Master of horror, John Carpenter, is bringing us a six-episode limited series spotlighting his adage that "nothing we create is as scary as reality." Premiering on Friday, October 13, John Carpenter's Suburban Screams is blending real-life horror with Carpenter's cinematic vision in a way that may have you eyeballing your neighbors. The stories are true crimes that happened right in our own suburban backyards, digging into the terrors of tree-lined suburban streets. Which honestly, comes as no surprise from the guy who made the picturesque suburb of Haddonfield more horrifying than any apocalyptic locale.
“I always say, ‘Nothing we create is as scary as reality,’ and that’s been the guiding philosophy for the series, which shows that your ‘safe zone’ is never truly safe,” Carpenter says. Carpenter returns to the director's chair for one episode of the series, which is described as using a blend of archival footage, personal photos, news clips and cinematic-level dramatic production. Additional episodes are directed by Roberts, Michelle Latimer, and Jan Pavlacky. John Carpenter's Suburban Screams is from Storm King Productions and DIGA Studios.
The six-episode series combines the aching suspense and visual language of horror films with the tools and techniques of documentaries — creating a uniquely unsettling experience for viewers. It’s produced by the director behind such horror masterpieces as Halloween, The Fog, The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness, along with producers Sandy King with Tony DiSanto, Jordan Roberts, Patrick Smith and Andy Portnoy.
“Victims of these crimes are never the same afterward. What they have lived through is true horror — worse than movies, and too often told from the perspective of the heinous murderers and stalkers,” says King. “No one talks about the wreckage left behind, and that is truly where the drama, and the terror, lie. We want viewers to come away from Suburban Screams unnerved and frightened but also filled with immense sympathy for the brave souls whose lives were endangered and all too often lost.”
As a blend of reality and scripted programming, the series captures real stories through the eyes of those who lived through these horrifying experiences, while lauding both survivors and victims as true heroes. Actually, take a look at the official John Carpenter's Suburban Screams trailer and see for yourself exactly what that looks like in action.
For a generation that grew up on true crime television like Unsolved Mysteries and Dateline, this feels in a similar vein, but injected with steroids. The reenactments on those shows always left much to be desired. It looks like this series asks the question, "But what if John Carpenter directed this?" And then answers the question. Find out the answer to that query on Friday, October 13 when John Carpenter's Suburban Screams premieres exclusively on Peacock.