If you’re a horror fanatic like me, then TV has been a pretty fantastic place in the past few years. But something this modern era lacks that earlier television decades excelled at is a good assortment of spooky anthology series across the schedule. That could all change soon, as the previously announced Tales from the Crypt reboot is officially popping out of the tomb for a 10-episode inaugural season over at TNT, a network known more for basketball games and characters wearing suits. And what’s more, TNT is using this to build an entire horror-based programming block.
While Tales from the Crypt is a huge enough draw for TNT on name alone, another big component of this anthology’s existence is filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan as the spearheader and executive producer. Many have pointed out that some of his films feel like elongated Twilight Zone episodes, so that’s almost a built-in audience right there, although he presumably won’t actually be the writer/director behind every episode. I really hope Shyamalan uses his Hollywood ties to call up as much horror-centered talent as TNT is willing to pay for.
No further details were given about what we can expect, beyond the existence of a new Crypt Keeper, the iconic and puntastic character that was rumored to be left out after the project was first reported. Thankfully that turned out to be completely bunk. It’s unclear if the episodes will be modernizations of the stories from the EC Comics series, or if there will be completely new tales of terror being told here, but there have been 20 years of horror novels, short stories, comics and more that have been released since the original HBO series called it quits, so hopefully some of those will show up in the ten episodes that we’ll see first. As well, the show will change subject matter from episode to episode, unlike other anthologies like American Horror Story
M. Night Shyamalan is also one of the brains behind TNT’s new horror block, which is being shaped up as we speak. And speaking of FX’s AHS, TNT ordered a pilot for Time of Death, which will similarly be a season-long story that would change each season. The hook here is that each hour-long episode would unfold in real time over one terrifying night, with the first season potentially centering on a Midwestern small town fair that sees a killer psycho returning to his home to take vengeance on the place he believes ruined his life. While Season 1 would be focused on the slasher sub-genre, later seasons would take on other sub-genres.
And the third entry in this genre lineup is Creatures, an in-development psychological thriller inspired heavily by Slender Man that centers on two best friends who, as children, tried to offer a sacrifice to the Internet boogeyman Mr. Gorgi by cutting a classmate’s heart out. 15 years after that awfulness, the two women are released from the psych facility, and they start to feel the pull of Mr. Gorgi once more. This one is being put together by In the Flesh creator Dominic Mitchell and The Children and The Missing director Tom Shankland.
TNT is all about making changes and proving itself to be a more high-profile network than it has been in the past. One big way to do it is to bring back an established show to highlight a bigger block of new and exciting series taking on subject matter that the network has only touched on with a couple of Stephen King adaptations. Keep the good news coming, TNT.
We won’t have anything to see from Tales from the Crypt on TNT until 2017, unfortunately, but now seems like a great time to go back and watch all of the old episodes to count just how many guest stars we want to see back on the new series.