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‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Movie is Coming From the ‘Saw’ Writers

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scholastic

For people who grew up reading in the ’80s and ’90s, the ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark‘ series will always hold a special place in their nightmares. Over three volumes, writer Alvin Schwartz collected over 100 urban legends and tales of folklore, creating a library of creepy stories that were meant to be, as the title implies, told in the dark. There is still a great deal of well-earned nostalgia surrounding these books, so it should come as no surprise that a movie adaptation is in the works.

According to Deadline, screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton have sold their pitch on the series to CBS Films, which will somehow find a way to take a collection of unrelated short stories and bring them to the big screen as a narrative. The original article does offer a tiny snippet of plot (“…a group of outcast kids stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life”), but we’ll wait to see how Dunstan and Melton, who wrote a handful of the ‘Saw‘ sequels among other projects, will tackle the material.

The trickiest part of taking ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ to the big screen won’t be adapting the text itself (Schwartz wrote these tales in a very basic, stripped-down fashion that would accommodate readers of all ages). The biggest challenge will be creating imagery that lives up to artist Stephen Gammell’s illustrations, which traumatized a generation of kids (see above). Gammell’s inky, surreal and downright unpleasant work transformed ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ from a collection of spooky stories into something that just felt plain wrong to be reading. When special editions of the books were created a few years back with new illustration, the outcry was enormous. After all, every adult horror buff wants his kids to grow up with the stuff that plagued his nightmares when he was younger.

So, we’ll wait and see how Dunstan and Melton tackle the material, but honestly, we’re more curious whether or not a director can bring those terrifying pictures to life. If they pull it off, an entire generation of kids could get bitten by the horror bug.

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