Prepare to be traumatized all over again when Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark haunts theaters this summer. Produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, Scary Stories was inspired by the terrifying children's book series. The film follows a group of teens who try to solve the mystery surrounding the sudden and macabre deaths in their small town. Several teasers were shared in short bursts during Super Bowl 2019, so check them all out below, in addition to the poster that was already shared.
In this TV spot, called "Jangly Man," a terrified boy tells a girl, "We're next," and the clip ends with a monster literally breaking down the door.
Javier Botet is reportedly playing the Jangly Man (not Doug Jones, per previous erroneous intel), but it's not obvious what story is being adapted there. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark came out as a series of three children's books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The first book alone had 29 stories (released in 1981); with 28 more in the second book, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1984); and 25 in the third book, Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones (1991).
The "Pale Lady" spot is obviously adapted from the story in the first Scary Stories book. We see the same terrified teen, now in a hallway as a very familiar lady from the stories approaches.
In the "Big Toe" Super Bowl spot, the creature whispers "Who took my big toe?" as the toe-less creature approaches the boy hiding under the bed. "The Big Toe" is the name of one of the stories in the first book. It remains to be seen how the stories will be adapted as they're all told together in the same film. At any rate, things don't end well for the young man in the promo:
And in the "Red Spot" teaser, a girl deals with a particularly nasty blemish. Interestingly enough, this icky story comes from the third Scary Stories book, released in 1991. That suggests the film will adapt stories from across multiple books, as opposed to saving them for later. That doesn't mean there couldn't still be a follow-up film, but it's not like they're telling the stories one book at a time. At any rate, this promo definitely suggests fans will be grossed out by this particular story:
I will not be able to watch that scene play out. Sorry. Nope.
The basics and visuals of the stories are probably familiar to the fans who grew up reading the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. It looks like a certain number of stories will be woven into this one film, as opposed to going the anthology route to tell stories separately in different films or episodes. Was that a good choice? Since the film was largely shaped by Guillermo del Toro, and he's a guy worth trusting, I'll go in cautiously optimistic.
The first poster for this horror film came out a couple of days before the Super Bowl, showing the familiar scarecrow from the story "Harold."
The screenplay was co-written by Dan and Kevin Hageman (The LEGO Movie), and directed by André Øvredal (Trollhunter). The Scary Stories cast includes Zoe Colletti as Stella Nicholls; Michael Garza as Ramón Morales; Austin Abrams as Tommy Milner; Dean Norris as Roy Nicholls; Gil Bellows as Police Chief Turner; Gabriel Rush as Auggie Hilderbrandt; Austin Zajur as Chuck Steinberg; Natalie Ganzhorn as Ruth Steinburg; Lorraine Toussaint as Lou Lou.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is scheduled for release in theaters on August 9, as one of the many films to look forward to on our 2019 movie schedule.
Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.
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