With the WGA strike settled, it appears that NBC’s horror anthology, Fear Itself, is back on track for a thirteen-episode summer run. If the collection of talent feels awfully Masters of Horror-ish, that’s because this is just the network iteration of that beloved-by-all Showtime series. So far, the list of directors includes John Landis, Mary Harron, Stuart Gordon, Ernest Dickerson, Brad Anderson, Breck Eisner, Ronny Yu and Darren Bousman. Where’s John Carpenter? Well, he was supposed to direct “Skin & Bones” from his “Cigarette Burns”/”Pro Life” collaborators Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan, but the strike delay might’ve mucked things up (i.e. if he’s still set to direct L.A. Gothic this spring). I’d get the scoop from Drew himself, but he’s a little busy with the birth of his second child at the moment.
NBC has issued a press release with plot breakdowns for ten of the thirteen episodes. Here’s a taste:
“Spooked,” is directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist) and written by Matt Venne (White Noise 2: The Light). While on a stake out in a haunted house, a private eye (Eric Roberts) is made to confront the demons of his past. Jack Noseworthy (“Judging Amy”), Cynthia Watros (“Lost”) and Larry Gilliard Jr. (“The Wire”) also star.
“Community” is directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho) and written by Kelly Kennemer (“The Music Within”). When a young married couple, played by Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) and Shiri Appleby, find 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. John Billingsley (“Star Trek: Enterprise”) also stars.
“Red Snow” has a screenplay written by Mick Garris (Riding the Bullet), from a story by Del Howison (“Dark Delicacies”). Breck Eisner (Creature from the Black Lagoon) will direct. 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.
“Chance” is written by Lem Dobbs (The Score), with a director to be announced later. In the vein of such classic doppelganger stories as “Jekyll & Hyde” and Poe’s “William Wilson,” the episode explores a dreadful, classic battle that ensues when a man is confronted by his evil self.
“New Year’s Day” will be directed by Darren Bousman (Saw II, III and IV), and is written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) from a story by Paul Kane. A young woman wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by horrifying zombies.
“Family Man” will be directed by Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason) and is written by Dan Knauf (“Carnivale,” “Supernatural”). This action-charged, psychological thriller focuses on a likeable family man who switches bodies with a serial killer after a near-death experience. Now, he must fight from behind bars to keep the murderer from adding his family to the long list of victims.
“Skin & Bones” is written by Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan (“Masters of Horror”) with a director to be announced later. When a cattle herder returns home to his family after being lost in the woods for days, he just doesn’t seem the same. Soon, a terrible mortal struggle ensues against the terrifying monster possessing him.
“Something With Bite” is a reinvention of the classic werewolf story from writer Max Landis (“Masters of Horror”), the son of John Landis. Ernest Dickerson (NBC’s “Heroes”) will direct.
In “Nightmare in Lace,” John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) will direct an episode written by Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers). On her wedding day, a beautiful bride receives a mysterious note that reads: “The person you are marrying is a serial killer.”
I’ll update this story when I get something solid on the status of Carpenter.