Most of the time, scary stories for kids aren't actually supposed to be that scary. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was campy; Goosebumps had suspense and weird body horror but usually came to a neat and tidy ending; and the monsters in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters were actually pretty cute. But Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was on a whole different level. You didn't even have to crack the thing open to start having nightmares about killers with hooks and the rotting corpses of young brides or whatever—the cover was horrific enough by itself.
Now, the book series that horrified an entire generation of kids in the 90s is coming back as a movie. On Monday, CBS Films dropped the first trailer of the upcoming Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie, and from the look of it, the thing is way, way, way too scary for actual children.
The whole thing plays more like a haunted version of Final Destination than any kind of children's movie. Evil books? Toeless zombies? Terrifying scarecrows that come to life and kill a local teen? It is… a lot. But judging by the completely horrifying source material, what should we expect? Get ready for a whole new generation of children to be completely traumatized by this franchise.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is directed by André Øvredal and produced by Guillermo del Toro, who had a hand in the screenplay, too. The movie hits theaters August 9. Until then, give the trailer a watch above and get ready for some terrible flashbacks to your elementary school nightmares. Apologies in advance.