Horror is booming on television right now, and as a result networks keep going to the movie well to try and find the next hit series. A&E already has Bates Motel and will soon have Damien, MTV has an old hit in Teen Wolf and a new hit in Scream, and the list goes on. Earlier this week, The CW announced its plan to develop a new Friday the 13th TV show that would expand the series beyond the borders of Camp Crystal Lake, and it got me thinking: If networks are really going to keep morphing horror movies into horror TV shows, which ones would be the most interesting to see?
Here's what I came up with:
Suspiria/"The Three Mothers"
Dario Argento's horror classic Suspiria stands on its own as a masterpiece of lush fantasy terror, but it's actually the first film in a trilogy focusing on "The Three Mothers," three witches who've been manipulating world events for centuries. The mythology of The Three Mothers was expanded in 1980 with Inferno and apparently completed with Mother of Tears in 2007. Along the way some very interesting pieces of this mythos were put together, and a TV show would allow writers plenty of room to explore that. The show could have a really cool international conspiracy vibe, along with lots of horror and a very global feel.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
If Jason's joining the TV party, why can't Freddy come too? Of course, the show doesn't have to be about Freddy alone. Over the course of many sequels, the Elm Street franchise has laid out a very complex mythology and set of rules for the dream world where Freddy continues his reign of terror in movie after movie. Maybe he's not the only thing like him out there, and maybe a group of characters with continued access to the dream world could unravel some of its mysteries.
I know, I know, many of us are sick of Michael Myers by now, but who said the show has to be about him? Halloween III: Season of the Witch was supposed to be the first of an anthology of Halloween films, each taking on a different horror story revolving around the season, but then the film flopped and that didn't happen. Why not launch an anthology series and air it every year in, say, September and October? It wouldn't be the first horror series to try that format, by far, but that doesn't mean the stories couldn't be good and scary.
Clive Barker's Cenobites have already leapt off the movie screen and into the pages of comics, where a number of tales based on the Hellraiser mythology have flourished. A TV show that continued to flesh out the characters and ideas Barker created, which were later expanded on by other writers, could be fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
Again, it wouldn't be the first time someone tried it, but Creepshow would be perfect for TV as a pulpy, weird anthology show full of different monsters and supernatural threats. There could be a new episode each week, like The Twilight Zone, or the series could follow the American Horror Story model and do a different tale every season.
Decades after the original film, studios are still trying to make another great exorcism movie, so why not try the TV format? You could even keep the Lankester Merrin character and send him out to fight other demonic threats, fleshing out a new set of demonology rules along the way. It might not ever capture the greatness of the film, but it could be a refreshing, long-form take on exorcism stories.
The Cabin in the Woods
The Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon film already established that what was happening in that cabin was not happening in a vacuum, but that it was part of a worldwide series of events all designed to meet a singular goal. So, how did that system originate, how do people get jobs there, how are all the horrors constructed and controlled? A darkly comic series taking a peek behind that curtain could be great fun.
The Monster Squad
I've always enjoyed The Monster Squad so much that I'm a little sad when it's over, so why not stretch it out to TV? New monsters, new threats, and the same group of nerdy kids saving the world over and over.
Let the Right One In
This terrific vampire drama has an open-ended conclusion, so what if it kept going? We could see the adventures and troubles of a boy and his vampire friend as they try to live nomadic lives in a world that's either afraid of them or a little too curious. Who knows? They might even meet other supernatural creatures.
Like Nightmare on Elm Street, the Phantasm series features a mythology that keeps growing with each passing sequel. I'm not even sure how this show could be structured, or who it could involve other than The Tall Man, but the Phantasm mythos is so weird that I'd be intrigued to find out.
Do you have a horror film or film series that you think would fit in a TV format? Let us know in the comments!