Guillermo del Toro’s new film, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, premieres Aug. 9th, based on Alvin Schwartz’s book series with the same title. The film is directed by André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Dow, 2016).
Set in 1968, in a small town called Mil Valley, where Stella (Zoe Colletti) and her friends Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Tommy (Austin Abrams) are tired of suffering from the school’s bully and decide to take revenge on the Halloween night, which causes the meeting with Rámon (Michael Garza), and they coming inside the haunted mansion in the city, discovering the book of the Bellows’ family daughter, who has never been seen or portrayed. That’s what starts with a series of weird events, Stella watches as stories pop up in the book, one per night, involving someone who was present at the mansion that night.
With PG-13, the film guarantees some scare scenes, but nothing out of extraordinary for this genre, being even quite predictable. The main plot ties the individual stories together, allowing each story to be explored without interference, helping to bring the mood of reading a book by chapters.
Without the need to appealing to strong scenes, with blood and explicit violence, the long captive by the simple narrative, exploring the more psychological side of the characters and using their own fears as driving force. Leaving tips open for possible continuation, which is possible because it is a series consisting of 3 books. The stories are very reminiscent of those told by the Are You Afraid pf the Dark? series, aired on Nickelodeon, but with the present aesthetics in del Toro’s films.
Despite the age indication, it promises to entertain all ages and to be on the to-watch lists for Halloween.