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WIRE Buzz: Are You Afraid of the Dark? renewed; Vivarium trailer; Lord Of Misrule

By Jacob Oller
Are You Afraid of the Dark 2019

The acclaimed reboot of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which took nostalgic horror fans back to their buried childhood fears and introduced a new generation to The Midnight Society, is submitting a second season for fans’ approval. The Nickelodeon show — from BenDavid Grabinski, Ned Kandel, and D.J. MacHale — is coming back for another round of scary stories to tell in the dark, despite previously being listed as a miniseries.

According to a release from Nickelodeon, the terrifying series that gave us the tale of Mr. Tophat (Rafael Casal) will return as part of the network’s 2020-2021 programming slate. The anthology does not yet have a premiere date, but other shows on the slate have narrowed down their timeline. 

Most notably, this announcement was joined by a solidifying of the SpongeBob Squarepants prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years’ premiere date. This CG-animated show lists all of the original voice actors (Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence, and Mr. Lawrence) among its cast and will debut on Nickelodeon in July of 2020.

Next, the freaky pseudo-suburbia horror film Vivarium has dropped its second trailer and it looks even better than its twisty first footage. The movie, from director Lorcan Finnegan and writer Garret Shanley, is all about the psychological turmoil of cookiecutter white picket fence life. 

Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a couple looking for their first home together. They find one, in a neighborhood filled with identical homes, only to find that they can’t leave no matter how hard they try. Then a package with a baby arrives. The second trailer is much more oriented around the child than the home, which was the focus of the first, showcasing his accelerated growth and freaky disposition. 

Check it out:

If there was any doubt that Vivarium wasn’t going to use its scientific title to full use — with its central couple subjected to a simulated life for someone or something’s observation — this trailer clears it right up.

After generating plenty of buzz at its Cannes premiere last year, Vivarium will enclose general audiences in theaters on March 27.

Finally, the director behind The Boy series is following Midsommar into a hot horror subgenre: folk horror. William Brent Bell, who was behind The Boy, Brahms: The Boy II, and The Devil Inside, is set to direct Lord Of Misrule.

According to Deadline, the story (from writer Tom de Ville) is about as Wicker Man-esque as it can get without upsetting copyright. It’s in a small rural town, involves the search for a missing young daughter, and all takes place during a Solstice Festival. Who wants to bet that this town is full of people for whom that festival is pretty darn significant?

Police and locals band together to help search for the new minister’s daughter, but as anyone that’s seen a folk horror knows, will likely find much more than they expect.

Currently Lord Of Misrule is casting its leads with a production set for this summer. Ahead of that, Brahms: The Boy II will remind genre fans of Bell’s bonafides when it hits theaters on Feb. 21.