Showing posts from 2019

Vintage Halloween Photo SPOOKtacular

As far as I can tell (my childhood memories are spotty at best), I've always loved Halloween. The October celebration of ghosts and goblins and high-fructose corn syrup touched something deep inside my evil little heart, as you can see in the photo above, where I proudly display both a cornucopia of seasonal items and my finest Gecko Hawaii shirt. In the spirit of the season, I have taken the liberty of scanning and collecting some old photos of these early Halloweens to share with you. It's like peeking into your trick-or-treat bag at the end of the night...let's see what we've got!
This photo is the earliest one I could find. I'm wearing a dinosaur onesie that my mom sewed based on a pattern she purchased at Michael's. I'm also apparently camera shy, or perhaps weeping. Equally likely, I suppose. Oh, and one note: most of these scans are from old Polaroids that survived a house fire and a closet flooding, so if they're washed out and/or ashy, there a…

Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark: The Book Tie-In to the Movie: The Review

Happy October! I'm kicking off Halloween season today by writing about...well, pretty much the same type of stuff I write about the rest of the year.
Anyway, as I mentioned in my recent-ish review of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie, a book was released in conjunction with the film called Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: The Haunted Notebook of Sarah Bellows. Given my propensity for writing about anythingandeverythingScary Stories-related, it's only natural that I'd wanted to discuss this latest creepy collection of terrifying tales.

Now, to get the most obvious question out of the way: is this a new Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book in anything other than the most literal, pedantic terms? Frankly, no. The stories are all moviefied versions of material from the original books, enhanced by concept artwork, photos and notes from the film’s production. Yet, oddly, these are exactly the qualities that make this book perfect for what it is. It’s basicall…

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: The Movie: The Review

I'm going to discuss the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark film in detail in this post. As such, there will be material that could be considered spoilers, so if you're trying to avoid those, you should probably see the movie first before reading this. And if you're just looking for a brief, spoiler-free review: I liked it.

When I first learned that a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie was in development, I admit I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, Alvin Schwartz's books are a beloved and significant part of my life, which I have written about quiteextensivelyoverthelastdecade, so of course the planned adaptation offered exciting and unexpected possibilities. And the involvement of Guillermo Del Toro was extremely promising, as he had the star power to get the project off the ground while also representing what seemed, in theory, a perfect fit for the material itself, having shown a flair for ornately unsettling aesthetics and a warm but macabre sensibility that…

Why Stephen Gammell Needs to Illustrate the New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Book

I have to say, it's a pretty great time to be a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark fan. After an ill-advised decision by the publisher years ago to replace the books' iconically eerie Stephen Gammell illustrations with tamer, less disturbing artwork by Brett Helquist, the original versions have been reissued to bookstores everywhere. Hollywood wants a piece of that sweet Scary Stories pie (don't ask what's in it), and there's a major motion picture produced by Guillermo Del Toro on the way which, judging by the teasers, looks amazing. There's even a documentary coming out chronicling the creation of the series and examining its lasting cultural impact. 38 years after Alvin Schwartz's first volume began shocking the senses of countless readers, the series' legacy is still going strong.
     Perhaps most unexpectedly, there was a recent announcement that a new volume of the series is coming soon! Well, sort of. New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark i…