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Your Guide to John Carpenter's Suburban Screams
The Master of Horror is back with an all-new series on Peacock, and we've got your guide for what to expect.
It's the middle of October, which means that horror fans everywhere are looking for something spooky to watch. If you're a fan of John Carpenter, the horror legend who brought us Halloween, The Thing, and much more, this October brings particularly good news. On Friday the 13th, Carpenter dropped John Carpenter's Suburban Screams, a new six-episode docuseries featuring his first live-action narrative directing work in more than a decade.
So, what is Suburban Screams, how do you watch it, and what can you expect? Let's take a closer look at Carpenter's latest terrifying genre effort.
What Is Suburban Screams?
As the title suggests, John Carpenter's Suburban Screams is a new streaming series focused on horror stories that take place in the suburbs, those seemingly quiet, comfortable places where we all feel safe, even if that's not necessarily the truth. And speaking of truth, every episode is based on an actual real-life event, from violent acts that have grown into urban legends to purportedly supernatural happenings to some cases that are still unfolding as the story airs.
In each episode, viewers will get an up-close look at a particular suburban nightmare, from ghost stories to killers to stalkers who just won't give up, and the tale will unfold through a blend of live-action re-enactments by actors and real testimony from the people who lived the stories. You'll see haunting recreations of what really went down, then hear from the people who survived it, sometimes getting the absolute rawest of emotional responses as they recount the harrowing events. It's a docuseries format that you might have seen in the true crime space before, but with an all-out horror twist.
Who Made Suburban Screams?
According to Sandy King Carpenter, John Carpenter's wife and producing partner for decades, the concept of Suburban Screams came to them from the show's other producers, which include Tony DiSanto, Jordan Roberts, Patrick Smith, and Andy Portnoy. Intrigued by the idea, and particularly by the notion of getting into the personal impact the stories had on real people, the Carpenters agreed to partner in making the series through their Storm King Productions banner.
"When we found the hook — which is, you're never the same after either watching, experiencing, or being the victim — how does that affect you forever?" she explained to SYFY WIRE. "That to us was more interesting than just true crime or murder. That act is given too much weight."
So, John and Sandy King Carpenter dug into the stories, helping to curate a lineup of six episodes that run the gamut of horror subgenres. But that wasn't the end of their involvement. In addition to working as an executive producer, Carpenter composed the show's theme song with his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies. He also, for the first time since The Ward in 2010, took to the director's chair, directing the sixth and final episode of the season, "The Phone Stalker," remotely from Los Angeles while the show shot in Europe. King Carpenter served as his on-the-ground point person during the directing process, making sure the remote work was seamless.
"John and I kind of have a Vulcan mind meld anyway," she said. "We were on the cell phone and I'm asking, 'Okay, I'm setting up the next set down here. Let me run you down there and show it to you.'"
How to Watch Suburban Screams
John Carpenter's Suburban Screams arrived on Peacock today, Friday, October 13, and unlike some other series on the streaming service, you won't have to wait for weekly episode drops. All six episodes of the first season are available right now, so you can binge them all or space them out throughout the month of October. It's your call.
As for the show's potential future, Sandy King Carpenter told SYFY WIRE that there are, of course, plenty of other stories that could make up future seasons of the show. It all comes down to how the audience responds.
"I think that it would be really fun to see how deep we can go and how many weird things really happen," she said.