In 2016, The Exorcist TV series gave us one of the year's best horror programs along with an interesting continuation of the original film's mythology. Debuting the prior year, the Scream TV series captured the tone of the original films while creating its own compelling mythology and engaging characters. If these shows based on horror movies could be such surprise hits, couldn't there be others?
Just because a horror movie is popular and characters become beloved, that doesn't inherently mean they will translate well to the small screen. Take, for example, the failures of Friday the 13th: The Series or the Nightmare on Elm Street-inspired Freddy's Nightmares. However, thanks to the resurgence in more mature horror programming like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, TV shows can go in directions never before explored.
What horror movies do you think should be turned into TV shows? Let us know in the comments!
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In John Carpenter's film, a group of researchers are deserted in Antarctica as they begin to turn on one another while trying to determine which of them could have been replaced by an alien species. Translating the concept to virtually any other type of isolated setting, like a cabin in the woods or deserted military outpost, would allow for the same type of paranoia, and with the potential of multiple seasons, we could begin to learn about where the species came from and what their ultimate goal is.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
A departure from the Michael Myers mythology, Halloween III followed John Carpenter's original intentions for the franchise, which would explore different Halloween-themed stories in subsequent films. Anthology films have been made, like Trick 'r Treat and Tales of Halloween, that feature Halloween-centric stories, but there could be a model similar to Black Mirror, with six-episode seasons where episodes range from 45 to 90 minutes.
The V/H/S films have already brought together some of the most exciting new horror filmmakers to tell stories with a found footage format, so the transition to a TV series would be the next step in the evolution. Since the found footage format was the only consistency throughout the films, creating clever stories that could be told in episodic nature seems like a guaranteed hit.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Despite the failures of other slasher TV series based on Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, a series based on a chainsaw-wielding maniac would have to reinvent itself. The first season of True Detective was an incredibly compelling neo-noir investigation into a series of cult rituals, so a detective drama featuring an investigation into the Sawyer family could go into some interesting directions. Although the show itself could hold the reveal until the end of the season, further seasons could explore more of the dynamic of the sadistic family, similarly to how a film like The Devil's Rejects played out.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
TV shows like Orphan Black and The Americans have helped prove TV audiences' desires for paranoia-fueled thrillers featuring doppelgangers, which could allow Invasion of the Body Snatchers to pursue similar themes. Whether it be a slow replacement of important figures in society or a long-term exploration of whether "Body Snatchers" could be ingratiated into a normal society, the sky would be the limit for the subject matter.
The Conjuring spawned a sequel, a spin-off, a spin-off sequel, and spin-off from a sequel, proving that the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren are chock-full of interesting investigations. Whether we saw dramatic reenactments of their cases or more documentary style debunking explorations of famous cases, the Warrens' exploits of trying to rid the world of evil spirits provide plenty of possible angles to adapt for TV.
Similar to how the connections between The Conjuring and its sequel were the investigators, the Insidious film also features a group of charismatic ghost hunters in search of the truth. The dynamic of the investigators in Insidious is much goofier and more comedic than the Warrens, so although it wouldn't necessarily be a full-blown comedy, we can imagine the banter between the investigators would be much more hilarious than just watching the Warrens discuss how best to approach exorcising a demon.
Considering the Universal Monsters came out at a different time in cinema, when filmmakers could rely more on mood than constant scares, the tone of those films are much more adaptable into long-form storytelling. For example, considering The Wolf-Man only poses a threat in relation to a phase of the moon, the first episode could be one outburst, with the rest of the series being him potentially trying to find a way to stop it. The same can be said for The Invisible Man, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and all of the other classic, with each season focusing on a different Universal Monster. Better yet, the series could follow the American Horror Story model and use the same cast to tell all the different stories.