As Halloween approaches, networks and streamers alike are offering festive original content that will be frightful to even the most ardent of horror fans.
Peacock's newest drama, The Girl in the Woods, features elements that fans of the genre have grown to love — like cults, monsters, and a mysterious door — but it also highlights real-life social issues like gender identity exploration, environmentalism, and classism.
The series follows Carrie Eckard (Stefanie Scott), after she leaves the cult-like colony she grew up in. Throughout her upbringing, Carrie learned about the importance of guarding the aforementioned door, which keeps monsters out of the "real world." When people begin to go missing in the small mining town of West Pine, Carrie recruits her new friends, Nolan (Misha Osherovich), and Tasha (Sofia Bryant), to help fight the nefarious creatures.
Krysten Ritter, a co-executive producer who directed four episodes, and the three leading actors spoke exclusively with Distractify about how the supernatural series crosses genres, and whether the plot can continue for a second season.
Krysten Ritter talks directing four episodes of 'The Girl in the Woods,' and the possibilities for Season 2.
While many people know Krysten Ritter from her leading roles in Jessica Jones and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, the actress actually worked behind the camera for The Girl in the Woods.
In addition to her producer credit, Krysten directed the first four episodes of the show — which also featured an all-female writing team.
During her chat with Distractify, Krysten noted that the cast and the behind-the-scenes crew wanted to create something that was entirely unique, and that had the ability to "cross a lot of genres."
"We kind of made a conscious choice to against every stereotype that we could," Krysten said about subverting expectations, like showing male background performers in caregiver roles.
"Any opportunity that we had to just flip everything on its head was just so beyond refreshing and exciting as a creative person," she added. "In this environment, on this show, and with this group of people, we got really involved with that and excited about it."
The multi-hyphenate noted that directing the show was "creatively rewarding and fulfilling," and that the first season concludes in a way that will leave viewers wanting more.
"I do believe that this show has legs to move forward, and we do have it set up to return with more story to tell," Krysten shared. "Fingers crossed that people will love the show as much as we do, and that we'll get to come back and play."
Stefanie Scott, Misha Osherovich, and Sofia Bryant dished on their characters in 'The Girl in the Woods.'
As one of the directors, Krysten is hopeful about the Season 2 possibilities for The Girl in the Woods, but it remains to be seen if our three main protagonists will make it through the first season unscathed.
Stefanie said that her character, Carrie, is dealing with many changes when the show begins.
"When we meet her, she's escaping a cult-like colony, where she grew up and was trained to fight since birth," she explained. "She goes through a lot after years of isolation and guarding this door."
The actress noted that Carrie "recruits" her new pals, Tasha (Sofia), and Nolan (Misha) to become part of a "monster-fighting trio," but that the runaway's intentions may not be pure. To further complicate matters for Carrie, her former mentor in the cult, Arthur Deane (Will Yun Lee), is trying to find her.
While Nolan initially has doubts about Carrie and the door, Tasha immediately wants to help. Sofia confirmed that there's a "love situation" happening between Carrie and Tasha, but that "it's just another part of the story."
In addition to their suspicious about the teen's sudden arrival, Misha noted that their character, Nolan, is "figuring out and struggling with gender identity."
The three will battle supernatural monsters, while also taking on real-life social issues.
"Sometimes, horror can actually be more effective in getting audiences to think about really big things... but it's all through the lens of scary monsters and running through the woods and fighting for your life," Misha explained.
All eight episodes of The Girl in the Woods Season 1 will be available to stream on Peacock beginning on Oct. 21. The series is produced by Crypt TV.