Want to hear a scary story? Back in the 90s, an anthology series called Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark both terrified and delighted children (usually at slumber parties, in my case, but that’s beside the point). Recently, many of those same children, now grown adults, were treated to a delightful bit of nostalgia when GOOSEBUMPS hit theaters in October of 2015. Though far from being a great film, it was a fun romp that was generally well received, as many adults were more than happy buy tickets to entertain their kids, and relive a bit of their own childhood in the process. Apparently the success of GOOSEBUMPS, as well as the announcement of other horror anthologies in development, has made Hollywood aware that there is currently a market for nostalgic children’s horror; an audience interested in seeing big screen adaptations of the things that we once afraid would go bump in the night. With this in mind, what other revivals will we be seeing next?
Well, according to a recent tweet, Guillermo del Toro is currently in the process of developing the aforementioned series SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK into a feature film. Though it is currently unknown to what degree he will be involved with developing the film, our response to this news of course, is one of calm and collected cautiously optimistic enthusiasm. The series itself spanned three books, each containing 20-30 short stories, ranging from slightly odd (and kind of gross) to spine-tingling nightmare fuel. The rights to the series were purchased by CBS films at the end of 2013, and in 2014 it was announced that John August was to pen the script, but little has been heard about the project since then. As promising as it sounds to have such a visionary filmmaker working on something so beloved, hearing this news also fills me with a slight uneasy sense of dread, as del Toro has a tendency to work on developing projects that have yet to see the light of day. HELLBOY 3, THE HAUNTED MANSION, and PACIFIC RIM 2 are just a few of his titles that come to mind that have all, for one reason or another, seemed to be banished to the deepest depths of development hell (thought that hasn’t stopped del Toro, as well as many passionate fans from holding out hope). We were even denied a del Toro directorial version of THE HOBBIT, and instead got a three part drawn out mess of an unneeded trilogy (though to be fair, we’ll never know what del Toro had in mind for the project, so it isn’t entirely fair to judge what Peter Jackson did his best to try and save).
My reservations aside, I can’t help but be glad to hear this news. As I’ve stated on multiple occasions, I love horror anthologies from the 90s, from TALES FROM THE CRYPT to ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK, and there’s just something inherently charming about this project in particular. Thinking about it, I can’t help but reminisce about when I was a kid, gathering around with my friend to hear or see some scary stories with the lights turned down. His development track record notwithstanding, del Toro is the perfect person in my mind to bring these tales to the big screen. Let’s just hope CBS Films thinks so too.
What do you think of the news? Are you ready to dust off these old storybooks, or do you think these tales should stay left on the shelf? What other horror anthologies would you like to see get a shot at the big screen? Be sure to let us know @TheMovieChickk!
Can’t get enough nostalgic horror? Check out the GOOSEBUMPS movie on Amazon.com!