Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Leaves Viewers Unable To Sleep

by : Cameron Frew on : 21 Aug 2019 09:28
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Leaves Viewers Unable To SleepScary Stories To Tell In The Dark Leaves Viewers Unable To SleepLionsgate

In the 80s, Alvin Schwartz crafted a delectably spooky collection of short stories. Today, new horror flick Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is scaring the bejesus out of viewers. 


The feature film adaptation of Schwartz’ iconic work currently sits at an impressive 81% on Rotten Tomatoes – but it’s not just the critics that are lapping it up.

Audiences appear to be sufficiently spooked going by the reactions online – with some saying it’s the best horror they’ve seen this year.

Check out the trailer below:


Some Twitter users said they had to sleep in their parents’ bed after seeing the film, while others struggled to shrug off the terrors to get a good night’s sleep.

Produced by genre aficionado and Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Orphange) and follows a group of children in 1968 who find a book in Mill Valley’s famously creepy mansion. From the moment of their discovery, the terrifying tales within start to become a reality around them.

Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkScary Stories to Tell in the DarkLionsgate

In the director’s chair is André Øvredal, who’s no stranger to things that go bump in the night: he helmed the hugely underrated Troll Hunter, which puts the ‘holy shit’ in schlock; and immensely eerie The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which pretty much certifies my lack of desire to work in a morgue.


One particular short story at the heart of the film which seems to be giving people the creeps is ‘The Dream’ – featuring the ghoulish Pale Lady. Hauntingly complexioned with long, black hair, she torments a girl in her dreams – before showing up in real life.

Katie Walsh said in her review for Nerdist:

Impressively gruesome and thematically rich, drawing on political allegory that goes far beyond the simple spooks and scares of the stories themselves.

Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkScary Stories to Tell in the DarkLionsgate

The books are adored worldwide, with Schwartz’s writing gluing young, unsuspecting readers to the pages – some stories even ended with a jump scare, which is a terrific feat through words.

But, without Stephen Gammell’s intricate illustrations, Øvredal and del Toro would be scrambling for visuals. Fortunately, NME’s Howard Gorman notes in his review that Gammell’s ‘unique, grotesque visual signature is brought to life’.

The film stars a young ensemble, including Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush and Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark hits UK cinemas on August 23. Are you ready?

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Film, Guillermo del Toro, horror, scary stories to tell in the dark


  1. Nerdist

    SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK is the Perfect Horror Gateway