Last week we were finally hit with the killer trailer for producer Guillermo del Toro and director André Øvredal's upcoming horror flick Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark based on the children's book series of the same name by Alvin Schwartz. The movie looks to be a terrifying journey into the world of the infamous short stories, and I'm not sure if Del Tor and company are aiming it towards kids, which is strange considering the filmmakers based the movie on a trio of kid's books. But if you were left wondering the same thing, no worries, as today we have word via Del Toro himself that the film aims to be a family-friendly-ish motion picture sporting a PG-13 rating.

Specifically, Guillermo del Toro says of director André Øvredal's adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark anticipated rating.

"The anticipated rating is PG-13. I wanted to have standees that said, 'You have to be this tall to see this movie,' but somebody beat us to it, so what can we do [laughs]? But the idea is the books are a favorite among young readers, and I think that there are two or three generations of parents that know the books, too. So, it's really going to be a ride, but there is a safety bar in it."

Now, this is all good but let's not forget that sometimes Del Toro's best intentions of making a family-friendly movie have gone sideways in the past. Specifically, the Del Toro-produced fright flick Don't Be Afraid of the Dark starring Katie Holmes was originally meant to be a PG-13 affair, but then the MPAA slapped it with an R-rating just because it was so scary. When Del Toro asked them if there was anything he could do, the rating board said, 'Why ruin a perfectly scary movie?'

And on top of that, believe it or not, James Wan was originally aiming for a PG-13 rating for the original The Conjuring flick. Executive producer Walter Hamada said back in 2013 the filmmakers asked the MPAA why the had slapped The Conjuring with an R-rating and they said the movie was "just so scary" and that there were no specific scenes or tone Wan and company could take out to get it PG-13.

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All of this is to say that it won't surprise this here horror fan if at the end of the day Del Toro and Øvredal's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark ends up slapped with an R-rating for merely being scary as sh*t. Let's hope so, you know?

Del Toro and Øvredal's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark stars Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, and Javier Botet. Del Toro produces the movie along with Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown, J. Miles Dale, and Elizabeth Grave. André Øvredal directs from a screenplay written by Dan and Kevin Hageman based on a story by Del Toro, Patrick Melton, and Marcus Dunstan based on the books by Alvin Schwartz. This story comes to us from the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark presentation panel by way of Daily Dead.

Mike Sprague at Movieweb
Mike Sprague