Now that Hannibal and Penny Dreadful are gone, we need more scary TV. The TV shows of The Exorcist and Scream are getting pretty good reviews (and in Scream‘s case three seasons), but we need more, and in this age of adapting big screen properties into small screen properties we’ve chosen five horror movies we think deserve the TV treatment.
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is, depending on who you ask, a classic or overrated. It is a postmodern skewering of horror tropes that manages to be irreverent and scary at the same time. It is a parody that works as an effective horror movie and also hints at many untold stories within its world. The control room where all the nightmares come from is filled with possible creatures that could attack the cabin dwellers and the options are pretty broad from zombies to demons to mermen. A TV show could expand out the plot of the movie with a single set of cabin-ers who begin to unravel the plot that put them in danger, or each season could focus on a different horror movie cliché. Season one could be a cabin while season two could be set in Japan and feature a vengeful ghost. If the movie is to be believed and all horror movies stem from a world wide bureaucracy trying to appease ancient evils, then the sky’s the limit.
28 Days Later
As much as I want there to be a third movie in this series, I don’t see it happening. But perhaps a TV adaptation could. Set 28 months later, the TV show could be a The Walking Dead-style program about survivors living two and a bit years after Cillian Murphy woke up in the nude. 28 Weeks Later ended with a scene showing that the Rage Virus had gone global so the setting could be anywhere, or to differentiate it from The Walking Dead set it in Australia, an island fortress far away from the virus as the country tries, and inevitably fails, to keep the virus out. Or set it in a world rebuilt like 28 Weeks Later and then like 28 Weeks Later bring the virus back to mess everyone up. And also try and bring back nude Cillian Murphy too just so my wife will watch it with me.
The Hellraiser series is a franchise that very quickly descended into parody. The first two are great and then the next twenty five or so are terrible. However, the central idea is still very strong and malleable. A person just needs to find the puzzle box and solve it. Once that happens, the Cenobites appear and all Hell breaks loose. Much like The Cabin in the Woods this one might work better as an anthology. Each season set in a different time period with a different person wanting to get their freak on via puzzle box and ending up having to avoid being ripped about with chains while being told off by a human pin cushion. I think there should definitely be a season set in Hell and definitely a season about the character in Hellraiser 3 who has the power to throw CDs really, really hard.
The Conjuring movies are based around fictionalised versions of the real life investigations undertaken by Ed and Lorraine Warren. The cases the real Warrens have written about and been interviewed about are obviously exaggerated for effect/fame because ghosts and demons and such don’t really exist. However, James Wan’s movies posit a world in which they do exist and the Warrens are actually heroic warriors against the dark forces that go bump in the night. So the TV show I’m pitching here is basically The X-Files but with ghosts and possessions, and Mulder and Scully are married, have a kid, and the whole thing is set in the ‘70s. Sometimes I even amaze myself.
The 1989 oft-overlooked classic Warlock is an obscene amount of fun. The story of a warlock who travels to the ‘80s in the hopes of finding the Devil’s spell book while being pursued by a witch hunter (played by Richard E. Grant, a man having the time of his life), Warlock is one of those movies that if you’re like me and think Highlander is a legit classic, you will absolutely love. I envision a show much like the movie in which the Warlock tries to find pages of the book while an out of time witch hunter searches for him. Now, so far, this is sounding a lot like Sleepy Hollow, a show that started out as camp fun but couldn’t maintain it. The trick with Warlock would be to ditch the case of the week plot and make it a short Netflix show more in the vein of Stranger Things i.e. eight hours of television that cover a handful of days. Also, I would like to see them take the Penny Dreadful route of occasionally stopping mid-season for an entire episode devoted to a flashback, perhaps of the Warlock and witch hunter’s first meeting or something to flesh out the plot. As long as they kept the movie’s inventiveness, fun, and gory scares then it would be a winner.
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