Many of us recall our teenage years as a time of exhilarating but often terrifying experiences. The anxieties were real: Will our crush notice us? Do we risk embarrassment when mistakenly calling a teacher "mom"? Will our future hinge on a single test score? The fear of being labeled as weird or boring still lingers in our memories. Adolescence, a period of life filled with these everyday dilemmas, can often feel like a minefield of horrors.
Teenage Dilemmas in Fiction
The world of teenage dilemmas has been a rich source of inspiration for storytellers who blend the metaphorical monsters of everyday life with supernatural ones. Hit shows like "Stranger Things" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" have brilliantly navigated this fusion of the real and the supernatural, creating thrilling narratives that resonate with viewers of all ages.
New Horrors for Teens
As spooky season rolled in, two fresh teen-led horror series emerged to further explore these relatable teenage fears. "Fright Krewe," an animated series by DreamWorks set in New Orleans, is now available on Hulu and Peacock. Simultaneously, the classic "Goosebumps" book series by R.L. Stine has been resurrected in a new adaptation, streaming on Hulu and Disney+, with new episodes releasing every Friday.
The new "Goosebumps" series, developed by Rob Letterman (director of the 2015 "Goosebumps" film) and Nicholas Stoller ("Bros," "The Muppets"), offers a fresh take on the iconic stories. It follows a group of teens who, after a Halloween party at their teacher’s newly acquired haunted house, find themselves entangled in a mysterious town’s dark secrets. While they face supernatural challenges like haunted cameras and giant worms, the true horror lies in the everyday trials of high school life.
According to Pavun Shetty, an executive producer on "Goosebumps," the scariest aspect for these teens is not the ghosts but the anxieties of modern adolescence, such as fear of rejection.
Laughter and Scares
Executive producer Conor Welch highlights the similarities between humor and scares, with both relying on a similar cadence and rhythm: setup, setup, surprise. "Goosebumps" takes this concept and blends it with Stine’s popular books, aiming to make the show both genuinely scary and funny, just like the source material that made reading enjoyable for many.
Lessons in Fear
In this reimagined series, the first five episodes focus on individual teen characters confronting supernatural challenges they inadvertently unleashed. These challenges are intricately linked to their insecurities, creating both chilling thrills and valuable life lessons for the young protagonists.
‘Fright Krewe’: New Horrors for Kids
Similarly, "Fright Krewe," conceived by horror maestro Eli Roth and author James Frey, addresses the need for gateway horror for kids. The show follows high school classmates who accidentally release an evil demon, granting them special powers and revealing that local legends of supernatural creatures are not mere myths. The teenagers in "Fright Krewe" draw their powers from voodoo spirits, each chosen for a specific reason, enhancing the narrative’s depth.
"Goosebumps" and "Fright Krewe" both serve as compelling examples of how contemporary teen-led horror series are rooted in everyday life. While these shows offer supernatural thrills, they also masterfully weave in the relatable fears and insecurities of adolescence. The combination of genuine scares and poignant life lessons resonates with viewers of all ages, making these series a thrilling addition to the world of horror entertainment.
Teens Confronting Their Fears
Why was ‘Fright Krewe’ created?
Fright Krewe, the brainchild of horror maestro Eli Roth and author James Frey, was conceived in response to a noticeable absence of suitable gateway horror content for young audiences. The creators observed that while beloved classics like "Beetlejuice" exist, there was a significant lack of accessible and age-appropriate horror experiences for kids. In an effort to bridge this gap, Fright Krewe was developed, providing a captivating introduction to the horror genre for young viewers.
Is ‘Fright Krewe’ a good YA horror movie?
Fright Krewe proves to be an excellent choice for young adult (YA) audiences delving into the horror genre. Dealing directly with supernatural elements and featuring genuinely creepy villains, it offers a captivating gateway into the world of horror for young viewers. While striking a balance between real horror and teenage and YA themes can be challenging, the creative team behind Fright Krewe has skillfully risen to the occasion.
What is the scariest thing on ‘Goosebumps’?
According to Pavun Shetty, an executive producer on "Goosebumps," the scariest aspect of the show isn’t the supernatural elements like haunted cameras or giant worms. Instead, it’s the everyday challenges of being a high schooler in the modern world that truly terrify the characters. The fear of rejection when asking someone out, for example, is depicted as more harrowing than even a teacher possessed by a ghost.
Why did ‘Goosebumps’ come out?
Pavun Shetty, who had a personal connection with the original books and ’90s TV series, aimed to breathe new life into "Goosebumps." The objective for the revamped series was to provide an "elevated take" on the iconic stories. This approach involved subtly maturing the sensibilities of the show, as compared to previous versions, with the intention of expanding its reach and appeal to a wider audience.
What makes Goosebumps special?
"Goosebumps" stands out for its unique blend of R.L. Stine’s signature dry humor and its ability to create a TV show that strikes a balance. It offers a level of scariness that allows younger kids to explore the horror genre without being traumatized. This delicate equilibrium between chills and safety is what sets "Goosebumps" apart as something truly special.
Is ‘Fright Krewe’ coming to Hulu & Peacock?
Launched during the Halloween season, two new teen-led horror shows made their debut recently. Among them, Fright Krewe, an animated series set in New Orleans by DreamWorks, has its first season currently available on both Hulu and Peacock. Additionally, "Goosebumps," the adaptation of R.L. Stine’s beloved book series, is also streaming on Hulu and Disney+.
Is Goosebumps a good ’90s horror show?
Though not a grand-scale production, Goosebumps delivered young fans a dose of eerie creature effects and a solid initiation into the world of creature features. With its sharp plot twists, spooky music, and a delightful sense of humor, it stands out as one of the finest ’90s horror shows crafted especially for young viewers.