sanctum:
According to the official press release, Guillermo del Toro will be producing the project with the existing team of producers that secured the rights to the project. Now all of you Scary Stories fans will recognize that the artwork del Toro is highlighting on his wall is original artwork from the book series, crafted by illustrator Stephen Gammell. As it turns out, the Crimson Peak director is such a fan of Alvin Schwartz's trilogy of terror that he actually owns pieces of its history. So his involvement with the John August scripted project is all the more exciting, considering he has a passion for the material.
Perhaps the most exciting development for Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is the fact that Guillermo del Toro has the option to become the director of the project, should he be interested. With Pacific Rim 2 on ice, and Fantastic Voyage also in development with del Toro's talents in mind, there is a chance that this horror project may fall to another director. But considering how the books are anthologies themselves, there's a chance that Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark could wind up turning out more like The Twilight Zone and less like Goosebumps. Should the project break this way, there's a chance del Toro could be one of a series of directors producing short form vignettes for a patchwork narrative reminiscent to the original books. This frees him up for any other project he chooses to settle down with, while keeping himself in the project he's now invested himself in.
That said, no concrete details have been given about the specific approach taken towards Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark's cinematic debut. However, three specific stories were name-checked as particularly traumatizing favorites: "The Red Spot," "Harold," and "The Wendingo." Not only does this support the possibility of an anthology, it also showcases three familiar titles from the trilogy's canon. "The Red Spot" is the scariest out of the bunch, as it's a body horror tale about a woman and a particularly worrisome insect infestation. We're not going to spoil the story here, but if your curious, you can Google the artwork from the story and see just why these books were once deemed too scary for children.
With the success of Goosebumps, kids are more than likely hungry for more horrific tales of childhood fear. If Guillermo del Toro picks up the torch on directing Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, you can bet he'll give kids the scares that are frightening enough to be effective, yet dialed down enough for children to enjoy. Though now that we've started to think about that ending to "The Red Spot," we're probably going to freak out ourselves when the day comes for us to watch this film ourselves.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.