Remembering NBC’s Fear Itself

fear itself, NBC, horror, TV show, episodes, anthology, wendigo, the sacrifice

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.

fear itself, NBC, horror, TV show, episodes, anthology, wendigo, the sacrifice

My nemesis.

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.

fear itself, NBC, horror, TV show, episodes, anthology, wendigo, the sacrifice

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.

fear itself, NBC, horror, TV show, episodes, anthology, wendigo, the sacrifice

“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.

12 thoughts on “Remembering NBC’s Fear Itself

  1. I watched a fair bit of Masters Of Horror, before it morphed into this show. lots of misses, couple hits. like any horror anthology you’re gonna walk out saying “Well 2 of those were great”, and forget the rest.

    wanna see Udo Kier feed his intestines into a film projector? that happened!

    1. With pre walking dead and Dueces Wild Star Norman Reedus in John Carpenters episode entitled Cigarette Burns. I could only think of one episode of fear itself that was kinda blah and it was the one with Ethan Embry and had to do with Antiques.

  2. I loved Masters of Horror and was disappointed when Showtime cancelled it. I did not find out about Fear Itself until years later when I found the DVD at Walmart. There is simply not enough horror on TV and no anthology horror show that I’m aware of. I miss when we had Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Tales From The Crypt, Monsters and Tales from the Darkside all on TV. My favorite episode of Fear Itself is Darren Lynn Bousman’s New Year’s Day. An interesting twist on the zombie genre.

  3. Damn, I had forgotten all about this.
    I only remember watching the first three episodes before I stopped keeping up with it but I liked what I saw.

  4. This is all new to me, but interesting none the less. It’s too bad though; This show could find a third wind as a Netflix or Amazon series, but I doubt anyone will bother trying to bring it back from limbo. A little off-topic, but are you referring to Deliver Us From Evil, staring Eric Bana? I really liked that movie for some reason. The most jarring thing in that movie was Joel Mchale. That tall tree man has no business in the movie, with his out-of-place muscular arms. It was a bit off-putting.

    1. First of all thank you for not putting this epic battle on Twitter; just kidding! Unfortunately having read the book I was disappointed with how the director handled the film and Joel totally ruined it for me with his knife fighting nonsense. Its not a bad film, just not the one I expected from the director who gave us the exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. Speaking of exorcism; that scene was amazing! Definitely check out Fear Itself, I know you would like it brotha!

      1. Oh god, I totally forgot about his mad knife fighting skills lol. I can’t blame you man. If it had taken itself as seriously as Sinister it probably would have been a better movie. I’ll try checking out Fear Itself. I can probably spare ten bucks.

  5. Given the way NBC treated the likes of My Name is Earl and its own flagship, the Tonight Show, it seems like mishandling shows is the network’s specialty, but I may have to find out more about this show now.

    1. Your right and its sad since all the shows you mentioned including this one were all great but severly mishandled. You wont regret checking it out or the previous seasons of Masters of Horror.

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