So this was going to be run on Soda & Telepaths but with that place being rebranded and reviews no longer being a thing I’m going to run it over here instead. Why yes, this does mean at some point I might end up having to do a whole bunch of work moving 50+ reviews over here, you caught onto that… anyway, enjoy this look at a pretty great series
Behind the Monsters is a documentary series on Shudder that explores a different villain from horror history in every episode, covers the franchises that turned them into the iconic characters that they are and discusses their importance to the culture. Made up of interviews with cast, crew, critics and fans of each film, the franchise promises to cover such classic horror villains as Chucky, Freddy Krueger, Candyman, Jason Voorhees, Pinhead and the subject of the pilot episode that will be talked about today, Michael Myers from Halloween.
Based upon the first episode of Behind The Monsters, this looks to be a very promising franchise. You can almost split the episode into 2 halves, the first being a quick run-through of the franchise (oh boy is the Pinhead version of this going to be nuts!), talking about why each film was made and the fan reactions to it. The second half deals more with the importance of Michael Myers himself, what made him such a unique and captivating villain and how he has been popping up throughout pop culture ever since.
The segment of the episode dedicated to exploring the franchise itself is where you can tell this is made by a bunch of horror fans who know the series inside and out and aren’t afraid to call out the worst movies in the franchise when they see them. Talking about how important the first movie was, the strange love some people have for part 6 and why Halloween: Resurrection was a crime against humanity take up the bulk of the first half of the episode. It’s basically a great way to let the audience get on an even footing, if you haven’t caught up with all the movies in the series then this will give you all the information you need as quickly as possible.
Where this episode of Behind The Monsters gets truly special is when we get to the broader topic of how Michael Myers has lingered in pop culture legend. Not only does this section explore what makes Michael as terrifying as he is but explores how other shows/film/media have used his imagery as part of their stories. It’s this element of the episode that turns this series into something potentially special, turning these horror villains into folklore icons that will hopefully continue to be referenced and scare us for generations to come.
With only the pilot to go on, Behind the Monsters holds a lot of potential if every episode can match the tone of this one. All the interview subjects are fascinating, knowledgeable and varied, the use of archival footage works because it avoids the same clips that fans will have seen a thousand times over. If this series just maintains this tone and energy throughout the six-episode run this could be another slam dunk for Shudder. It’s engaging enough that any horror fan will be enthralled, but also is able to ease people in at any level of knowledge about each franchise.
Behind the Monsters is promising
Behind the Monsters has a lot of promise, the first episode, in particular, is just an educational delight that does a fantastic job at exploring what makes Michael Myers the fascinating villain he’s become. If this is the opener, I’m excited to see how they deal with everyone else. Hell, this format is so good that they could just do this with every 80s horror villain and I’d be fine with it. Fantastic opening, here’s hoping they keep that energy going.
Behind the Monsters is streaming on Shudder