CBS Films Snaps Up ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Film Pitch

By December 4, 2013


Plenty of plucky elementary schoolers got their first taste of true horror care of Alvin Schwartz’s wickedly entertaining “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” book series. Schwartz quite memorably combined classic urban legends, folk tales, and just plain scary stories (naturally) for his popular series and those stories, paired with Stephen Gammell’s completely and totally nightmarish illustrations, made the “Scary Stories” books a pivotal part of many a kid’s literary maturation. Also, again, nightmares, just nightmares.

Though Scholastic re-released the books for the series thirtieth anniversary back in 2011, with some very tame new illustrations by Brett Helquist, the impression left by Schwartz’s stories and Gammell’s original illustrations are still burnt in the mind of plenty of grownups who just might like watching scary movies on the big screen these days. Convenient!


Deadline reports that CBS Films has purchased a pitch from Saw duo Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan to adapt a portion of the Schwartz stories to craft a new feature film. Though the film will include a number of stories, it will reportedly use an overarching storyline – “about a group of outcast kids who stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life” – to hold things together.

Melton and Dunstan sure know their horror – the pair wrote four Saw films, created the Feast franchise, along with the paired films The Collector and The Collection – so their take on “Scary Stories” will certainly be, well, scary. It’s not going to be for the kids.

Which stories from “Scary Stories” would you like to see make it into the new film?

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.