During yesterday’s Scary Stories to tell in the Dark Q&A session with director André Øvredal, producer Guillermo del Toro, and cast, someone in a suit walked quietly up and handed Øvredal a note; the filmmaker understandingly nodded. 

Before the next question could be asked, Øvredal offered, “Just to be clear, this isn’t an anthology movie.” An interesting statement to point out immediately, but smart considering, this writer included, assumed the film was to be an anthology just based on the Super Bowl released teaser trailers conveyed separately. 

The books written by Alvin Schwartz, feature the separate stories as collected in urban legends, and old folklore, so it was a natural assumption that the studio most likely wanted to clear up. But Øvredal explained the movie has a singular plot, centering on teen Stella Nicholls (played by Zoe Margaret Colletti), but still pulls from five or six unique of the popular stories.

In the film, 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.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark stars Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur, and Natalie Ganzhorn

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