Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium horror streaming service, has just announced Behind the Monsters, a new docuseries examining some of horror’s most iconic villains. Each episode will focus on a single horror character, featuring interviews with the writers, directors, and actors that made them famous. Kicking off just in time for Halloween, the announced lineup for the six-episode season includes Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Candyman, Chucky and Pinhead. Behind the Monsters debuts on Shudder on October 26, with episodes rolling out weekly.
That list of characters is undoubtedly iconic, but equally impressive is the list of interviewees for each episode. Child’s Play writer Don Mancini, director Tom Holland, and stars Catherine Hicks and Brad Dourif appear in the Chucky episode. The Candyman episode will feature the directors of both the 1992 original, Bernard Rose, as well as of the hotly anticipated 2021 sequel, Nia DaCosta. Several episodes also feature special effects designers, to offer insights into some of the most haunting effects from films like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Shudder‘s general manager, Craig Engler, emphasized the cultural significance of these characters in a provided statement:
“In the history of film, only a handful of stars and characters like Mickey Mouse or Marilyn Monroe have risen to the heights of fame to become instantly recognizable the world over. Yet somehow, a small group of monsters who got their start in low-budget horror movies have transcended their humble beginnings to become international pop culture icons. ‘Behind the Monsters’ will tell the story of their unlikely rise to fame, from the ideas that inspired them to the indelible mark they’ve left on the world.”
Placing these character’s popularity in the context of both folkloric history and the wider pop-cultural world is enough to sound fascinating even to non-horror fans. Even so, there’s the promise of unique insights, with deep dives with Pinhead and Michael Meyers portrayers Doug Bradlee and Nick Castle, that are sure to appeal to hardcore horror-heads.
Written and directed by Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro, the series also features interviews with other horror directors, including Final Destination‘s Jeffrey Reddick, Black Christmas‘ April Wolfe, and the upcoming Hellraiser reboot’s David Bruckner. Binkley and Uro also tapped notable horror fans and experts for interviews, including Horror Noire documentary writer and producer Ashlee Blackwell, The Last Podcast on the Left hosts Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski, and Blumhouse producer Ryan Turek, as well as drag icons the Boulet Brothers and Peaches Christ.
Behind the Monsters debuts on Shudder on Tuesday, October 26 with new episodes airing weekly.