1980s nostalgia is still alive and well and Peacock is hopping on the trend. The streamer has announced that they have given a straight-to-series order to Hysteria! The “coming-of-age” thriller is said to follow a group of high school outcasts who decide to exploit the hysteria in their town during the height of the satanic panic in the 80s. It was also announced to be directed by Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
The satanic panic was a moral panic that sprung up in the United States in the 80s. The panic revolved around accusations that people on the fringes of society were conducting satanic rituals with such actions as cannibalism and human sacrifices. Part of the panic included labeling things like Dungeons & Dragons and heavy metal music as satanic recruitment tools. The satanic panic served as a plot point in the most recent season of Stranger Things with the whole town believing Eddie Munson’s (Joesph Quinn) Dungeons & Dragons club was actually a satanic cult.
Hysteria! is said to follow a group of high school outcasts who form a heavy metal band. When a classmate goes missing, the band decides to take advantage of the town’s rampant satanic panic by “building a reputation as a Satanic metal band.” However, the band gets more than they bargained for when the town is plagued with more murders and kidnappings that make them the target of a witch hunt.
Hysteria! is written and created by Matthew Scott Kane. He has previously written for the series stitchers and also worked on series like American Horror Story. The directing pair of Daley and Goldstein are likely best known for directing the critically acclaimed 2018 comedy Game Night. The pair have also directed the highly anticipated Dungeons & Dragons adaptation Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, seemingly making them a perfect fit for the series. Executive producers on Hysteria! will include Daley, Goldstein, Kane, Chris Benderand Jake Weiner with supervising producer Scott Stoops.
About the upcoming series, Lisa KatzPresident Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said the following:
“Our upcoming thriller series Hysteria! will explore the complex world of the Satanic Panic, set amidst ’80s nostalgia, mystery, heavy metal, and an all-American setting. We’re excited to partner on this fresh, coming-of-age story led by writer Matthew Scott Kane, executive producers and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Good Fear, and our partners at UCP, for what is sure to be a compelling original series for peacock viewers.”
Stay tuned to Collider for any future updates on this project and read the official synopsis of the series below:
When a beloved varsity quarterback disappears during the “Satanic Panic” of the late 1980s, a struggling high school heavy metal band of outcasts realize they can capitalize on the town’s sudden interest in the occult by building a reputation as a Satanic metal band, until a bizarre series of murders, kidnappings, and reported “supernatural activity” triggers a leather-studded witch hunt that leads directly back to them.