Freddy, Jason, Michael, Chucky, Pinhead, and Candyman (Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman) — all slasher monsters that horror fans are totally comfortable referencing on a first-name basis. Shudder will dig into their enduring yet terrifying appeal in a new six-episode series, Behind the Monsters, which kicks off just before Halloween and promises a Behind the Music-style examination of each character.
The show, which was announced today as part of the AMC Networks TCA Summer Press Tour, will feature “interviews with horror experts and the writers, directors, and actors from the original films that made each character the stuff of genre legends,” according to a Shudder press release, which also name-drops some of the experts: Drac and Swan Boulet (The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula), Ashlee Blackwell (writer and producer of the excellent Horror Noire documentary), Last Podcast on the Left hosts Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski, Blumhouse producer Ryan Turek, and filmmakers Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), April Wolfe (2019’s Black Christmas), David Bruckner (who’s making the Hellraiser reboot), and filmmaker and drag artist Peaches Christ.
And, of course, the series — written and directed by Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro — will speak with the very people who helped bring these scary characters to life. Here’s rundown of each star-spangled, blood-splattered episode:
- CANDYMAN, featuring interviews with the original Candyman (1992) director Bernard Rose and stars Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen; Candyman (2021) director Nia DaCosta; and Horror Noire’s Tananarive Due, among others.
- CHUCKY, with interviews with Child’s Play (1988) creator/writer Don Mancini, director Tom Holland and star Catherine Hicks, along with the voice of Chucky, Brad Dourif, among others.
- JASON VOORHEES, including interviews with Kane Hodder, actor/stuntman from Friday the 13th Parts VII & VIII, Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X; and Tom Savini, special effects creator on Friday the 13th Parts I & IV, among others.
- MICHAEL MYERS, featuring interviews with actor Nick Castle from Halloween and the new Halloween films from Blumhouse, as well as Halloween (2018) stunt actor James Jude Courtney, among others.
- FREDDY KRUEGER, including interviews with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) stars Heather Langenkamp and Lin Shaye, as well as special effects designer Jim Doyle, among others.
- PINHEAD, including an interview with Hellraiser actor Doug Bradley and others.
Of course, all of these characters and their respective series have been discussed nearly to death — but even diehards who have, let’s say, watched the nearly seven-hour Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (if you haven’t, and you’re a Jason fan, definitely don’t let that runtime deter you!) will surely be tempted by this series. Shudder’s the place to watch new and especially new international horror on streaming these days, but Behind the Monsters is a reminder that there’s also room for enjoying the movies that might’ve gotten you hooked on horror in the first place.
Behind the Monsters premieres on Shudder on Tuesday, October 26, with new episodes dropping weekly thereafter.