The Shot Behind the Shot: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

Behind the scenes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

A few set-ups from the new film adaptation of the popular 1980s kids horror anthology books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.

Directed by André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and produced/written by Guillermo del Toro, the movie attempts to faithfully recreate Gammell’s unsettling monsters via practical effects (meaning actors in ghoulish costumes) rather than CGI. Below you’ll find the movie’s take on The Red Spot and The Dream.

To hear del toro and Øvredal talk about the creation of each monster, check out this story from Vulture.

More in the Shot Behind the Shot series

Behind the scenes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Behind the scenes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Behind the scenes Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Cinematographer Dan Laustsen talks The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water frame grabs

Check out my interview with The Shape of Water cinematographer Dan Laustsen (Nightwatch, Crimson Peak, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Brotherhood of the Wolf) for Filmmaker Magazine.

Laustsen’s third collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water tells the story of a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with the amphibious creature (Doug Jones) housed at the government research lab where she works.

Shot on Arri Alexa XTs with Master Prime lenses on a surprisingly skimpy budget of $19.5 million.

Here’s a snippet from the interview:

Dan Laustsen interview quote The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro on his teenaged Super 8 days

Del Toro as a young director (DGA Winter)

Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro (standing next to camera in the picture above) talks about his childhood Super 8 movies, from an interview with Rob Feld in the Winter 2014 issue of DGA Quarterly:

Somebody gave my dad a Super 8 camera, projector and screen as a down payment for a car, or something like that. Back then you could buy a Super 8 version of Star Wars or a Hammer horror film. I bought Boris Karloff movies—The Curse of the Crimson AltarThe Raven—and a Planet of the Apes. I must have been seven or eight. I was fascinated because you could do reverse on the projector—I watched the movie in reverse so much that the projector burned the movie. So we bought a splicer and all of a sudden I understood editing. By pure accident….I grabbed my dad’s camera and started doing an action movie with my Planet of the Apes figures. You would ship the film to Kodak and a week later it would come back developed. When I opened that envelope and I projected that first Super 8 reel, something happened that was absolutely life changing. I saw images on the screen like I had seen in the Planet of the Apes Super 8 or The Raven, and they were mine. I cannot explain it except that it was the best film experience I’ve ever had. It’s never been topped. I got the right first kiss.

Deep Fried Links: Terry Gilliam, an oral history of Evil Dead II and a cache of classic genre magazines

This week’s collection of links includes Terry Gilliam and The Fisher King, Evil Dead 2, Jean Luc-Godard, movie poster tropes, a list of the 100 Best Horror Films compiled by genre luminaries and high-res scans of old issues of Cinefantastique and Famous Monsters of Filmland.


horror list

The magazine Time Out London has published a list of the 100 Best Horror Films, a list distinguished by the fact that it was put together based on the opinions of more than 100 genre figures including Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg and Clive Barker. (Continue onward for more links) Continue Reading ›