Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the collection of horror stories by Alvin Schwartz, is one of the most terrifying and controversial children’s book to haunt library shelves. If you need any evidence of that, just look back at the myriad of stories about school libraries trying to ban the books. That’s largely thanks to the inky illustrations by Stephen Gammell, which will be brought to life in the upcoming big screen adaptation produced by Guillermo del Toro (watch the trailer here).
Alongside the upcoming film, the documentary Scary Stories will take a look back at the history and legacy of the book series that has haunted the dreams of children for decades. Watch the Scary Stories documentary trailer below to get a glimpse.
Scary Stories Documentary Trailer
Scary Stories will feature a variety of talking heads, including passionate fans who grew up with the book series, children’s horror book author R.L. Stine, experts on folklore, artists, and more. Unfortunately, the documentary doesn’t feature an interview with Alvin Schwartz, since the author passed away back in 2011. It doesn’t look like they could get ahold of Stephen Gammell either, who is still living today at 76 years old.
This feels more like a fan tribute made by a passionate group of horror lovers (led by director Cody Meirick) rather than one that actually has anything revelatory to say about the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark franchise. Plus, there’s something about the talking heads that take place in dark alleys and abandoned buildings that make me feel like it’s trying too hard to be eerie. But maybe it’s just a poorly cut trailer not giving off the right vibe.
These books have long been overdue for some kind of silver screen presence, and at the very least, fans will get plenty of opportunities to see tributes to the movie this year. As one of the many kids who grew up with these horrifying books, I’m cautiously optimistic about all this.
Scary Stories will get a limited theatrical release starting on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Columbus and Texas, but it will hit VOD shortly thereafter on May 7. Otherwise, you’ll be able to check it out on home video on July 16.
Explore the history of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: The best selling teen classic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which scared a generation of young readers and became one of the most banned books of modern times. Scary Stories creates both the ultimate celebration and dissertation of this iconic piece of horror literature.
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