After the recently announced acquisition of MGM by Amazon, the entertainment industry has tried to guess the potential impact. Many are wondering about the various TV shows owned by the corporation. While it is important to look at the television aspect, people should also be thinking about genre fare for the big screen. Horror has proven to be one of the most popular genres of the past several years. MGM has a number of horror properties at their disposal. Amazon's Prime Video has emerged as one of the largest streaming services in the world. It's safe to say one of the primary drivers for the studio purchase was to create new content for Amazon's platform. Some MGM content intellectual property could be turned into TV shows, while others could add new movies to their respected franchises. Reboots of long-forgotten stories could be made. Still, possibilities exist for some properties to be left alone. Here are 10(-ish) horror properties that may or may not be resurrected as a result of the Amazon-MGM deal.
Carrie centers around a teenage girl who suffers abuse at the hands of her deranged mother, along with bullying from her classmates. While going through the mistreatment, she slowly discovers she has telekinetic powers. The suffering and abilities eventually collide in a night of death and destruction. The first of Stephen King's novels, as well as film adaptations, Carrie has certainly not been kept out of the spotlight. The franchise has seen a 1999 sequel, and two remakes, one of which stars the talented Chloe Grace Moretz. An upcoming television miniseries is also currently in the works. While the show was originally supposed to air on FX, the new acquisition could change things. The show is still produced by MGM Television, which could cause complications between them and FX. At the very least, I would expect reruns of the series to be put on Amazon Prime. Neither of the remakes received anything near the acclaim of the 1976 classic. Yet, the story remains one of King's most beloved works. Given the poor reception to the remakes, as well as the iconic status of the original, the potential is certainly there for a streaming movie revival.
The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is on its basis about the investigation of a serial killer. To catch him, a young FBI agent enlists the help of Hannibal Lecter, unquestionably one of the greatest villains in all of fiction. MGM owns the rights to the iconic film. Unfortunately, they do not own the rights to the incredible, yet underrated Hannibal TV show. So, unless Amazon is willing to make some more purchases, don't expect a fourth season in the series. The film itself holds the distinction of winning the so-called 'Big Five' Academy Awards. It is widely regarded as one of the best movies of all time, regardless of genre. The status likely means a reboot is not likely to happen. Adding to the complexity is the fact that MGM does not own the entire franchise. If they did, then I would definitely expect a return. However, with the original's placement in film history, along with the lack of rights to the whole IP, a revival is unlikely.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Killer Klowns from Outer Space centers on the idea of clown-looking aliens who invade Earth to turn the human population into cotton candy cocoons. The victims' remains would then be consumed by the extra terrestrials. It's astonishing there has not been more made from this property. The original came out more than 30 years ago. A planned sequel had been cancelled. Speculation existed that another company, such as 20th Century Studios, had been interested in buying the rights. However, no news has come to indicate whether or not that interest survived the acquisition of 20th by Disney. The fact that a sequel was planned suggests that there is interest. The original is considered a cult classic. Syfy was in talks to create a sequel themselves. However, I would expect the purchase of MGM to affect that idea. I would expect a sequel to come to the new owner's streaming giant were it to be made. With all that Amazon money, there's a likeliness for a much bigger budget. Lovers of the first movie have waited a long time for a sequel and the online giant could provide fans something they have longed to see.
Candyman involves a slave who was murdered by a mob for conceiving a child with a woman of a different race. After being forcefully stung to death by bees, he comes back as a terrifying specter. The movie is based on the short story The Forbidden, by horror legend Clive Barker. The underrated original will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. One film led to two sequels of declining quality. Fortunately, a third sequel/revival is coming soon, this time being produced by Jordan Peele. Acquisitions take quite a bit of time to complete. Amazon has revealed they will not make MGM's James Bond movies streaming exclusives. Even if the deal was already done, they would likely not make a title like Candyman that is set for theaters to be available only to Prime members. Of all the properties in this list, the chances for more projects in this franchise to be created are the highest. Amazon could not go wrong with keeping the current talent involved.
While it may not be as talked about as it once was, the first Poltergeist remains a classic piece of horror. The original's success led to two '80's sequels, a '90's TV show, and a 2015 remake. In April 2019, an announcement of the Avengers: Endgame directors helming a second revival was made. They could join their work with Amazon to create the reboot. Unfortunately, due to real life tragedies, multiple actors from the original would be unable to revive their roles. A reboot is the most likely option. Add in how the potential directors made the second highest grossing movie ever, and you have a recipe for success. Amazon would be wise to have the creative minds stick around. Losing them could impact the potential quality of new installments. Since Poltergeist needs to have a mid to large budget, a reboot would probably be released in theaters. A possible simultaneous release date on streaming and theaters could occur, given the strategies that have recently been tested by studios.
Coming in 1979, the Amityville Horror series is over 40 years old. It is based on the real crimes of Ronald DeFeo Jr. and the supposed haunting that took place afterwards. Multiple sequels and a 2005 reboot starring Ryan Reynolds add up to a total of 11 movies. While the property has done pretty well financially, the economic success has not come with critical acclaim. None of the films have a Rotten Tomatoes score higher than 30%. However, the sheer number of films shows people have an interest in the property. Someone could easily see either a TV show or movie revival being created. Given the relatively low budget required, any project would likely go straight to Amazon Prime.
The main recurring character of Pumpkinhead is the titular demon. The entity is summoned to kill people, at the request of other humans. The original was the directorial debut of Stan Winston, known for iconic special effects work in the Terminator, Predator, and Jurassic Park franchises. While not a critical darling, the first Pumpkinhead did well enough at the box office to warrant three sequels. A revival was also rumored to happen. A director for the reboot was never announced. However, other key roles were apparent. Producing was supposed to be done by Saw executive producer Peter Block. The production start date was stated to be in 2017. It's safe to say that particular installment is not going to happen. However, the recent purchase of MGM means that another version of a revival could occur. Different creative talents would likely be hired to create the best vision possible. A new film with the benefits of CGI could make something worthwhile.
Attractive vampires usually get all the glory, but in Teen Wolf, writers decided to give attractive werewolves a chance. The popular television series lasted from 2011 to 2017. Reboots of beloved TV shows are all the rage these days. However, this particular property is far too recent to get a revival. Most show reboots are about properties created decades ago. Fans seemed happy with how the show played out. Why should creators make something that could potentially alienate people who were satisfied with how a series ended by just creating more episodes? A movie is most likely not going to exist either. Most film adaptations of popular TV shows have not turned out well. At most, I could see the TV show being put exclusively on Amazon Prime.
A sci-fi horror franchise, Species revolves around a female alien-human hybrid who goes around seducing the men around her. The original had mixed reviews, and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 43%. The critic site's critical consensus says, "Species shows flashes of the potential to blend exploitation and sci-fi horror in ingenious ways, but is ultimately mainly interested in flashing star Natasha Henstridge's skin." The original made more than $100 million worldwide, so, sequels naturally occurred. In this case, three new installments were added. Critical acclaim did not follow for those films, either. A potential revival is probably not going to be brought into the world. Most general audiences have likely not even heard of the series. Name recognition is valuable in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately for Species, the IP simply does not have the recognition or asset value.
MGM is well known for its main studio. What viewers may not realize is that they also own the production company Orion. As one company is bought, everything it owns thus becomes a part of the purchaser. The subsidiary has its fair share of horror properties that could be revived. Here are some titles that could be brought back from the brink of death.
The Belko Experiment
This film is like if the Japanese Battle Royale met white collar life. The Belko Experiment is basically about a group of office employees who are put into a situation where they have to fight each other to the death. Critical reception was mixed upon release. A description in Rotten Tomatoes reads, "The Belko Experiment offers a few moments of lurid fun for genre enthusiasts, but lacks enough subversive smarts to consistently engage once the carnage kicks in." Unlike the similarly themed Hunger Games series, The Belko Experiment was not a smashing box office success. The film only made about $11 million. Considering multiple horror movies make over $100 million, the part of the list does not stack up well. Amazon, like any other business, wants to make as much money as possible. Having a revival of a low box office earner does not seem appealing to them. In their minds, too much risk is present. This title definitely has lower expectations of ever seeing a new project.
The Prodigy features yet another creepy child who may or may not be supernaturally possessed by something otherworldly. Like The Belko Experiment, this film does not have any sequels or spinoffs. No future installments are currently planned, and I would not think that is going to change. Critics overall had mixed feelings about the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus states, "The Prodigy doesn't take the bad seed genre to any truly new places, but for horror fans in search of an evil child to fear, it might still be worth a watch." Responses from entertainment experts might not matter as much if audiences love the stories. Viewers did not seem to love the project. On Cinemascore, a rating system for audience expectations, the movie has an average "C+". Another way to find viewer opinions, PostTrack, are written to have a 64% overall positive score and a 44% "definite recommend." Perhaps everyone is sick of seeing demons take control of children.
Arguably the most well known franchise on the list, Child's Play stars the infamous doll Chucky. Since 1988, he has terrified and enthralled audience members around the globe. Each story has the killer doll finding creative new ways to take out his victims. The first couple movies were mostly positively reviewed. As the series leaned more into the comedy direction, reception declined. Recently, the last couple of films have turned back to the positive. A reboot starring the best Joker, Mark Hammill, as Chucky came out in 2019. However, there are plans to keep the original continuity going. This is a franchise that you can definitely expect to find new installments. As he was talking to Bloody Disgusting, Don Mancini said, "I would like to do Freddy and Chucky, just because I think they would be a fun double act. I'm more really interested in the characters. My pitch for Freddy vs. Chucky is Child's Play on Elm Street. Chucky ends up in some kid's house on Elm Street, and Chucky and Freddy inevitably meet in the dreamscape. Chucky sleeps. Why not? Chucky sleeps, Chucky dreams. And they have this admiration for each other. But they realize quickly that Elm Street isn't big enough for the two of them, so in a riff on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, they have a contest: who can kill the most teenagers before the sun comes up?" A possible crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street is not the only planned installment in the works. He also wants to create a new film set on a train. Additionally, a television series already has the ball rolling in terms of being created. Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent are set to return to their respective roles as Andy Barclay and Tiffany. While the program was planned to release on Syfy, don't be surprised if it ends up getting moved to a certain Amazon platform. In July 2020, Syfy revealed the official synopsis, which reads, "In the series, titled Chucky, after a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, an idyllic American town is thrown into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begin to expose the town's hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of enemies and allies from Chucky's past threatens to expose the truth behind the killings, as well as the demon doll's untold origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster." This is the one franchise on the list where there are currently multiple projects being discussed. The future of the franchise is looking very bright. New installments are absolutely guaranteed to come.
Gretel and Hansel
The franchise with the most recently released project on the list, Gretel and Hansel is a modern telling of the classic fairy tale. Gretel and Hansel stars Sophia Lillis of It fame and newcomer Sam Leaky as the titular duo. On their journey, they come across a terrifying witch who wishes to consume the kids. No sequels have been announced to the public. New ownership does not mean the circumstances are going to change. I would think no further installments will be created. The film received mixed reviews. It may have done well financially, grossing $21 million on a $5 million budget. Audience reception was not overwhelmingly high. On Cinemascore, Gretel and Hansel has a description of a "C-." When talking about favorite horror films of the last decade, Gretel and Hansel is usually not brought up. Had viewers loved the story more, the possibility for a future would be higher. Responses from audiences were not substantial.
Remember that some of these predictions could turn out out to be true. A few expected installments might never come to fruition. Others that are not expected to have revivals could end up having beloved new stories. These are just the thoughts of what could occur in the years to come. New parts of the Child's Play series are definitely happening, though.