Scary Stories documentary prepares fans for the upcoming film


The Scary Stories documentary focuses on the sordid history behind the beloved, yet sometimes demonized, children’s horror books before the film release.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone born in the 90’s who hasn’t heard of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The three-volume book series, written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammel, is one of the most beloved compilations of short stories for children of all time. The books have sold millions of copies worldwide and continue to terrify the masses to this day.

Cody Meitrick’s documentary feature on the series explores its sordid past and its ascent to popularity. What’s so incredibly ironic about the legacy of Scary Stories is the fact many school systems banned it or attempted to.

The act of forbidding it from elementary school libraries made the book even more popular. Many librarians were against banning the books in the first place. As you’ll see in the documentary as several are interviewed on what their stance was at the time and their feelings on the censorship of Schwartz’s novel today.

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Yes, Scary Stories contained plenty of gruesome imagery. For some kids it might have been too intense for them to handle. But Schwartz’s creativity stemmed from folklore originating from different cultures around the world. And horror can be an excellent way of conveying philosophical lessons and morals.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to watch the Scary Stories documentary early and I certainly think it is worth checking out.

In a few short months, we’ll see the live-action theatrical debut of Guillermo del Toro’s highly-anticipated film version of Schwartz’s book. It is set to debut this August. Before then, I recommend you check out the documentary about the books’ history.

Not only does it tell you about the history of Alvin Schwartz but it also dissects the nature of horror in literature.

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Meitrick has gathered more than 40 esteemed horror professionals to discuss the impact Scary Stories has had on the genre. Of the people interviewed in this film are horror icons like R.L. Stine, who talks about being referred to as “Stephen King’s training bra”, Q.L. Pearce and other acclaimed artists and writers.

Scary Stories is now available on VOD with a DVD release set for July 16.

Are you excited to see Scary Stories? Let us know in the comments.