Eli Roth’s ‘History of Horror’ Season 3 Includes Holiday Episode

Eli Roth’s documentary series History of Horror returns for Season 3 on AMC this October, and the Halloween Weekend episode will focus specifically on Holiday Horror, including of course the 1978 classic Halloween.

The upcoming season of Eli Roth’s History of Horror continues to explore the fun and the fear of scary films – both timeless classics and wildly frightening films that flew under the radar. This season will tackle the topics of Sequels (That Don’t Suck), Infections, Psychics, Apocalyptic Horror, Holiday Horror, and Mad Scientists.

Master of Horror Eli Roth, who also executive produces the series, returns as host with an all-star lineup of interviewees including (in alphabetical order) Cate BlanchettMargaret ChoJeffrey CombsJamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Lex Scott DavisRobert EnglundVanessa HudgensElliott KnightDavid KoechnerChristopher LandonMeat LoafGreg Nicotero, Jonah RayGiovanni Ribisi, Jessica RotheMadeleine StoweQuentin TarantinoJennifer TillyEdgar WrightRob Zombie, and many others.


Episode 301 – “Sequels (That Don’t Suck)”– Premieres Friday, October 1 at 10pm ET/9c on AMC and Saturday, September 25 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 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.

Featured films include A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsPsycho IIThe First PurgeBride of ChuckyScream 2 and Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Justina Bonilla, Diablo Cody, Dean Cundey, Joe Dante, Lex Scott Davis, Tananarive Due, Robert Englund, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Chris Hardwick, Lydia Hearst, Tom Holland, Heidi Honeycutt, Vanessa Hudgens, Heather Langenkamp, Leonard Maltin, Don Mancini, Anthony Masi, Greg Nicotero, Jonah Ray, Tori Spelling, Quentin Tarantino, Nathaniel Thompson, Jennifer Tilly, Joivan Wade, Kevin Williamson, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie.

Episode 302 – “Infections” – Premieres Friday, October 8 at 10pm ET/9c 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.

This episode covers the spectrum of frightening infection scenarios, ranging from reality-based films (Outbreak, Contagion and 12 Monkeys) to surreal plagues (Shivers, Rabid and The Masque of the Red Death)horrific zombie outbreaks ([REC] and Pontypool) to space-born pathogens (The Andromeda Strain and Color Out of Space).

Our fear of infection runs deep. But as these films and real life show us, so does the human capacity for survival.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Madeleine Arthur, Max Brooks, Scott Z. Burns, Axelle Carolyn, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Mike Flanagan, Bryan Fuller, Mick Garris, Dana Gould, Bill Hader, Lydia Hearst, Joe Hill, Tom Holland, Elliot Knight, Leonard Maltin, Rebekah McKendry, David Morse, Greg Nicotero, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Stacey Sher, Madeleine Stowe, Quentin Tarantino, Nathaniel Thompson and Edgar Wright.

Episode 303 – “Physics” – Premieres Friday, October 15 at 10pm ET/9c 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.

This episode features a wide range of psychic films made by superstar creators, including David Cronenberg’s Scanners and The Dead Zone, Mike Flanagan’s thrilling adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, Brian DePalma’s The Fury, Sam Raimi’s The Gift, Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners and Tim Burton’s horror/comedy masterpiece Beetlejuice.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Cate Blanchett, Jeffrey Combs, Joe Dante, Geena Davis, Chris Dumas, Alex Essoe, Michael Fimognari, Mike Flanagan, Mick Garris, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Bill Hader, Chris Hardwick, Joe Hill, Vanessa Hudgens, Mark Irwin, Stephen King, Don Mancini, Greg Nicotero, Jonah Ray, Giovanni Ribisi, Quentin Tarantino, Nathaniel Thompson and Edgar Wright.

Episode 304 – “Apocalyptic Horror”– Premieres Friday, October 22 at 10pm ET/9c 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 Man10 Cloverfield Lane, The World’s End and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Max Brooks, Margaret Cho, Joe Dante, Lex Scott Davis, Michael Dougherty, Chris Dumas, Ruben Fleischer, Bryan Fuller, Dana Gould, Chris Hardwick, Lydia Hearst, Joe Hill, Vanessa Hudgens, Leonard Maltin, Rebekah McKendry, Greg Nicotero, Jonah Ray, Quentin Tarantino, Nathaniel Thompson, Dan Trachtenberg, Joivan Wade, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie.

Episode 305 – “Holiday Horror”– Premieres Friday, October 29 at 10pm ET/9c 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.

This episode features a deluxe sampler of holiday mayhem, including Black Christmas, Krampus, Silent Night Deadly Night, Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, Happy Death Day and the blockbuster 2018 sequel to Halloween, featuring returning guest Jamie Lee Curtis.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Justina Bonilla, Margaret Cho, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Dougherty, Bryan Fuller, Mick Garris, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Chris Hardwick, Lydia Hearst, Joe Hill, Heidi Honeycutt, Vanessa Hudgens, John Jennings, David Koechner, Christopher Landon, Anthony Masi, Rebekah McKendry, Jessica Rothe, Sofia Takal, Quentin Tarantino, Nathaniel Thompson, Ryan Turek, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie.

Episode 306 – “Mad Scientists”– Premieres Friday, November 5 at 10pm ET/9c 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.

Featuring: the many incarnations of FrankensteinThe Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as Ex Machina, Eyes Without a Face, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Altered States and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Interviewees include (in alphabetical order) Axelle Carolyn, Margaret Cho, Joe Dante, Geena Davis, Lex Scott Davis, Chris Dumas, Bryan Fuller, Mick Garris, Dana Gould, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Joe Hill, Heidi Honeycutt, Vanessa Hudgens, Mark Irwin, Meat Loaf, Leonard Maltin, Rebekah McKendry, Greg Nicotero, Jonah Ray, Jessica Rothe, David J. Skal, Quentin Tarantino, Andrew Kevin Walker, Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie.

See what else is on TV for Halloween 2021 here!

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.