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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Horror TV Brings Plenty of Scares to October

Written by Jon Williams

With Halloween approaching, patrons will be looking for creepy tales to watch in the dark. While it’s hard to top a scary movie, more and more viewers are turning to television for their horror needs. A series of weekly episodes allows writers to draw out the suspense and inject even more scares than they could in a two-hour movie. Here are a few great recent and upcoming horror series that will put a little thrill into your patrons’ October nights.

Two series aired earlier this year that explore the origins of two classic horror icons. In their July “All-Time Greatest” issue, Entertainment Weekly named Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs as the #1 and #5 best horror movies. The series Bates Motel looks at the teenage years of Psycho’s twisted killer, Norman Bates, while Hannibal follows the career of Hannibal Lecter before the events of The Silence of the Lambs, which begins with Dr. Lecter in prison for his crimes. Both series wrapped up their first seasons this spring, and both have been renewed for 2014.

Another series which just had its season finale on September 16 was Under the Dome. Based on a book by Stephen King, the series portrays the events that take place when the town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an impenetrable force field known as “the Dome.” This show will also be back for a second season next year, with the premiere episode being written by none other than Mr. King himself.

The same night that Under the Dome’s first season ended, Sleepy Hollow premiered. This series, with a creative team led by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who have written for both the Transformers and rebooted Star Trek franchises), sees Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman transported from the Revolutionary War era to present-day Sleepy Hollow, New York. While the series is airing on Fox and won’t be available on DVD for a while, interested patrons can always check out the original short story by Washington Irving on audiobook, or another adaptation, such as the 1999 movie directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.

Premiering October 9 on FX will be the third season of American Horror Story. Titled Coven, this season will deal with a group of witches sharing a bloodline going back to the Salem Witch Trials. Each season is basically a standalone miniseries, and each of the first two seasons was very highly regarded. The first season (Murder House) was nominated for a slew of Emmys, with Jessica Lange winning Best Supporting Actress. The second season (Asylum) saw James Cromwell take home an Emmy this past Sunday for Best Supporting Actor.

The current heavyweight of horror TV is AMC’s The Walking Dead, which comes back for its fourth season on October 16. The season three finale of the zombie show adapted from Robert Kirkman’s comic series set ratings records while leaving plenty of questions to be answered, ensuring that the new season will start with a bang. If you have horror-loving patrons who have somehow missed this show, be sure to recommend it—they’ll thank you for it.

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