‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Has a Clever Way of Making an Anthology Book Into a Narrative Feature
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is an iconic book for young adults. Generations of kids have been scarred (but, like, in a good way) discovering its terrifying tales by Alvin Schwartz and particularly disturbing illustrations by Stephen Gammell. But the books are anthologies of disconnected stories, urban legends, and folk tales. How do you make them into a movie with a single narrative through line?
The movie version of Scary Stories coming to theaters this summer seems to have found a very clever solution to that question. It’s about a bunch of kids who discover a book filled with scary stories just like the ones told by Schwartz and Gammell. And reading the book brings the stories — and those gruesome Gammell monsters — to life. Then those monsters, like “Harold,” the scarecrow that comes to life, attack the kids who find the book. You can watch the movie’s new trailer above; here’s the film’s official synopsis:
It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind...but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time—stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark opens in theaters on August 9.
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