NBC’s “Fear Itself”

NBC’s Fear Itself
Horror Masters Say Fear Itself Is A Real Scream

 

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Mike Garris, the creator of “Fear Itself”

Following in the scary tradition of classic television shows The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits, and Tales From the Crypt comes NBC’s Fear Itself, airing Thursday nights at 10pm. It’s a 13-episode anthology series that has some outstanding producers, directors, writers and performers hoping to scared the stuffing out of you.

The audience for the show are the people love to be scared. The ones who enjoy horror movies and go on the thrill rides at amusement parks, just so they can scream at the top of their lungs.

Signing on for the scream-fest is Brandon Routh, who starred as the Man of Steel on the big screen in Superman Returns. Routh says his “Community” episode is a very powerful story that is ultra scary “because it taps into our primal fear of being in circumstances in which we lose control. That’s something everyone can identify with, and is more frightening than seeing a ghost. We can see ourselves going through the same life-or-death circumstances over which we have no control. That’s scary.”

So what’s Routh’s real-life big fear? “I don’t really have one, I’m sorry. Perhaps the loss of a loved one, because it’s probably the worst thing I can think of. Everything else is physical, and I feel like I can change things that might create a moment of fear in situations. But it’s the emotional stuff that’s a real challenge,” says the fearless Brandon, who would make Superman proud.

Some of the other talented people involved with the show have been giving audiences the creeps for many years. Mick Garris, the creator of Fear Itself, is the mastermind behind the great Masters of Horror series on Showtime. Garris has also written, produced and/or directed many of the Stephen King productions. The Stand, The Shining, and recently Stephen King’s Desperation, were among Garris’ miniseries.

On the big screen Garris did Sleepwalkers, Critters, Psycho IV and The Beginning, and is in pre-production on King’s Bag of Bones.

Garris, whose biggest success has been in the horror genre, decries the over-use of technology to make audiences scream. “I have a tough time with these huge effects movies because I know they are all effects, and they don’t feel solid. I don’t believe the actors are interacting with the danger, so there is no sense of danger for me.”

He says the amazing things you can do with special effects are great, “but just remember that they are just a tool in telling a story, and not the end-all.”

He promises there’s great storytelling and a real sense of danger in the Fear Itself episodes. Some of the best are “Sacrifice” with Jesse Plemons, “Eater” with Elisabeth Moss, and “Spooked” starring Eric Roberts.

Other chilling tales are directed by such award-winning filmmakers as John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Darren Bousman (Saw II, III and IV), Breck Eisner (Sci-Fi Channel’s The Invisible Man), and Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason). Executive producers Keith Addis and Andrew Deane worked with Garris on Masters of Horror and Masters of Science Fiction, and they boast Fear Itself is “very imaginative about how it terrifies its audience.”

Turn the lights out and tune in!


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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