Crypt keeper

With horror series like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story doing so well, TNT has decided to get in the game by producing a new Tales from the Crypt series. The series was announced last year and will be produced and curated by horror director M Night Shyamalan.

An atmospheric trailer for the property has dropped already.

While this doesn’t tell us much about the series it’s still great to see things moving forward.

A follow-up video with Shyamalan himself stays vague while giving us a hint of what the two-hour horror block might entail.

Shyamalan discusses the influence the original Tales from the Crypt series and comics have had on him as a filmmaker. There are scenes from popular horror films throughout and Shyamalan seems to imply that the format of the program may change from week-to-week. It’s as interesting as it is vague and I remain hopeful.

The most important news is the confirmation that The Cryptkeeper himself will be involved in the new series.

I love the original ’90s HBO series as well as the cartoon series, Tales from the Cryptkeeper. A lot of people are wary about Shyamalan seemingly spearheading this reboot, but I’m extremely hopeful. He has a fantastic eye for arresting horror imagery and, as he said in the video, Tales from the Crypt has this ironic humour to it which I believe he also understands well. He has had a slump in his career, but that was mainly focused around big budget movies that didn’t suit his sensibilities. Shyamalan’s return to form with The Visit and Split proves that he belongs in the world of horror and suspense.

I’ll definitely be watching once the series airs, presumably some time this year.

In the mean time, a lot of the HBO episodes of the series are available on YouTube. If you’re not familiar with the original series I’ll throw out a few of my favourites that are worth watching:

“The Man Who Was Death” (Season 1, Episode 1)

A laid off prison executioner takes justice into his own hands. Directed by Walter Hill and starring William Sadler in a fantastic lead performance.

“And All Through the House” (Season 1, Episode 2)

A plotting wife is terrorized by a serial killer dressed like Santa Claus. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Mary Ellen Trainor and a deranged Larry Drake.

“Cutting Cards” (Season 2, Episode 3)

Two gamblers face off in a series of contests with the ultimate stakes. Walter Hill directs again and character actors Lance Henriksen and Kevin Tighe revel in the dark comedy.

“Carrion Death” (Season 3, Episode 2)

An escaped con is on the run for the border and ends up being handcuffed to the dead cop who was pursuing him. It’s worth it for the charismatic and intense performance from Kyle MachLachlan as the convict.

“Split Second” (Season 3, Episode 11)

A story of love, lumberjacks, deceit, and revenge. Pure pulpy goodness ripped straight from EC comics.

“What’s Cookin'” (Season 4, Episode 6)

A down-on-their-luck couple manage to turn their diner around with the help of a drifter and some mysterious meat. The episode is worth it just to watch Christopher Reeve cooking up some human.

Michael Walls-Kelly

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