As we’ve said on this site before, horror is enjoying a full-blown renaissance on the small screen, particularly in the territories of basic and premium cable. THE WALKING DEAD, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, PENNY DREADFUL, BATES MOTEL, HANNIBAL, the list can (and most certainly will) go on, with new titles and spin-offs being announced on a near-daily basis. It only makes sense that some of the old school Masters of Horror would want to get in on the action, and FANGORIA has learned (via Variety) that the man who brought us Freddy and Ghostface himself, Wes Craven, has just made a deal to bring two new series to the Syfy network, one of which is based on his 1991 socially-conscious fright flick, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS.

The film’s plot concerns a young kid named Fool who, desperate to earn some money so his family can avoid being evicted, teams up with his sister’s hooligan boyfriend (played by a young Ving Rhames) and another low-life to rob the landlord’s house. Unfortunately for the trio of would-be thieves, The landlords (played by Everett McGill and Wendy Robie, who were already known for their respective roles as a somewhat unhinged married couple on TWIN PEAKS) are a pair of psychotic Jesus-freak racists who actively prey upon the poor of their community, and also happen to have droves of  mutated, mutilated children trapped in their basement.

While it’s not the most critically acclaimed entry in Craven’s filmography, the film’s underlying themes of socio-economic inequality, mixed with its dark sense of humor and gonzo set pieces (Everett McGill running around the halls in full S&M garb with a shotgun, for starters) could provide fertile ground for an entertaining TV adaptation. According to Syfy’s press release, the show will center around “centuries-old horrors discovered deep within an estate after a girl goes missing,” and promises to be a tonal mix of DOWNTON ABBEY and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.

And if that news isn’t enough to get any of you horrorhounds excited, Craven will also be writing and directing the pilot for the upcoming series WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, based on Daryl Gregory’s novel of the same name. The story concerns a group of horror-movie scenario survivors who are gathered by a mysterious therapist to a form a support group for their unique traumas- only to inadvertently unleash the old evils that haunt them. Could this be DREAM WARRIORS for a new generation? This writer certainly hopes so.

Stay tuned for more details on these shows as they come out, and WELCOME TO PRIME TIME, WES!

About the author
Christopher La Vigna
Christopher La Vigna is a writer, filmmaker, and the newest batch of blood to be welcomed into the haunted halls of FANGORIA. He’s a graduate of Hunter College*, and can be found lurking around any movie theater or comic shop near his person. You can argue about movies with him on Twitter: @Chris_LaVigna
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