For horror fans of a certain generation, R. L. Stine is on the same level, if not bigger than, Stephen King. His YA horror series of novels like Goosebumps and Fear Street have terrified and influenced countless readers for decades, and have yielded some delightfully spooky TV shows and films in the process — not to mention the artists they’ve gone on to inspire. Now, a new crop of TV viewers gets to get scared by Stine’s spine-tingling work. Variety reports that Point Horror, a series of teen horror novels from Stine and others, will be turned into an HBO Max anthology series.
The show’s episodes will be self-contained stories inspired by Stine’s Point Horror books (while others wrote works under the Point Horror banner, only Stine’s novels will be represented in the show). Each one will be set in contemporary times and delve into the horrors of being a contemporary teen — but will have a specifically ’90s-skewing sense of nostalgia embedded. All of this feels like a smart, calculated play for HBO Max. While their announced programs thus far seem to appeal to lots of different demographics, they haven’t dove into the YA nostalgic horror space. And if you recall, Netflix had great success with a YA nostalgic horror show by the name of Stranger Things. Is HBO Max trying to replicate that success?
In talks to direct and executive produce the show? Splashy filmmaker Jon M. Chu, whose Crazy Rich Asians was a smash success of 2018. If Chu winds up signing onto the show, he’ll have a busy slate on his hands — he’s currently in production on the adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s pre-Hamilton musical In the Heights. Chu has never explored the horror space before, but he’s such a keen stylist and has such a good grasp on visually inventive set pieces, that I have no doubt he would heighten Stine’s vision to a delightful plane.