The movie version of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was good, but, because it was also a big budget Hollywood production, it couldn’t get quite as weirdly gnarly as its child-scarring source material. Fortunately, internet horror shorts like the newly released stop motion version of Scary Stories’ “The Big Toe,” don’t typically have multi-million dollar budgets to recoup and, not being released in theaters, are better equipped to be as abstractly nightmarish as their creators want.
Directed and animated by Neal O’Bryan and Chad Thurman and with spooky puppets made by Demi Kay Schlehofer, the short retells the heartwarming story of a starving boy who eats a toe he finds in the ground and is then stalked by the monster it belonged to. The video is somehow just about as eerie as Schwartz’s version. All in black and white, the little puppet boy walks around a forest to the sound of cawing crows and discordant strings only to return home to an Eraserhead-style house caked in grime. When the monster finally shows up, the quiet menace of the short erupts into frantic strobe lights and sirens, lingering on a final image designed to once again remind viewers of the important moral lesson behind the short story: Don’t eat random toes you find in the woods.
While the recent movie is well worth watching, it’s nice to know that Scary Stories will live on beyond its release, continuing to inspire adaptations from people hoping to really just hone the craft of giving any kids who happen upon their work an entire lifetime of terrible, black and white nightmares.
[via Bloody Disgusting]
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