'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' Trailer: The Traumatizing Kids Books Come To Life

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the book filled tales of terror that traumatized children for years, leaps off the page and onto the big screen this summer. Executive producer Guillermo del Toro and director André Øvredal hope to scare the hell out of kids of all ages with their film adaptation, which takes several of the iconic tales from the books and inserts them into an overarching narrative. Watch the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trailer below.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Trailer

I'm emotionally invested in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Growing up, those books were incredibly important to me, and helped nurture the horror fan that I am today. The stories themselves were creepy, but what really sealed the deal were the nightmarish illustrations by Stephen Gammell. Gammell's weird, drippy art is so essential to the Scary Stories package that it's hard to picture a film adaptation of the books working. Sure, it might be able to capture the spooky spirit of the stories, but can any live-action movie adequately recreate that art? I doubt it.

Still, there's a lot about the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adaptation to get excited about. Guillermo del Toro co-wrote the screen story, and serves as executive producer. And André Øvredal, who directed the excellent The Autopsy of Jane Doe, is behind the camera. Based on the footage we've seen, it's clear that Øvredal and del Toro aren't watering things down for their movie adaptation. Sure, this may be aimed at younger audiences, but that doesn't mean it can't also be scary. Here's the official film 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.

I would've preferred an anthology approach – something like Creepshow or Trick 'r Treat. But I'm definitely curious to see how this all pans out. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark opens August 9, 2019.