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Necessary Evil: Horror TV Series About Killer Family

03.04.2016by: Mike Catalano

How the hell are ya, my fellow horror-ites?! I hope you enjoyed celebrating a very Happy Birthday To Me with our last Necessary Evil. Now, let's transition away from film. I was flipping through TV channels the other day and started thinking about the state of horror on TV. It ain't too bad, though it seems for an original horror TV show to have any kind of longevity, it has to reinvent itself with each season in order to survive. That's what American Horror Story does and Screams Queens is basically following suit. The Following tried to keep a continuous storyline over three seasons, but ended up really falling flat. The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, and Hannibal seem to have done things right, but they are all based on previous material. I want a horror TV show that is able to remain fresh season after season without resorting to reinvention every time. Let's try and make that happen!

IDEA: A horror TV show about a family of killers/slashers titled Main Street, USA.

OUTLINE: A good way to keep a horror-themed TV show running strong is to have an elusive villain. However, that may soon get tiring because people do eventually want to see the bad guy get caught or else the show becomes predictable and boring. That is why for Main Street, USA, I say we focus on a family of killers as the stars! I also feel that it should have a darkly comedic feel, like half-serious/half-funny, with bouts of intense violence layered in with darkly comical plot twists and turns. No sitcom laugh track shit.

The concept may seem a little similar to Dexter, however in that show, the lead killer wasn't exactly the bad guy. In fact, he was mostly portrayed as the hero, disposing of the trash of society. Make no bones, the killers on my show will not be working with the cops to catch bad/worse guys. This is a family of cold-blooded murderers along the lines of Michael Myers and Leatherface. They need to kill. Not sure if there has to be a motive behind it. I think it may be better to leave that unknown for the time being. Maybe they're all crazy? Maybe they're out for revenge? Maybe it's they're only way for survival? It may be scarier not knowing. Regardless, there will still be a strong bond between the family that will enable the viewer to relate in some way.

I'd make the family appear like your average, everyday unit. They have a home staked out somewhere in Anywhere, USA and do an excellent job of keeping their murderous ways under wraps. The husband has a day job as well as a very short fuse and a taste for torture. The wife is a homemaker who has a love of sharp objects and they way they pierce all kinds of flesh. Their son is a high school junior who has a very high intellect and a knack for using science to inflict pain. Their daughter is a high school freshman and uses a false shyness to cover up her numerous other insane personalities. Just think of all the crazy possibilities that could happen in each of these settings: an office, a stay-at-home mom group, and high school. You could have a separate mini-slasher movie going on with each setting!

Of course, the whole series wouldn't just be the family killing. Eventually, there are going to be consequences of their actions whether it be local law enforcement or nosy neighbors looking a little too closely at them. Some great suspense can be developed from the family attempting to evade capture as well as the family stalking potential victims. I say we embrace all the typical horror movie tropes: creepy masks, a survival girl (who may have a crush on the killers' son), and loads of creatively gory kills!

WHY IT COULD WORK: We already know that horror can work on TV. If the whole extreme suspense with dark doses of humor can be properly conveyed, I believe audiences would eat this up. Definitely have to keep the kills creative and scary, and the family dynamic engaging.

CHARACTERS: There will be the father, mother, son, and daughter. Typical nuclear family with a dark twist. Casting unknowns may be a smart move, but if anyone has some cool picks, I'd love to hear 'em. We also need to build a set of characters around our killers, so we need to include high school friends, work friends, stay-at-home-mom friends, maybe the school's principal as well. A whole community oblivious to the fact that there is a group of sadistic maniacs among them.

CONCLUSION: I think it's time we get an original, horror-themed show with seasonal longevity back on television. By focusing on an entire family of killers living secret, "normal" lives, it enables us to expand stories and episodes throughout four separate character arcs. If made interesting, intense, and darkly comedic, I could see horror fans and non-horror fans finding something to enjoy.

What's your take on this horror TV show idea? Do you long for more original horror on the boob tube? Or are you cool with the current crop of horror based on previous horror? Please, fire them bullets below! And if you have any ideas that you think should be made into horror reality, let me know at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

Extra Tidbit: What is your all-time favorite horror TV show?

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