Children of the 80s and 90s rejoice! Guillermo del Toro‘s vision of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will finally see the light of day. Entertainment One (eOne) and CBS Films announced this weekend that they will be co-financing the project. In addition to producing, del Toro has adapted the script with Daniel and Kevin Hagemen (The Lego Movie, Mystery Men). André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) will be at the helm as director.
eOne’s president, Steve Bertram, described Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as “a chillingly fun ride that is sure to leave audiences around the world jumping in their seats.”
The film follows a group of teens who have to unravel their small town mystery involving sudden and macabre deaths. This may sound like a job for the Scooby gang, but as anyone who has read the book series can tell you, these stories don’t end with crooks wearing masks. While a few of the entries in the short story collections are good for a jump scare laugh or feel safe, many more leave the reader with a sense of dread. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell only increase the feeling of unease (which was particularly exciting as a kid!)
As a fan of the book series since the 1980s, I’m hopeful that del Toro and crew can give that exciting and nervous tension new life. Gammell’s creepy art paired with stories by Schwartz made for magical reading moments as a kid. If anyone can help bring that energy to a film, it’s del Toro. He has the ability to give us nightmarish visions from Pan’s Labyrinth as well as strange, story-book love like The Shape of Water. This blend of whimsy and terror is exactly what we need for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
del Toro coupled with Øvredal, who has given us his own brand of action and scares with Trollhunter and The Autopsy of Jane Doe, should give us the perfect fright combo. And with countless stories to choose from spanning three collections, they could end up with any number of nightmarish fusions.