‘Scary Stories’: Guillermo del Toro and André Øvredal on Making their Gateway Horror Movie

     August 9, 2019

With Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark now playing in theaters, I recently sat down with producer Guillermo del Toro and director André Øvredal for an exclusive interview. During the very fun conversation, the two talked about making a gateway horror movie for a new generation, how they decided which of the Alvin Schwartz book series stories would be included in the film, how they decided when to use practical effects, what they learned from test screenings, if they took home anything from set, and more. In addition, del Toro talks about how when people die in Scary Stories they’re really dead and gives an update on his next movie, Nightmare Alley.


Image via CBS Films

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark stars Zoe CollettiGabriel RushAustin AbramsAustin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Dean Norris and Javier Botet.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about, the official synopsis, and some links to recent coverage. You can read Matt Goldberg’s review of Scary Stories here.

Guillermo del Toro and André Øvredal:

  • What does it mean to make the first scary movie for a new generation of kids?
  • How they decided which individual stories they wanted to be part of the big story.
  • How they decided when to use practical effects and when to use CGI?
  • Who took what home from set?
  • When they got into the editing room what made them happy and what made them nervous?
  • del Toro talks about how he thinks you can always take out eight minutes from any cut.
  • What did they learn from test screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-the-dream

    Image via CBS Films

    How the film ends on a bittersweet note. Was it always this ending? Did they make any changes?

  • del Toro talks about why he wants to make Nightmare Alley and what it’s about.

Here’s the official synopsis for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

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.

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