7 Halloween flicks with an ECU connection

A masked killer named Ghostface is the villain in “Scream.” The film was written by ECU alumnus Kevin Williamson. (Shutterstock)

A masked killer named Ghostface is the villain in “Scream.” The film was written by ECU alumnus Kevin Williamson. (Shutterstock)

What goes bump in the night?

Since the earliest days of commercial cinema, filmmakers have produced movies intended to shock and terrify their audience — and viewers keep coming back for more. Dr. Amanda Ann Klein, associate professor of film studies, takes a seat in the eerily quiet and empty Hendrix Theatre to talk about the power of horror films and recommend her favorites.

It wouldn’t be spooky season without a scary movie or two.

East Carolina University happens to have connections to some of the scary best. Pirate alum Kevin Williamson ’87, a television and film producer, director and writer, brought us the slasher classic “Scream,” the revenge-from-beyond-the-grave “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and plenty of others.

If you’re looking for some chills and thrills, here are recs from Williamson’s repertoire:


This 1996 breakout hit is a scary movie and a spoof of the genre rolled into one. Written by Williamson, directed by horror master Wes Craven and starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the film is about a masked maniac named Ghostface who stalks high school students in a suburban neighborhood. It has that iconic opening scene with Drew Barrymore answering the phone, inspired by a real-life scary encounter Williamson had.

“Scream 2”

Again written by Williamson and directed by Craven, the sequel picks up two years after the original “Scream” movie as Ghostface begins a new string of killings on a college campus.

“Halloween: H2O: Twenty Years Later”

It can be hard to keep all 12 Halloween movies in order, but this is the seventh installment and a direct sequel to the first two films. Cue Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) running away from Michael Myers. Williamson is credited as a co-executive producer.

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” (movie)

Set in Southport, North Carolina, a group of teenagers is driving to the beach when they accidentally hit a pedestrian. They dump the body but find out a year later that someone witnessed their crime and is now after them. Williamson was approached to adapt the Lois Duncan novel of the same name into a slasher movie.

“I Know What You Did Last Summer” (TV series)

Amazon’s reboot just started streaming this month. While not affiliated with Williamson, it expands the original IKWYDLS material into eight episodes. The premise is the same, but the series includes some new, gory twists.

“Vampire Diaries”

What’s more Halloween than vampires? A teenage girl falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire and winds up in a love triangle with him and his brother. Think “Twilight,” but with more supernatural mythology and adult content. Written by Williamson, “Vampire Diaries” ran from 2006 to 2017 and was the most-watched series on the CW at the time.

Coming soon

After 25 years, “Scream” is getting the reboot treatment. Original stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette return with two new directors. Williamson serves as an executive producer for the film. Get ready to be scared again when “Scream” hits theaters on Jan. 14.

If you hate scary movies

Swap the blood and guts for some wholesome late-’90s/early aughts teen drama a la “Dawson’s Creek,” which Williamson wrote based on his youth growing up near a creek in North Carolina.