When I think of the biggest horror disappointments, I think of Deliver Us from Evil, Boogeyman, and Exorcist: The Beginning. But none of these hold a candle to NBC’s short-lived horror anthology series Fear Itself. Unlike with the previously mentioned films, my disappointment is not with the show’s quality, but that it wasn’t given a chance to prove itself, cut short after only a few episodes, then put on hold for the 2008 summer Olympics. It was set to return once the games concluded, but this turned out to be false. Feat Itself was officially cancelled in 2009.
I have to give credit where credit is due: my love of horror comes directly from my mom, a big horror nerd herself back in the day. I still remember when she busted out the Blockbuster-exclusive Halloween VHS I still own today, introducing me to the Haddonfield killer known as Michael Myers. From that moment on, I was hooked on horror.
When Fear Itself premiered on June 5, 2008, we both got our popcorn ready and sat down for some good ol’ fashion horror. The premier is the strongest episode in my opinion, simply titled “The Sacrifice,” and helmed by Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies remake and the forthcoming Vin Diesel fantasy epic The Last Witch Hunter. No spoilers: the story is about a group of bank robbers who take refuge inside an old Civil War fort run by a group of sisters. But something is just not right about the place, and they soon find themselves in battle with an ancient evil.
When it comes to witchcraft, blondes do have more fun.
Fear Itself only aired for about a month, but was resurrected on DVD with the rest of the season finally available. Having watched each episode numerous times, I can honestly say there isn’t a bad one in the bunch — not surprising, since horror legends like Ronny Yu, Brad Anderson, John Landis, Stuart Gordon, and Darren Lynn Bousman all lent their directing talents. Any Until Dawn fans here? I have a treat for you: game writer Larry Fessenden offers a menacing tale about the largely unknown Native American creature called the “Wendigo.” Mrs. Moan4stallone loves this one, and we watch it at least twice a year. Sadly, it was also the last televised episode of the series.
I really don’t understand why NBC would spend the money to greenlight this show, only to let it die a month latter. It featured pre-Hollywood stars like Anna Kendrick and Orange Is the New Black cast member Pablo Schreiber, along with established actors like Ethan Embry, Brandon Routh, and Eric Roberts.
“Die, fake Ron Weasly!”
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to seek out this forgotten gem, which is currently under $10 on Amazon — use the links to support us!
If I still haven’t convinced you, here’s some more trivia: did you know this is actually the unofficial third season of Showtime’s Masters of Horror, and only got a name change due to changing networks? The jump from cable to network television actually strengthened the show, because it had to rely more on story and less on gore. Also, it has a wicked good theme song, written by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian, that will get stuck in your head faster than a Carly Rae Jepsen hit.
See ya, Laser Timers!
Moan4Stallone is Laser Time’s scare master. Hit him up on Twitter to talk terror.