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WIRE Buzz: Dan Aykroyd checks into Hotel Paranormal; The CW goes to Killer Camp; Devolution to Legendary
Dan Aykroyd is putting his ghost-busting skills to good use by narrating Travel Channel's latest supernatural series, Hotel Paranormal. Each episode "follows the terrifying true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests," promises the release.
From grand hotels to roadside motels, no leisurely establishment is devoid of restless spirits. Just ask Jack Torrance up at the Overlook. Every week, Aykroyd will recount spine-tingling tales of flying objects, demonic guests, and ancient apparitions stuck in lobbies.
"As a longtime believer in ghosts, I think the incredible encounters we're highlighting on Hotel Paranormal will open up a lot of minds and hopefully break through some of the skepticism people carry about the paranormal," the actor said in a statement. "I'm excited to lend my voice to help bring viewers across the United States, these gripping real-life ghost stories, many of which take place in their own backyards."
The very first episode consists of three parts. First up, you've got a traveling salesman who captures poltergeist activity on his cellphone at a motel. He gets possessed by the specter and finds himself in need of an exorcism. That transitions into an anecdote about a group of teenagers who set loose an eldritch evil while on a school trip to the Vatican. And finally, the premiere closes out with an investigative journalist who battles supernatural forces at a New England inn.
Hotel Paranormal premieres on Travel Channel Saturday, July 11, at 10 p.m. ET. Subsequent installments (Season 1 has 10 in all) are set to air every Saturday until Sept. 12.
Most summer camps are not opening this year because of the pandemic, but The CW has got you covered. The network solidified the rest of its summer programming slate today, announcing that it had acquired domestic airing rights to Killer Camp.
The British competition series originally aired on ITV2 and sounds like a strange cross between Friday the 13th and Knives Out. Described as a "satirical horror whodunit," Killer Camp follows 11 strangers who think they're participating in a reality show called "Summer Camp." In reality, they're "actually participating in an over-the-top 'murder' mystery," reads the description.
Things play out at Camp Pleasant, an idyllic seasonal getaway that would be perfect if it weren't for the brutal murders. "In typical reality show fashion, there will be camaraderie, sex appeal, and lots of backstabbing … only this time, literally," continues the synopsis.
Playing games for cash every night, the campers (overseen by Camp Counselor Bobby, played by comedian Bobby Mair) are picked off one by one, meeting their respective demises in "extreme, hilarious and inventive ways." Who among them is pulling the strings and commanding camp handyman Bruce to carry out the killings? The mystery — not to mention the mistrust and paranoia — are part of the fun. It's up to the campers to expose the murderer before it's too late.
So basically a game Mafia or Werewolf with better production value?
Devolution, or, to be more complete, Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, follows the isolated village of Greenloop after the violent eruption of Washington's Mount Rainier has cut the eco-community off from the rest of the world.
When it becomes clear that help may not be coming right away, the pampered residents of Greenloop must fend for themselves after the grid goes down and the surrounding woods become populated by savage bigfoot beasts.
"In the last 10 years, we've really ramped up our race to create a society based on comfort instead of resilience," Brooks recently told SYFY WIRE. "It's the notion of these people who are living at the top of the pyramid when suddenly the pyramid flips and they're at the bottom. They're untrained and unprepared and never even thought that this amazing world of telecommuting to work and drone deliveries could suddenly just vanish, and they're stuck in the middle of the wilderness and winter's coming and they have no idea how to survive."
Not unlike Brooks' 2006 novel World War Z, or, to be more complete, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Devolution tells its story through a variety of different firsthand accounts, such as personal journal entries and eyewitness testimonies recovered and reconstructed from the village's bloody wreckage.
Brooks had originally pitched and sold the idea to Legendary in 2012, with Brooks, Jack Bender (Lost), and David Leslie Johnson set to develop the concept. But according to Brooks, the project "never went anywhere" and "was going in a direction that wasn't [his] original vision." So he got the book rights back and decided to write the story as a novel first. THR is reporting that Bender and Leslie Johnson are no longer involved in the project.
Unlike the 2013 film adaptation of his debut novel World War Z starring Brad Pitt (which had little connection to the source material), Brooks intends to be more involved with the film adaptation of Devolution.