For children of the '90s, there was probably no greater source of nightmare fodder than HBO’s Tales from the Crypt. Based on the hair-raising tales found within the pages of several different E.C. comic book titles, the series produced nearly 100 episodes of murder, mayhem, horror, and mystery, earning a cult following that continues to this day, and inspiring several movies branded with the Crypt name.
While the series has been off the air now for 20 years, horror aficionados have long regard Tales from the Crypt as a high-water mark for horror television with its mix of biting humor and terrifying twists that stuck with audiences long after the episode ended. The show's popularity remains huge in certain circles, making it ripe for the reboot treatment in order to introduce a new generation of horror lovers to the anthology stories. Earlier this year, it was announced that producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Visit) had been overseeing the development of a pilot for TNT. Now, it seems as though fans should brace themselves for a full series.
Deadline reports that TNT has ordered a full 10-episode product for the newly revamped Tales from the Crypt. The anthology series is set to the network’s anchor for a new block of horror shows which also includes the tentatively titled Time of Death and Creatures. The horror block is set to debut sometime in 2017.
Many fans met news of a Tales from the Crypt reboot with a healthy dose of skepticism when the project was first announced. For one, Shyamalan’s current reputation is less than stellar, with most of his films from the last decade falling flat with both audiences and critics. On top of that, most fans of Tales from the Crypt have fond memories of the John Kassir voiced puppet Crypt Keeper, which anchored the original series for its seven seasons. This current iteration won’t have the beloved puppet as its host, choosing instead an old man/fireside chat setup.
Despite outcries from fans, many of whom suggest that they won’t be watching the series without the beloved puppet, this iteration of the Crypt Keeper is more closely aligned with the original E.C. character, who was far from the rotting, skeletal visage provided by HBO. This suggests that the series intends to keep to the spirit of the classic E.C. comics. A bit of wariness is understandable, but if Shyamalan can manage to keep the same irreverent and terrifying tone of the source material, then this new Tales from the Crypt might just stand a shot at meeting the high expectations and perhaps even winning over some converts.
TNT needs this series to be a hit, however, given that its new block of horror shows is set to be anchored by the reboot. Shyamalan, for his part, has high hopes not just for this series but for the entire block.
“I’m really thrilled about the way this horror block is coming together with the addition of Time of Death and Creatures. That such a beloved property like Tales from the Crypt is launching our evening makes it an even more unique and exciting opportunity. Across the board, the level of talent has been very inspiring.”
Time of Death is said to be a real-time horror that follows a group of individuals over a single night that’s been described as "Friday the 13th meets Friday Night Lights," and harkens back to the old school slasher feel of the 1980s. Creatures is said to be about two former best friends who spent 15 years in a psychiatric facility following the murder of one of their friends whom the two attempted to sacrifice to appease Mr. Gorgi, an urban legend from the depths of the Internet. After their release, the two friends feel the call of Mr. Gorgi once again.
Between these two series and Tales from the Crypt, there’s plenty of potential for TNT’s new horror block, provided they can win over the doubtful. That remains to be seen, however, so the network must play it carefully between now and the premiere date.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on Tales from the Crypt, as well as Time of Death and Creatures as they develop.