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Tales From the Crypt returning to TV

January 10, 2016

 

TNT plans to scare audiences and maybe make them laugh a bit with a Tales From the Crypt revival. The series based on the classic EC horror comics of the 1950s is being executive produced by M Night Shyamalan. Tales will be part of a two-hour block of programming aimed at freaking you out.

 

Shyamalan blew folks away with The Sixth Sense in 1999 and then put his own spin on the concept of superheroes with Unbreakable, but started losing fans with Signs as his penchant for gotcha twist endings started to rub people the wrong way.

 

Since then, he’s done panned movies like The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth, but in the past few years he seems to be on the upswing by directing last year’s The Visit, which earned $97 million worldwide off of a $5 million budget, and is also producing the creepy Wayward Pines for Fox. Maybe he’s found his groove again with television, only time will tell, but at least he’s enthusiastic about the project.

“To be part of such a beloved brand like Tales from the Crypt, something I grew up watching, and to also have the chance to push the boundaries of genre television as a whole, is an inspiring opportunity that I can’t wait to dive into,” he said.

 

Tales from the Crypt launched from EC Comics in 1950 and ran until 1955. Packed with short stories drawn by masters of the craft like Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, and Al Williamson, the actual tales usually ended with a twist that would make O Henry proud (or wince). In 1972, British studio Amicus created an anthology film featuring five stories from Tales as well as its sister titles Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear.

 

In 1989, HBO started airing a TV version that continued the anthology format of the comics feautring different stars and directors each week. Executive produced by Richard Donner, Joel Silver, Walter Hill, Robert Zemeckis, and David Giler, the show lasted seven seasons all hosted by a wild pun-loving puppet version of the comic’s narrator the Cryptkeeper.

 

It will be interesting to see how this series is handled by Shyamalan and his crew. He obviously loves the same kinds of endings that the comics thrived on, and anthology horror is huge on television these days, but is there space for a wacky rotting corpse presenting the stories? We shall see.

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