As AMC’s genre-centric streaming service, Shudder is already packed full of horror, blood, and monstrosities. But soon, the spine-tingling streamer’s library will be joined by some of horror’s biggest icons in a new documentary series called Behind the Monsters.
Deadline has learned that Shudder ordered six episodes of the docuseries that will focus on some of the most well-known killers from horror history: Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Pinhead, and Candyman. Each episode will be dedicated to one of the seemingly immortal slashers of the silver screen.
These are horror characters who have been around for decades, and they’ve been breathlessly discussed for just as long in a variety of documentaries and genre chronicles. Is there anything new left to learn about these slashers who keep returning for sequels, reboots, and remakes? Shudder seems to think so.
Perhaps the motivation behind this new docuseries is educating the next generation of horror fans who didn’t grow up with the original Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. Even though almost all of these characters have been rebooted or sequel-ized in recent years, there are likely plenty of youngsters out there in need of a horror history lesson that takes a closer look at their origins and rise in pop culture prominence.
What to Expect from Behind the Monsters
Executive produced by Phil Nobile Jr. (Editor-in-Chief of Fangoria), Kelly Ryan, and Mark Shostrom, the series will feature interviews with some of the writers, directors, and actors from the original films that made each character a horror legend. Plus, various experts on horror and cinema will be brought in to provide even more commentary, such as Horror Noire documentary writer and producer Ashlee Blackwell, The Last Podcast on the Left’s Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski, Blumhouse producer Ryan Turek, and filmmakers Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), April Wolfe (2019’s Black Christmas), David Bruckner (The Night House, the upcoming Hellraiser reboot), and filmmaker and drag artist Peaches Christ.
If the series follows in the footsteps of Horror Noire, longtime horror fans will find something refreshing in this deep dive into some of the genre’s most beloved franchises. At the very least, most of these slashers have plenty of movies to provide ample material that can be explored in a refreshing way.
Here’s what we know about each of the episodes so far:
- Candyman, featuring interviews with the original Candyman (1992) director Bernard Rose and stars Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen; Candyman (2021) Director Nia DaCosta; and Horror Noire’s Tananarive Due, among others.
- Chucky, with interviews with Child’s Play (1988) creator/writer Don Mancini, director Tom Holland and star Catherine Hicks, along with the voice of Chucky, Brad Dourif, among others.
- Jason Voorhees, including interviews with Kane Hodder, actor/stuntman from Friday the 13th Parts VII & VIII, Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X, and Tom Savini, special effects creator on Friday the 13th Parts I & IV, among others.
- Michael Myers, featuring interviews with actor Nick Castle from Halloween and the new Halloween films from Blumhouse, as well as Halloween (2018) stunt actor James Jude Courtney, among others.
- Freddy Krueger, including interviews with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) stars Heather Langenkamp and Lin Shaye, as well as Special Effects Designer Jim Doyle, among others.
- Pinhead, including an interview with Hellraiser actor Doug Bradley and others.
Unless Shudder is holding back some surprises, it feels like these episodes are missing some key talent to thoroughly dive into the history of these characters. Then again, there are always archival interviews that can be used to beef up the production, and hopefully we’ll get more of a modern perspective from the filmmakers and pop culture experts appearing in the series.
The series will premiere a few days before Halloween on October 26, 2021, and new episodes of Behind the Monsters will roll out weekly after that.
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