Serious question: is Guillermo del Toro making movies just for me now? I’ve always been a fan of del Toro’s work, from the delightfully macabre foreign language films like Pan’s Labyrinth to the badass mech battles and giant beasts in Pacific Rim. Then, del Toro took it a step forward with Crimson Peak, the deliciously dark, wickedly sincere Gothic romance that was basically tailor-made for teenage Rachel (that’s me).
Now, the brilliant genre director is setting his sights and skills on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a 1984 childhood classic for anyone who loves horror.
Deadline reports that del Toro is developing Alvin Schwartz’ beloved trilogy for CBS Films, with a script by John August (Go, Big Fish, Frankenweenie). And if there were any doubt that del Toro is a fan of the books (but seriously, how could someone who loves horror and genre so much NOT be?), he tweeted about his involvement alongside framed prints of Stephen Gammell’s now-iconic illustrations for the trilogy.
For those who are unfamiliar with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, please first order a copy online or find one at your local bookstore (please tell me you have one), and then come back to read the rest of this piece. All done? Ok. What you are about to read is a collection of chilling ghost stories and popular urban legends… created for children. For us weird, spooky kids who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, this was a treasured tome, something special on par with Are You Afraid of the Dark or The Witches, a grab bag of creepy, disturbing tales that both scared and delighted us.
Anyone who read the books remembers the one or two that really got them: the tragic skeleton bride found trapped in a trunk; the girl with the ribbon tied ’round her neck; the hook and bloody fingers. We’d tell them at sleepovers (just before tackling the Ouija Board or playing “light as a feather, stiff as a board”), reference them in scrawled notes passed around class, and of course, read them under the covers in the dark. I still shiver when I think about “Red Spot,” where a girl discovers that a simple blemish is really a BILLION SPIDERS HATCHING OUT OF HER FACE. LIKE THIS BUT WITH YOUR FACE.
Suffice to say, we are beyond excited to see what del Toro does with these stories. With this, a thankfully-not-dead Pacific Rim sequel on the horizon, and a Fantastic Voyage reboot in the works, it seems like the king of the beautifully macabre has a ton of exciting new projects up his sleeve. And more del Toro is always a good thing.
What are your favorite stories from the trilogy? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Rachel Heine is the Editor-in-Chief of Nerdist, a.k.a. the Queen of ‘Ween. (HALLOween, duh.) Chat about spooky stuff with her on Twitter @RachelHeine.