Even though NBC has sadistically put an end to the future of the amazingness that is Hannibal, at least for the time being, this is still an incredible time to be both a horror fan and an avid TV watcher, particularly when it comes to hit movies getting boob tube adaptations. We’ve got stuff like Bates Motel and From Dusk Till Dawn out there, among others, and the future holds highly anticipated series like Ash vs. Evil Dead and an adaptation of Let the Right One In. (We’re still not quite show how to feel about Scream, but we’re warming to it.)
And so, even though the thought of more remakes is mildly off-putting, here are seven horror films that we know could stand the media jump from the big screen to the small screen. It’s only a matter of time anyway, right?
AlienI’m sure some of your mouths are wide open, with smaller mouths popping out and screaming, “Blasphemy!” But seriously, even though science fiction TV is getting more prevalent across both broadcast networks and cable, there hasn’t been anything quite like Alien, which deftly mixes the mysteries of space and exploration with claustrophobic horror. The fact that it’s still as successful today as it was over 35 years ago is remarkable, and I absolutely think that Prometheus should have entered pop culture as a TV show, where its mythology could have been expanded and its characters could have been fully developed before they started making their insanely inane choices. Still, it wouldn’t take much beyond “creepy spaceship, deadly creatures, and masterful special effects” to give Alien a new life through a new story chapter. And if Ripley is involved, that’s even better. Way better, actually.
CreepshowA lovingly macabre throwback to the days of EC Comics, George Romero and Stephen King’s 1982 hit Creepshow was about as good as it gets in the world of horror anthologies, juxtaposing gross-out gags with hilarity for one crazy story after another. The sequels were lacking – although “The Raft” is still one of my favorite King stories – and there was an attempt to spin the franchise as a web series called Creepshow Raw, but only one episode got made. Tales from the Darkside was supposed to be a series version of Creepshow, but rights issues stopped that from happening. We’re hopefully beyond that kind of petty garbage, and it’s time to get another horror anthology back on the air that has nothing to do with Ryan Murphy, and switches the stories up every week, rather than every season. Let’s bring a new generation of horror writers to audiences.
The Blair Witch ProjectBack in 1999 when Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez unleashed the pop culture behemoth The Blair Witch Project on the world, viral marketing was in its infancy and found-footage cinema was still refreshingly sparse. Here in 2015, both of those things have been done to death, pun haphazardly intended, and we’re ready for a new interpretation of what being lost in a supernatural landscape is like. I’m not even arguing for a particular angle on this one, only offering up the option to split up the first-person perspective by using flashbacks and other narrative tricks to tell both the story of the people lost in the woods and of whatever it is that’s making the woods a dangerous place, be it the Blair Witch or something related. And even though first-time filmmakers lucked out in turning the original film into a monster success, a new interpretation would probably need a more established and visionary vet behind it. Obviously I’m nominating Bryan Fuller for this and every other choice on this list.
They LiveNow, no one is saying that John Carpenter’s They Live is as iconic or seminal to the genre as Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, but I am saying it’s just as fun and similarly in need of a cultural resurgence. I know that Nada died a heroic death at the end of the movie, but no version of They Live would be a proper one without Roddy Piper as the ass-kicking drifter, so obviously some rewriting would have to occur where it turns out he wasn’t dead at all, but only in some form of stasis, and he gets revived as an alien invasion once again threatens to upend mankind. Sure, it might be cheap to also bring Keith David’s Frank back from the dead, but I kind of think anything goes when it comes to spinning this awesome flick into a series. TV networks and streaming services: Obey!
Mulholland DriveAs we wait with bated breaths (that smell like coffee and pie) to see what Twin Peaks will look like on Showtime, 25 years after it originally aired, why not re-dip into the weirdo mastermind David Lynch’s back catalog for more source material? (Sure, there are plenty of reasons, but still.) It would be interesting to see Blue Velvet or Inland Empire get their darkly disturbing stories stretched out, but Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Drive could be a revolutionarily nightmarish addition to any network’s TV schedule, although it would obviously have to be on premium cable or Netflix. This twisty tale of Hollywood dreams, stunted sexuality, identity reversal and tiny grandparents was originally conceived as a TV series in the first place, and I’ve no doubt Lynch has other ideas for where this blue-tinted universe could take viewers. Somebody make sure the rights for Roy Orbison’s “Crying” are still available.
Tucker & Dale vs. EvilMy fandom for most horror comedies is blanketed, simply because they’re my two favorite kinds of films, but Eli Craig’s Tucker & Dale vs. Evil inarguably had one of the greatest premises of any film in the genre, as the lives of the titular and unwitting hillbillies run parallel to a series of horrific deaths that coincide with a sordid massacre’s anniversary. A TV series wouldn’t necessarily have to revisit that specific plotline, but should instead just let audiences exist alongside these bumbling buffoons in as many different situations as possible. (And sure, give us that feature sequel, too, because there will never be enough!) The only must-have in this case would be Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine returning to play Tucker and Dale, respectively, because those guys have a chemistry that’s thicker than the blood spurting out from the wood chipper.
The Wicker ManI should hope that it doesn’t need to be said, but I’m referring to the unsettling and sexually liberating 1973 feature, and not the 2006 remake in which Nicolas Cage screams about bees. The story here would probably have to be altered a little too much to keep things fresh and different, and perhaps I’m just looking for a more generic Pagan island mystery, but everything about The Wicker Man would translate extremely well to TV as far as I can see it. A detective goes on a hunt for missing girl in a community unlike anything he or she is used to, and finds that the inhabitants have motivations also unlike anything the detective has been a part of before. Maybe I’m just projecting my loves for Kill List and Broadchurch on this, but I think this would be a perfect project for Ben Wheatley to get behind and add his signature bizarreness, with David Tenant in the lead. It’s time to keep our appointment with this one.