The Guillermo del Toro-produced, André Øvredal-directed feature film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s haunting Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books is coming this summer, and our first substantial look at the horror film arrived Thursday afternoon in the form of its first full teaser trailer.
The teaser follows and expands upon four mini-teasers for the adaptation that first aired during the Super Bowl in February, incorporating each of their individual Schwartz stories (“Jangly Man,” “Big Toe,” “Pale Lady” and “Red Spot”) and delving into others.
Scary Stories would appear to be following the It (2017) formula quite closely, from its up-and-coming director (Øvredal is best known for 2016 standout horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and fresh-faced young cast to its small-town setting and uncanny antagonists.
Plot-wise, we’ll let the film’s synopsis set the stage:
It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind … but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is 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.
“This town has told stories about me,” croaks Sarah in voiceover to open the teaser. “Horrible stories. But they don’t realize I have scary stories of my own.” The clip is not without its eye-roll-inspiring moments—the dark but faintly recognizable “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” cover, the line about how “You don’t read the book … the book reads you”—but otherwise portends an evocative, if by-the-numbers nightmare. Whether it’s one worthy of the legacy of Schwartz and illustrator Stephen Gammell’s Scary Stories is another question entirely.
Dan and Kevin Hageman are credited with the film’s screenplay, while del Toro, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are credited with its “screen story.” (We’d be lying if we claimed to know the difference.) 2018 Oscar winner del Toro produces alongside Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown, J. Miles Dale and Elizabeth Grave.
CBS Films, Lionsgate and eOne will tell us Scary Stories in theaters everywhere on Friday, Aug. 9. See the film’s creepy teaser and posters below.