Each episode of The CW's Riverdale is named after a movie -- and while the plot of any given episode rarely matches the plot of the movie in question, looking at the films that inspired the episodes can certainly give some insight into tone.
The biggest takeaway from the titles we know so far? Well, there are a LOT of slasher movies, a lot more straight-up horror than the noir-flavored stuff we got in season 1, and a lot of movies about unknown/anonymous murderers.
We are guessing that means the Black Hood shooter won't be identified right away in the premiere.
We don't know all of the titles yet, but here's a quick trip through the first nine episodes of Riverdale's second season, based on the movies the episodes are named after...!
The episode was written by series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and the title is a reference to a 1953 novel by Ira Levin, which would go on to be adapted into a feature film twice: first in 1956, and later in 1991.
Gerd Oswald directed the 1956 A Kiss Before Dying, which starred Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward, Mary Astor, and Jeffrey Hunter. The 1991 film starred Matt Dillon and Sean
Dillon starred in The Outsiders, another adaptation of a famed novel, and the basis for Riverdale's eighth episode title in the first season.
The title seemingly implies that Fred Andrews, who was shot in the closing moments of the season 1 finale, might not make it out alive. It's a little more complex than that, though; there's a story element in A Kiss Before Dying that involves a man killing someone else in order to replace them, stealing their identity as part of a gambit to join up with a wealthy, powerful family. An unplanned pregnancy adds some chaos to that plan, which is interesting in the face of Jason Blossom and Polly Cooper; both are members of wealthy and/or powerful families, and Jason was recently murdered (albeit by his dad) after impregnating Polly.
Additionally, KJ Apa strongly suggested during a conversation with ComicBook.com that Fred would survive past the premiere.
"I think Archie is going to 100% always stick by Fred, especially when he needs Archie," Apa said. "Fred's got no one else to look after him at home. That, also, is a big part of season 2 is Archie aiding Fred."
There have been two feature films called Nighthawks, and a third is on the way in 2018, so it is hard to be 100% certain which this one is referencing.
That said, you can make a reasonable guess that it is the 1978 film Nighthawks, which centered on "a homosexual man is forced to hide his sexuality by day while living his secret life by night."
Kevin Keller was promoted to series regular in the second season, and so seeing him taking on more stories would make sense. Add that to numerous reports saying that LGBT themes would be explored more in the show's second season (showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and many of the writers are part of the LGBT community).
Of the other films, little information is available about the upcoming movie while the 1981 version features Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer.
The Watcher in the Woods is a 1980 British-American horror film directed by John Hough, and starring Bette Davis, Carroll Baker, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, and David McCallum.
Based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Florence Engel Randall, the film tells the story of a teenage girl and her little sister who become encompassed in a supernatural mystery regarding a missing girl in the woods surrounding their new home in the English countryside.
Filmed at Pinewood Studios and the surrounding areas in Buckinghamshire, England, The Watcher in the Woods was one of several live-action films produced by Walt Disney Productions in the 1980s, when the studio was targeting young adult audiences.
The film suffered from various production problems and was pulled from theatres after its initial release in 1980. It was re-released in 1981 after being re-edited and a revised ending added.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 1976 American horror film by producer and director Charles B. Pierce.
The film is narrated by Vern Stierman, who had previously narrated Pierce's 1972 film The Legend of Boggy Creek. Ben Johnson stars as Captain J.D. Morales, the fictionalized version of real-life Texas Ranger Captain M. T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas. Dawn Wells appears as one of the victims. Cindy Butler plays Peggy Loomis, the trombone victim. The Phantom is played by Bud Davis, who later worked as stunt coordinator on films such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and Inglourious Basterds.
The film was mostly shot around Texarkana, and a number of locals were cast as extras. The world premiere was held in Texarkana on December 17, 1976, before its regular run in theaters on December 24. The film is an early example of a slasher film, having been released two years before Halloween (1978), and just two years after Black Christmas (1974), a film considered as one of the earliest in the genre.
The film is loosely based on the actual crimes attributed to an unidentified serial killer known as the Phantom Killer; it claims that "the incredible story you are about to see is true, where it happened and how it happened; only the names have been changed." The actual Phantom attacked eight people between February 22 and May 3, 1946 in or near the town of Texarkana, Texas, which is on the Texas border with Arkansas. Most of the murders occurred in rural areas just outside Texarkana, in Bowie County, Texas, while the film has them occurring in Arkansas. However, the general outline of the murders largely follows reality, with mostly minor artistic license taken. As in the film, the real killer was never identified nor apprehended.
The film is loose enough with the facts that one family member of a victim filed a lawsuit in 1978, over its depiction of his sister. The fabricated facts in the film have also caused rumors and folklore to spread for generations around Texarkana. The film's tagline claims that the man who killed five people "still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Ark.", causing officials of that neighboring city to threaten Pierce over the ads in 1977; however, it remained on the posters. A meta-sequel with the same name was released on October 16, 2014.
When A Stranger Calls is a 1979 suspense film that seems like it hardly needs a description.
Its big reveal -- "the call is coming from inside the house" -- became so synonymous with the movie that it was used as a tagline in the 2006 remake of the movie.
The film centers around a babysitter who is watching a group of children, and continually getting harassing phone calls. Eventually it is revealed that the harassing phone calls are coming from a murderer, who is calling her from a second phone line inside the house, and that the children are his next victims.
The film drew from a popular urban legend as well as the 1974 slasher film Black Christmas, but with the added twist that it followed the slasher and the babysitter to a whole second story, seven years later, where the killer escaped custody and came back to terrorize her again.
The film spawned the aforementioned remake as well as a direct sequel made in 1993.
Death Proof is a 2007 American exploitation film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, which was originally released as one half of the Grindhouse double-feature with Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror.
The film stars Kurt Russell as a stuntman who murders young women in staged car accidents using his "death-proof" stunt car. It co-stars Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Tracie Thoms and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with stuntwoman Zoë Bell as herself.
The film pays homage to the slasher, exploitation and muscle car films of the 1970s, of which many of these other titles are obviously entries.
Funny enough, this one got a recent comic book adaptation -- albeit not from Archie.
The series on which it was based was a horror anthology with an underlying mythology that ran (not always that coherently) through the individual stories.
Ironically, the original TV series came about as a result of the success of Creepshow, an anthology horror film from Tales From the Darkside creator and horror icon Stephen King, who is Tales From The Darkside comic book writer Joe Hill's father.
King even contributed a story to each the Tales From The Darkside series and its feature-film follow-up. For his part, Hill himself appeared in Creepshow at age 9.
Both Creepshow and Tales From the Darkside were strongly influenced by EC Comics of the pre-Comics Code era.
Likely the most recent movie that will make its way into the season's offerings, The House of the Devil is a 2009 American horror film written, directed, and edited by Ti West, starring Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, and Mary Woronov.
The plot concerns a young college student (Donahue) who is hired as a babysitter at an isolated house and is soon caught up in bizarre and dangerous events as she fights for her life. The film combines elements of both the slasher film and haunted house subgenres while using the "satanic panic" of the 1980s as a central plot element.
The film pays homage to horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, recreating the style of films of that era using filming techniques and similar technology to what was used then. The film's opening text claims that it is based upon true events, a technique used in some horror films, such as The Amityville Horror and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach and Leo Geter.
Set during Christmas, the story concerns a young man, Billy, who suffers from post-traumatic stress over witnessing his parents' Christmas Eve murder and his subsequent upbringing in an abusive Catholic orphanage. In adulthood, the Christmas holiday leads him into a psychological breakdown, and he emerges as a spree killer donning a Santa suit.
Released by TriStar Pictures on November 9, 1984, it is the first of six (so far?) films in the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise, and gained substantial controversy over its promotional material and content, which featured a killer Santa Claus.
The franchise's success is a bit of a Hollywood oddity, since it was only a moderate success in cinemas, after being pulled just a week into release due to poor reviews and outraged parents.
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