The thing about curses is that when you obsess over them, their omens appear to multiply. Such is the case for Cursed Films, the cult docuseries on the Shudder streaming service in which some of the most famous “curses” associated with popular Hollywood films are re-explored and in some cases recontextualized. The series, which is one of the streaming service’s biggest hits is also coming back for more, with Shudder announcing Cursed Films Season 2 is a go Thursday afternoon.
“Season one of Cursed Films captivated audiences with its thoughtful but unflinching exploration of the often tragic events surrounding some of history’s most notorious productions, becoming an instant hit for us and earning rave reviews from both critics and viewers,” Shudder General Manager Craig Engler said. “Since its debut, the number one question we’ve been asked is: Will there be more, and how soon? We’re delighted to say that we’re partnering with Jay [Cheel] once again for a second season of Cursed Films that will be even bigger and better than the first.”
Jay Cheel is the writer, director, and executive producer behind the first season of the series. Taking a slightly more skeptical eye than a lot of televised productions about Hollywood “curses,” Cheel reexamined the tragedies and rumors associated with classic Hollywood productions like The Exorcist, The Omen, Poltergeist, The Crow, and Twilight Zone: The Movie.
“Filming season one of Cursed Films was an amazing experience,” Cheel said in a statement, “so I’m thrilled to have the chance to interview a new group of talented filmmakers and film critics while exploring the stories behind five more legendarily ill-fated film productions. This time around we’ll be heading outside of North America for a few episodes, which will not only widen the scope of the series but offer an exciting collection of stories connected to a diverse group of movies.”
Some of the stories Cheel revisited in series are well-worn for horror movie hounds, such as the fact The Exorcist set caught fire or that Gregory Peck was almost onboard a plane that tragically crashed before going to film The Omen. But some of the better elements of the new series were how Cheel was able to debunk or challenge the gossip mill that surrounds these pictures. When Den of Geek had the opportunity to speak with Cheel last spring, he spoke candidly about getting Craig Reardon, the special effects makeup artist on Poltergeist, to talk about the real skeletons used in that film’s climactic sequence.
“When I first reached out to [Reardon], he was definitely not interested,” Cheel told us. “His initial response was that he would sue me personally if we even mentioned his name in the series… When people are suggesting choices he made could have potentially led to the deaths of actors involved in the production, he takes extreme personal offense to that.” But in the end, Reardon “saw it as some cathartic opportunity to just lay it all out there.”
You can watch that resulting interview on the first season of Cursed Films, which is available on Shudder now.