Photo: ‘Behind the Monster’
‘Behind the Monsters’ is a brand new docuseries now available on the Shudder streaming service for fans of all things spooky and scary. If you need an excuse to refamiliarize yourself with Halloween favorites like Candyman or Chucky, this is it – so get comfy, turn off the lights and prepare for a Halloween season experience.
The show was written by Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro who worked in collaboration with Stage 3 Productions to direct it as well. Joining them were Phil Nobile Jr., Kelly Ryan, and Mark Shostrom as producers.
What To Expect From ‘Behind the Monsters’
The show is structured to feature a different horror movie villain for each episode, with a total of six episodes for this first season. With a vast expanse of horror experts, writers, directors, and actors, there is a wide breadth of horror knowledge being applied into the surprisingly well-thought series.
Many of the episodes will feature directors, writers, and actors from the original films that each character originates from or that made each character part of such a big legacy for the horror genre. Speaking of the horror genre, Shudder has taken it upon themselves to also include other experts in the series like Drac and Swan Boulet from ‘The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, Ashlee Blackwell, the writer and producer for the ‘Horror Noire’ documentary, Ben Kissel and Henry Zebrowski the hosts from ‘The Last Podcast on the Left,’ Ryan Turek, a Blumhouse producer, Jeffrey Reddick, filmmaker from ‘Final Destination,’ April Wolfe from 2019’s ‘Black Christmas,’ David Bruckner from a reboot of ‘Hellraiser,’ and finally Peaches Christ, a filmmaker, and drag artist.
Episode Rundowns for ‘Behind The Monster’
Released in 1992, the original ‘Candyman’ film is an American gothic and supernatural take on a ghost story. A woman investigating the macabre history of the Candyman ends up roped into the terrifying and dangerously violent happenings of Candyman. Resembling an escape from sanity and peace, this film is a staple for all ghost stories that were born after its inception.
Shudder capitalizes on this by including interviews with the original film’s director, Bernard Rose as well as the head stars, Tony Todd who played Candyman, and Virginia Madsen who played Helen Lyle, the curious student who learns of the formerly mentioned spirit. Rebooted this year, Shudder also includes interviews and clips with the current director, Nia DaCosta, and expert commentary from Tananarive Due from ‘Horror Noire,’ a film on the Black origins and roots in the Horror movie genre.
This segment and episode of ‘Behind the Monsters’ focuses on Chucky and his origins. The original movie titled, ‘Child’s Play,’ is about the infamous serial killer, Chucky, who is known for his demonic ways of survival and killing. He often finds ways to escape and evade death through strange rituals that transfer his soul into a doll, known as ‘The Good Guys” doll. The original film was released in 1988 and inspired an entire franchise of Chucky films and even video games like, ‘Chucky: Slash and Dash,’ which was released in 2013 by the American game developing studio, Slimstown Studios.
This episode features interviews with the creator and writer of the OG film, Don Mancini, the director, Tom Holland (unrelated to the Spiderman star with the same name), and the stars, Catherine Hicks who plays Karen, the unlucky soul who finds the “Good Guys” doll and the voice of Chucky himself, Brad Dourif.
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This third episode features interviews with Kane Hodder, the actor/stuntman from all the Jason films. These include ‘Friday the 13th,’ ‘Parts VII & VIII,’ ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ and ‘Jason X.’ This American horror franchise features 12 slasher films, a TV series, novels, comic books, video games, and a plethora of related merchandise to its name. It focuses on none other than Jason Voorhees who had been thought dead by drowning but was later revealed to be the secret mass murderer of the lake location. The original film, ‘Friday the 13th,’ grossed over 468 million dollars worldwide and remained at the top spot for the highest-grossing horror franchise until ‘Halloween’ was released in 2018.
Shudder does the franchise justice by featuring its origins and focusing on the cast and crew that made it so special and successful, like Tom Savini who was the special effects creator on most of the films in the series.
Michael Myers was the villain to kick Jason out of his leading spot when ‘Halloween’ was released in 2018. Now new versions of the film are coming out all the time, like the most recent, ‘Halloween Kills’ which was released in theaters last month. The Myers’ films feature a deranged young boy who murders his little sister and returns decades later to incite more violence and death upon his hometown.
Famous actor, Nick Castle, is brought onto the Shudder stage for interviews and commentary on his role in ‘Halloween’ as well as his role in the newest Michael Myers films coming from Blumhouse. His fellow cast member James Jude Courtney, among others, was also brought onto the episode to discuss the legacy of such a violent but iconic Halloween villain that has left such an impact on the horror genre.
His first horrific appearance was in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street,’ another slasher-horror franchise released in 1984. It’s been built into nin films, a TV series, novels, comic books, and more forms of media, with Krueger’s popularity exceeding all expectations. Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund, is a disfigured nighttime murder who has been preying on teenagers, confusing their dream and real-world in order to make them his victims. Heather Langenkamp ad Lin Shaye, Englund’s fellow cast members, come onto the show to discuss their interpretation of the impact Englund’s character had on viewers and the horror genre. They bring in Wes Craven, the director for the original film and later, ‘New Nightmare,’ which was released a decade later, as well as the Special Effects Designer Jim Doyle.
The final episode features an interview with Doug Bradley, the actor in ‘Hellraiser’ who brings his unique commentary on playing Pinhead, a lesser-known but equally terrifying Halloween villain. Originally a British supernatural horror film, ‘Hellraiser,’ which was released in 1987 features a man who opens a portal to hell which brings forth a reincarnated villain hellbent on inciting death and violence.
The film created such a new precedent of gore that it’s been banned in many places because of the graphic violence, blood-letting, horror, degradation, and torture that the director features.
Stream It or Skip It?: “Behind the Monsters’
With a heavily researched foundation, unique and exciting guest stars, and a dark but informative take on our favorite Halloween villains, ‘Behind the Monsters’ is a must-watch for this season. The exploration of these six villains and how they were able to be live past the run-time of their films is innovative and exciting for die-hard fans, showing just how beautifully they’ve become memorialized in the horror genre.
So download Shudder, and stream ‘Behind the Monsters’ to hear more about your favorite spooky stars.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.