Shudder: Cursed Films will explore the sinister origins of your favorite horror films

Photo: Cursed Films: A Shudder Original Series.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: Cursed Films: A Shudder Original Series.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Shudder has announced that its original docu-series Cursed Films will debut on the horror streaming service a month after its SXSW premiere.

Written and directed by Jay Cheel (How to Build a Time Machine), Cursed Films is a five-part Shudder Original series that will take a deep dive into some legendary films that suffered mishaps, accidents, and even deaths. Are these stories all true, or are they partly urban legend?

Each episode will focus on a single film, with Poltergeist leading the pack in episode one. The other movies explored will be The Exorcist, The Omen, The Crow, and Twilight Zone: The Movie.

For an example of the kind of legends surrounding these films, let’s take a quick look at Poltergeist, released on June 4, 1982. Exactly five months after the film opened, 22-year-old Dominique Dunne, who played the Freelings older daughter Dana, was strangled to death by her boyfriend.

Heather O’Rourke was only six years old when she played youngest daughter Carol Anne, around whom the haunting activity in the story was centered. In 1988, she was misdiagnosed with a case of the flu and suffered cardiac arrest. At age 12, during emergency surgery to remove a bowel obstruction, she passed away.

Cursed Films
Photo: Cursed Films: A Shudder Original Series.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Actress JoBeth Williams (who played Diana Freeling, everyone’s favorite cool mom in a horror movie) has claimed that real skeletons were used in the iconic muddy pool scene. This led some people to believe that may be the reason for the film’s supposed curse.

There are also a few other stories related to Poltergeist, but in the interest of not spoiling too much, we won’t go into detail. The other focus films in the series have equally spooky stories attached, including that of a serial killer who played a small speaking role in one of them.

The first two episodes of Cursed Films (Poltergeist and The Omen) will have their world premiere at SXSW on March 13. Writer/Director Jay Cheel is expected to be in attendance for that.

On April 2, the series will begin streaming on Shudder with The Exorcist episode, then Poltergeist and The Omen will air on April 9, with The Crow and Twilight Zone: The Movie following on April 16.

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Will you be watching Shudder’s newest docu-series in April? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section.

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