As we head towards Halloween, many horror fans will look to revisit their favorite frightening films to get them into the spirit of the spooky season, with AMC offering audiences even more excitement by delivering Season 3 of Eli Roth’s History of Horror, a series which dives deep into a variety of beloved subgenres. While the series itself might not be entirely unsettling, each episode is an informative exploration of the evolution of different of subgenres, with Season 3 set to explore holiday-related horror, mad scientists, and apocalyptic scenarios. Check out the trailer for Season 3 of Eli Roth’s History of Horror above before it premieres on AMC+ on September 25th and on AMC on October 1st.
The breakdown of Season 3’s topics are as follows:
“Sequels (That Don’t Suck)“
- Premieres Friday, October 1st at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and Saturday, September 25th on AMC+
- Everybody knows that when you see a number or a Roman numeral next to a title, beware! But if that’s true, why are sequels so popular? They wouldn’t make them if people didn’t go to see them. Maybe it’s because we want to dive back into dark worlds that frightened and fascinated us the first time around…or we want to see the characters we bonded with back in action. And there’s another reason that’s rarely acknowledged: sometimes sequels are as good as or even better than the originals. They can take a proven commodity and turn it into something fresh and wild, like Joe Dante’s anarchic anti-sequel Gremlins 2; or they can take a strong concept and root it in up-to-the-second social issues, like Gerard McMurray’s incendiary The First Purge.
- This episode has a mission: to redeem the reputation of this most maligned of cinematic categories. After all, just because you weren’t first doesn’t mean you can’t be the best.
- Premieres Friday, October 8th at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+
- There were two kinds of people in 2020 and 2021: those who watched movies about infectious diseases, and those who did not. Horror fans tend to fall into the first category because that’s a major appeal of the genre: it is both a cathartic release for our worst fears (things are bad, but it could be worse — look what happened to Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion) and a way of rehearsing for real-life nightmares.
- Our fear of infection runs deep. But as these films and real-life show us, so does the human capacity for survival.
- Premieres Friday, October 15th at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+
- What’s the downside of having psychic powers? The idea of being able to read minds or manipulate objects without moving a muscle is an attractive fantasy. But what if those powers showed you things you wished you hadn’t seen? What if people wanted to exploit your gift for their own sinister ends? Worse than that: what if someone with psychic abilities turned their powers against you?
- Movies about psychics play on the ego of our species — humans rose to the top thanks to their large, multilayered brains — but they also exploit our insecurities. We understand little about cognition and the nature of free will, and we know we’re just a brain tumor away from radical personality shifts and psychotic behavior. The fear of psychic powers gone wrong is the fear of our own turbulent minds.
- Premieres Friday, October 22nd at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+
- The bigger they come, the harder they fall. And when it comes to human civilizations, the modern world is as big and populous as it has ever been, so when the fall comes, it will be spectacular. The collapse of the Roman Empire was followed by roughly a thousand years of hard times for the human race. The collapse of the modern world will likely be even more traumatic.
- But as history tells us and horror movies confirm, humans can survive just about anything, including world wars, global plagues, mass famines, and, maybe, a zombie apocalypse. The ones who make it through may be the horror fans who have absorbed the lessons taught by end-of-the-world spectaculars like World War Z, Train to Busan, Zombieland, War of the Worlds, I Am Legend, The Omega Man, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The World’s End, and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Premieres Friday, October 29th at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+
- It started with Black Christmas. Bob Clark’s groundbreaking slasher film took the then-shocking notion of setting a sorority bloodbath at Christmastime, offering a dark contrast to the joy of the holiday season. Halloween came a few years later, and its success spawned a slew of holiday-themed horror movies. The idea still catches fire every decade or so, retooled for new generations of viewers.
- Why are these films so popular? It’s partly because horror is the bad boy of cinema, always looking for ways to upset the status quo and topple sacred cows. To horror creators, the purity of a holiday is just waiting to be splashed with stage blood. But the deeper reason is that holidays are times when we gather with our families, and that can be joyful and painful. For some, the explicit violence of holiday-themed slasher films brings the angry undercurrents churning around the dinner table out into the open. For others, the shocking juxtaposition of a day of celebration with death and dismemberment is just another part of the play-acting thrill ride of moderated fear.
- Premieres Friday, November 5th at 10 p.m. ET on AMC and AMC+
- The pursuit of knowledge can lead us down dark paths. Our quest to understand the workings of the universe has taken us from caves to cities, from the desert to the Moon. But it has also sickened our bodies and the planet, given us weapons of mass destruction and the surveillance state, and, most recently, created the poison candy of the Internet, which has completely disrupted how we live and how we think.
- The justifiable fear that men and women of science will unleash even more powerful forces they can’t or don’t want to control is a favorite topic of horror films. That fear is embodied in the figure of the Mad Scientist, who tends to be either an amoral and egomaniacal villain or a noble explorer driven over the edge by the thirst for knowledge. But, like many cinematic monsters, mad scientists also appeal to our rebellious natures. For every unhinged Dr. Frankenstein there’s a lusty Dr. Frank-N-Furter, happily challenging the boundaries of polite society.
Check out Season 3 of Eli Roth’s History of Horror when it premieres on AMC+ on September 25th and on AMC on October 1st.
Are you looking forward to the new season? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!