Monday, March 03, 2008

Scary: NBC preps 'Fear Itself' horror anthology

Let's hope this turns out better than TNT's Nightmares & Dreamscapes, which started strong and then tanked: NBC and Lions Gate are prepping Fear Itself, a 13-episode horror and suspense anthology to air on the impatient network at a date yet to be slated. The two have just announced the writing, directing and acting talent attached to the project, which was created by Mick Garris.

Among the biggest names are directors John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Darren Bousman (Saw II, III and IV [torture porn on network TV, anyone?]) and Brad Anderson (The Machinist). If those names leave you unimpressed, the list of actors, drawing heavily from TV shows such as Heroes, Boston Legal and Judging Amy, will have you nodding off. The writers, however, include folks behind worthy entertainments like 30 Days of Night and Wind Chill, among many others.

Here's a sampling of installments:

Eater // A rookie cop must spend her first night in the precinct watching over a serial killer dubbed "The Eater" (Stephen R. Hart, Shoot 'Em Up). When her fellow cops start acting bizarre, she quickly learns that no one is who they seem. Are they ever?

Spooked // While on a stake out in a haunted house, a private eye (Eric Roberts) is made to confront the demons of his past. Aren't they always?

Community // This one's directed by Mary Harron, who did American Psycho, so that's a promising start. When a young married couple finds the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, their lives seem ... well ... perfect. But as the dark underbelly of their neighborhood creeps to the surface, they soon realize that their neighbors will go to any extreme — even murder — to make sure that they comply with their twisted sense of conformity. Brings to mind that great X-Files where Mulder and Scully pose as the married couple in a too-perfect suburban neighborhood, doesn't it?

Red Snow // When four criminals find themselves stranded in an old, snow-covered fort, they slowly discover both the fort and the seductive trio of sirens who reside there are filled with deadly secrets. Again, aren't they always?

New Year's Day // A young woman wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by horrifying zombies. Really, zombies? Again?

I'm a bit surprised to see NBC dipping into a horror anthology. Of course, if the series turns out to be any good, it will surely suffer the fate of Kidnapped and quarterlife and get yanked after one to four episodes.

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