On Halloween of 2006, FEARnet, a joint venture of Comcast, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Lionsgate, crawled from the primordial ooze to become the “first multiplatform horror network.” This means its content, dedicated to the horror genre, is available on its on-demand cable channel, mobile-devices and the website.
FEARnet.com features free shorts and web serials, as well as full-length streaming horror movies. Comcast’s president of emerging networks, Diana Robina has ushered in top Hollywood talent like Sam Raimi, director of the “Spiderman” and “Evil Dead” series, to produce original series for the horror-centric site.
FEARnet.com caters to the hardcore horror buff, offering original web serials like Blood Trails – a prequel of sorts to the graphic novel and vampire movie “30 Days of Night” – and Devil’s Trade – a story of ill events all relating to an accursed cross made from wood of the accursed ‘Devil’s Tree.’ Both shows are produced by Sam Raimi and Ghost House Pictures and run seven episodes apiece. This current emphasis on professional content makes FEARnet more a Hollywood promotional tool than a “YouTube for horror fans.” The free streaming full-length movies are culled from less-than-popular films like Cupid or The Landlady.
User content is also available but does not seem to be featured or promoted. FEARnet users are referred to as “Victims” (take from that what you will) and can create their own profiles and uploads. This content ranges from fan montages of classic horror scenes to trailers of independent horror productions. Perhaps one day soon, the Victims will rise up in an orgy of digital blood and wrest control away from the corporate boogeymen. Well…probably not, but it would make for a good horror flick!
Released throughout October 2007, the FEARnet series Home Haunts, hosted by Danielle Harris, features Halloween-readied houses across America bedecked with ghoulish decorations and sometimes even animatronics for the scariest night of the year.