Guillermo del Toro says he wanted Scary Stories to be a family adventure
Everyone’s seen that creepy new trailer for producer Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. And while the results are definitely, ah, chilling, to say the least, Del Toro recently told Vulture that his intention was to create a fun family adventure film.
“We wanted to make a family adventure,” the Academy Award-winning director revealed. “I want this to be a nice family horror film. Family is horror in itself, but sometimes, with milk and cookies, you can find something nice to watch.”
Director André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter) shared Del Toro’s sentiments and opted to make something along the lines of an “Amblin-esque” film, as opposed to a “nasty horror movie,” mainly due to the impact the book the film is based off of had on his personal life.
“I owed a lot on my mortgage and didn’t own my car,” del Toro said. “But they were so powerful that I couldn’t let them go. They’re a part of my young imagination… I found the [stories and illustrations] so chilling. They had the powerful simplicity of a story told at a campfire.”
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.
The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series was first published during the 1980s, written/adapted from folklore by Alvin Schwartz and gorily illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The film follows a group of young teens who must solve the mystery surrounding the sudden and macabre deaths in their small town.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark stars Zoe Colletti (Annie), Austin Abrams (Brad’s Status, Tragedy Girls), Gabriel Rush (Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Michael Garza (Wayward Pines, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1), Austin Zajur (Fist Fight, Kidding), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Gil Bellows (Patriot, Jett) and Lorraine Toussaint (Into The Badlands, Selma, Orange Is The New Black) and Natalie Ganzhorn (Make it Pop, Wet Bum).
Entertainment One will distribute the project in Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Benelux, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. CBS Films will distribute the feature in the U.S. through Lionsgate. Sean Daniel, Elizabeth Grave, Jason F. Brown, and J. Miles Dale will also be producing.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will open on August 9.