CURSED FILMS: Docu-Series Gives Shudder Second Highest Premiere And Most-Watched Documentary
I am not one to usually write up how well a show or series premieres on a given network. But, I was quite taken with the new Shudder original series Cursed Films, the docu-series that looks beyond popular myth and legend of some of our favorite horror films. I must be in good company because another record number of viewers watched the premiere last week.
Cursed Films was the second most-watched series premiere for Shudder and the most-watched documentary premiere. If these numbers were bolstered by new subscribers taking advantage of the one free month Shudder is offering, or, the sheer number of us obeying stay-at-home orders provided a true-to-word captive audience, should not matter. Cursed Films is a good series and worthy of this achievement.
Episodes two and three, about The Omen and Poltergeist, released today and were the two episodes I covered in my review of the show. You can read that review here.
The Shudder original series Cursed Films debuted to huge numbers for the streaming service, becoming the second most-watched series premiere in Shudder history behind only breakout hit Creepshow. Cursed Films also stands as the service’s most-watched documentary premiere (series or film) ever. The series, which is part of Shudder’s “Halfway to Halloween Month” programming lineup, released its second and third episodes earlier today, focused on The Omen and Poltergeist.“Cursed Films became an instant hit for us across every metric we have, including total number of viewers, percentage of subscribers who watched during its opening weekend, and completion rate,” said Craig Engler, Shudder’s General Manager. “Jay Cheel’s thoughtful — and at times heartbreaking — examination of the tragic events that led people to label films like The Exorcist and The Omen ‘cursed’ has clearly resonated with audiences and critics.”“The entire Cursed Films team is thrilled by the enthusiastic response the series has received from critics and horror fans,” said series writer/director Jay Cheel. “It was a deeply gratifying experience traveling around the US and Canada, interviewing some childhood horror heroes along with some of the most intelligent, articulate, and empathetic subjects a documentary filmmaker could ask for. We're so excited to finally be able to share the finished product with Shudder's members who we hope find the experience of watching Cursed Films as rewarding as we did making it.”Cursed Films explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously “cursed” horror film productions through interviews with experts, witnesses and the cast, directors and producers who experienced these events first hand. Were these movies really cursed, as many believe, or just victims of bad luck and bizarre circumstances? The Exorcist star Linda Blair, The Omen director Richard Donner, Poltergeist III director Gary Sherman, podcaster Matt Gourley, critic April Wolfe and Fangoria editor Phil Nobile Jr are among the many insiders and experts interviewed for the series.Last week’s record-breaking premiere focused on the legend and impact of The Exorcist “curse.” Episodes two and three, premiering today, explore whether the Devil himself might have cursed The Omen, and if a curse might be connected to the tragic deaths associated with the Poltergeist franchise. The final two episodes, examining the horrific deaths on the sets of The Crow and Twilight Zone: The Movie, will premiere Thursday, April 16.Cursed Films is written, directed and edited by Jay Cheel (How to Build a Time Machine) and executive produced by Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith and Laura Perlmutter for First Love Films, along with Jay Cheel and Brian Robertson.