Horrors! It’s Halloween TV, the ever-mushrooming monster now running riot over TV channels everywhere! So enormous, so overwhelming, so aggressive, one preview story can’t handle it all!
So we’ll narrow our focus here to AMC’s FearFest, running through Oct. 31, plus ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween, which start Sunday.
In its 18th year, AMC’s scare-a-thon has evolved from its early focus on vintage Hollywood monsters (’30s-era Dracula and Frankenstein) to contemporary everyman terrors (Stephen King, creepy kids, killer cars and the ever-popular slasher). Count these among AMC’s daily mini-marathons:
“Tremors” (from 10 a.m. Saturday) tunnels into giant-worm territory with Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward and Michael Gross in the 1990 original. Following in order are the 1996, 2001 and 2004 sequels (through 7:15 p.m., when all four run again).
Chuckython (from noon Sunday ) stars the danger doll in “Child’s Play 2” and “Child’s Play 3” (noon and 2 p.m.), followed by “Bride of Chucky” and “Seed of Chucky” (4 and 6 p.m.). Never fear, “Walking Dead” fans — AMC premieres a new episode at 9 p.m.
“Friday the 13th” (Monday-Tuesday) arrives Monday at 9 a.m. with Jason’s 1980 hockey-mask debut. Also unreeling are all sequels through “Jason X.”
“Halloween” (Oct. 27-31) is FearFest’s appropriate climax. John Carpenter’s 1978 suspenser put not only unknown Jamie Lee Curtis on the map, but the shock genre itself with its low-budget success paving the way for the vengeful-villain franchise. Curtis appears in the first two, kicking off nightly airings Oct. 27. Binge-watchers can set aside Oct. 30-31 for two straight-through runs of those first six flicks.
Over at ABC Family, its annual 13 Nights of Halloween welcomes younger viewers, adding animation, specials and familiar episodic fare. Among the highlights:
All-day kickoff (from 7 a.m. Sunday) includes an “Addams Family” film double feature (9 and 11 a.m.), the two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” finale (1 and 4:30 p.m.), and Pixar’s “Toy Story of TERROR!” (7:30 p.m.) and “Monsters Inc.” (8 p.m.).
“Pretty Little Liars” (8 p.m. Tuesday) interrupts its hiatus for the new special “We Love You to DeAth” (Tuesday at 8p.m.), where cast and crew take fans behind the scenes. Also, new Halloween-themed episodes of “Melissa & Joey” and “Baby Daddy” (Wednesday at 8 and 8:30 p.m.).
“Freak Out” (9 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday) is a pair of hidden-camera prank specials from Farmingdale native Sally Ann Salsano’s 495 Productions (“Jersey Shore”).
Tim Burton Chillers (Oct. 23-24) include “Corpse Bride,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Dark Shadows.”
Find complete lineups online at amctv.com/fearfest and abcfamily.com.