It seems like every day there is a classic horror movie getting a new look, whether it be a remake, sequel or, in many cases recently, a move to television. The latest horror movie to head to the small screen is “The Omen.” The movie, originally released in 1976, told the story of the birth of the Antichrist, who is placed in an influent family so when he grows up, he will already be in a place of power. The original movie, directed by Richard Donner (“Superman,” “Goonies”), starred Gregory Peck as the father, and spawned a number of sequels.
The new version of “The Omen” will come to television in the upcoming series “Damien,” which will tell the story of the Antichrist grown up as an adult, where he must finally bring about the end of days. Glen Mazzara, the man who ran “The Walking Dead” for the second and third seasons, has been tapped to write the series, which will appear on Lifetime. With “The Omen” coming to television, here is a look at other classic horror movies that found their way to television.
When looking at bringing a classic horror movie to television as an ongoing series that still pays respect to the original, “Hannibal” is the series that all others must be judged. The TV series is based on the movies based on Thomas Harris’ novels, which started in 1981 with the movie “Manhunter,” before rebooting in 1991 with “Silence of the Lambs.” The “Hannibal” TV series is a prequel to the movies, showing how Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham first came in contact before the events of “Manhunter,” which was also remade as “Red Dragon.” The second season just ended and “Hannibal” remains one of the best critically acclaimed series on television.
A second prequel that critics seem to love is “Bates Motel,” the story of the serial killer Norman Bates when he was a child, years before the events of “Psycho.” Before the TV series, Norman Bates appeared in four movies, including the original, which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. There was also a made-for-TV movie, that was a sequel, and then “Bates Motel” started in 2013, showing how Norman ended up in the spot he was. The show also introduced the mysterious mother that caused so much damage to Norman Bates’ psyche over the years.
While not a regular television series, 2014 saw the premiere of a TV miniseries based on Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby.” Unlike the others mentioned here, this was a straight remake of the original, moving the action from New York City to Paris. It had an impressive cast, with Zoe Saldana starring as Rosemary, but it failed to match the fear and dread that Polanski achieved with his original. It is a case where the transfer couldn’t match up to the brilliance that came before.