Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has an intimdating legacy to live up to. The collection of horror stories by Alvin Schwartz has been beloved by nearly four decades of children, with tales that are terrifying enough to be kid friendly but also bring a fright. A big part of what made these books so successful (and controversial) are the inky, grotesque illustrations by Stephen Gammell, and the crew of the film adaptation went to great lengths to recreate those illustrations in real life. You can see how they did it with the character known as “The Corpse” in the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark make-up featurette below.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Make-Up Featurette
Producer Guillermo del Toro explains that one of the featured monsters in Scary Stories required them to bring in the incredibly thin actor Javier Botet, who also brought his skinny physique to The Conjuring 2 as The Crooked Man, not to mention KeyFace in Insidious: The Last Key, and the titular terror in Slender Man. In Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Botet plays The Corpse, a horrific looking woman who creeps through a house looking for her missing toe. It’s one of the most famous stories in the book, and The Corpse is easily one of the most frightening monsters in it.
The timelapse video of the full-body make-up job required to turn Javier Botet into the corpse is rather impressive. It shows just how dedicated and meticulous the production crew was to bringing these illustrations to life properly. Botet even looks terrifying without proper lighting from the film’s set. Just that shot of his shifting his mouth inside of the facial prosthetics is rather unsettling.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is directed by André Øvredal and stars Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, and Gabriel Rush. You can watch the trailer over here.
It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time—stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in theaters now.
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