scary stories to tell in the dark sequel update

An official Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark sequel is in development, and according to director André Øvredal, the movie will make greater use of those drippy, terrifying Stephen Gammell drawings that made the original book series so memorable. As of now, the sequel appears to be in a holding pattern as Øvredal and company hash out a script, but the filmmaker does promise to tap more into Gammell’s art than he did in the first film.

I mostly enjoyed the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie. Mostly. As a huge fan of the books – they were a very big deal to me as a kid – I had very high expectations. And for the most part, director André Øvredal delivered. However, the script – by Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman – was a touch disappointing. I still think the movie should’ve gone for an anthology approach, like Creepshow, rather than cramming a bunch of stories together in one narrative. And I also didn’t like that the script changed the context of many of the stories – the movie version of Harold, the terrifying scarecrow from the books, is a prime example of this. The Harold in the film bears almost no resemblance to his book counterpart, which comes to life and skins a man alive.

And while I appreciated the film’s practical effects and their attempt to recreate all that iconic Stephen Gammell artwork, there wasn’t enough of it for my liking. Thankfully, it looks like the sequel will fix that. Speaking with Collider, director André Øvredal said: “I learned so much on Scary Stories, but also about Scary Stories and I do think that we’ll tap even more into [illustrator Stephen] Gammell’s visual world in the sequel than we did in the first movie.”

As for the state of the film itself, Øvredal added:

“Production-wise we’re in a holding pattern, but not really because we’re just developing the story and the script, which is a time consuming process because there’s no point in making a sequel to that movie unless it’s elevated and it’s great and it’s ideally better than the first movie.”

Based on the classic book series written by Alvin Schwartz, the first Scary Stories movie followed a group of teens dealing with a cursed book that caused the scary stories within its pages to come to life. It ended with a set-up for a sequel, which Paramount announced they were developing in April of this year.

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