How ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ Blends “Modern Horror” & ’80s Nostalgia

CBS Films/Lionsgate

If you've found yourself a little confused over just what kind of experience the new film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is going to provide, you're not alone. The movie looks extremely creepy, like any other adult horror film you'd find at the box office. But then there's the movie's PG-13 rating, its teenage main characters, and its children's book source material; all of which suggest that the movie is family friendly. Fortunately, the exclusive featurette below gets to the heart of just what fans should expect from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark before it debuts on Aug. 9.

The video features commentary from director André Øvredal, producer Guillermo del Toro, and cast members Zoe Colletti (Stella), Michael Garza (Ramon), Natalie Ganzhorn (Ruth), Austin Zajur (Chuck), and Gabriel Rush (Auggie), all of whom shed light on the film. André Øvredal gives a description of the movie that should excite fans of Stranger Things in particular as, like that series, the film blends horror elements with a retro Spielbergan quality. "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a mix between a modern horror movie and a throwback to the Amblin movies I grew up with," Ovredal says in the video.

The film's retro '60s setting should also add a pleasant throwback quality to the proceedings, while providing enough distance from the present day to make the viewer believe that maybe the events of the film could have taken place for real. "The period and the era that the movie is set in I think is really special," Colletti says. "It totally adds a sense of, like, realism."

The film adapts the classic book series in a unique way, turning what could have been an anthology film into a cohesive story. A group of teens from the small town of Mill Valley decide to investigate the supposedly haunted house on the edge of town where local legend Sarah Bellows was said to have been tormented by her family. Once there, they find a book of scary stories that belonged to Sarah — whom they believed to be a myth — and the book itself begins writing out its own stories based on the fears of the town's kids. The film's structure and setting both add up to an experience that del Toro likens to going to a theme park. "This is a different type of horror movie which is like a rollercoaster ride," del Toro says. "You are having fun getting scared."

You can learn lots more about the film, including the way it utilizes its horror, additional details about the plot, and what some of its terrifying monsters look like, by taking a look at the exclusive featurette below.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark looks like a unique film. On the one hand, it's a real horror movie and will definitely scare you. On the other, it's a fun throwback adventure film that's appropriate for the whole family (well, maybe not real little kids). These elements combine to create, to paraphrase del Toro, one rollercoaster ride of a movie.