The first Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book was published in 1981 and earned two sequels, all of which were written by Alvin Schwartz and featured art by Stephen Gammell. The tales contained in the books were geared towards younger audiences, yet the macabre subject matter combined with ghastly artwork helped inspire a love of horror in some readers while haunting others for years. A key component of the books was their emphasis on playful horror over violence and gore, which the upcoming film adaptation aims to replicate. Keeping in the spirit of camp, the above trailer has been released, featuring Lana Del Rey's cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch." Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark lands in theaters this Friday.
“I have admired Lana’s music for a while now and felt in my gut that she would run with ‘Season of the Witch’ - that she would use her alchemy to transform it,” producer Guillermo del Toro shared in a statement. “She is a great artist and has been an amazing partner with us in this adventure. It is an honor for me to have met her.”
Set in 1968, two years after “Season of the Witch” was released, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark takes place in 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 film has officially earned a PG-13 rating, confirming that it won't be geared directly at children but also won't hold back in offering audiences unsettling experiences. Del Toro previously detailed the importance of offering young viewers horror stories.
“The real tragedy of horror is not to have your parents talk to you about it,” del Toro detailed about his goals with the film. “When you’re a kid, you’re curious about two things: sex and death. The rest you can figure out in a manual. A lot of parents shy away from those things. But we live in the real world. When we live in a great world, we can avoid these things. But we need to know the darkness to know the light."
He continued, "It’s something to bond over. I wish my father and mother watched [horror] with me. The world is constantly telling you about everything great, as a kid — in yogurt and shampoo commercials, in movies where nobody looks like you. Horror movies tell you: ‘There is a dark side, don’t worry.’ I think that’s really important.”
Check out Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in theaters this Friday.
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