- Hulu’s horror anthology series, Monsterland, is now streaming.
- With stars like Ozark’s Charlie Tahan, Star Wars’ Kelly Marie Tran, and Orange Is The New Black‘s Taylor Schilling, each episode packs its own scary story and individual star power.
- Here’s what we know about a second season of the series.
Anthology series are nothing new—just look at The Twilight Zone—and yet they’ve become more and more popular in the modern age of television, especially in recent years. The big one is obviously Black Mirror, a futuristic sci-fi/horror series that puts us, the viewers, right in front of a literal mirror to tell us just how terrifying some of the things we do every day really are. It’s October, now, and Hulu is taking that same idea and hoping it will land for a series of its own.
Monsterland, the new episodic anthology series from creator Mary Laws (who wrote Nicolas Winding Refn‘s wild film The Neon Demon and has been a writer/producer on shows such as HBO’s Emmy-winning Succession and Seth Rogen‘s Preacher) is just as sharp as those previous credits would suggest. Anyone looking for a seasonal October horror tune out has come to the right place. And with a cast that includes appearances from the likes of Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars), Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black), Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, Unbelievable), and Charlie Tahan (Wyatt Langmore on Ozark), each episode has a recognizable star to match its creepy hook.
Laws, as the showrunner, wanted to do something a little different—tell stories centering women, and ones that could be in horror situation where they weren’t necessarily just running from a serial killer.
“I think that its safe to say that as forward-moving as Hollywood is, I don’t think there are opportunities for women’s stories on screen, for women in leadership roles and for women protagonist roles,” Laws said during a virtual PaleyFest event. “I think so often I found myself in a room with a lot of men making decisions—especially men making decisions about stories about women. I didn’t want that to be the case in our series.”
Laws said she was inspired by movies like Rosemary’s Baby. For example, in one episode (titled “Iron River, MI”) Tran plays a woman who feels neglected, and wants to live a life other than her own; subject matter like privilege, jealousy, envy, and animalistic human instinct all come into play.
Each episode here is named for the city in which its set—the first is “Port Funcheon, LA,” and the second is “Eugene, OR”—and the stories aren’t afraid to be serious, dark and grim—but nonetheless be great horror, chilling enough for fans of The Outsider or Stephen King or whatever else might float your boat.
But once you’re done burning through these first 8 episodes, its fair to wonder—what’s next? Well, there’s a ton of horror movies and halloween movies to get into. But Monsterland might have more where that comes from, too.
Will there be a Season 2 of Monsterland?
It’s hard to say so early; with new shows, Hulu generally takes about a month or more to announce decisions. The Great, for instance, was released in mid-May and got its official Season 2 pickup in early July. High Fidelity, on the other hand, was released on Valentine’s Day and news of its cancellation (booooo!) dropped on August 5th.
So that’s all to say: we don’t know just yet. Monsterland, in theory, would be relatively easy to keep going. Since its an episodic anthology series, you wouldn’t need to convince any actors to stay on from season-to-season; each episode, each season, can have an entirely different cast.
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