Toronto-based film team Cream Productions has combined forces with one of the masters of horror for the paranormal series “Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life.”
Premiering on T+E during the channel’s Creep Week, which runs from Oct. 9 to 17, the series focuses on the terrifying aspects of some particularly disturbing hauntings.
Executive producer Matt Booi is hoping the audience is both entertained and engaged by the personal stories of eyewitnesses interviewed for the series.
“These people are telling their own stories,” Booi said, during a September phone call. “At the heart of these shows are first-person interviews with the people who experienced these events.”
Interspersed with the interviews with experiencers are small vignettes that follow the horror vein; perfect for Eli Roth, a producer-director-actor who rolls up his sleeves and gets his hands dirty with every project he’s on.
“Eli was involved in every single element of the project from the original picking of the stories to the writing of the outlines to the drafts of scripts,” he said. “We were all so happy to see how much he cared about it. We all knew that we were making something pretty special.”
How the Cream Productions team connected with Roth was the synchronicity of working on similar projects for the Travel Channel.
“It was one of those great, fortunate experiences where we working with Travel on potentially another show, and at the same time Eli was working with Travel on developing a show,” he said. “It soon became apparent to everybody that we were all circling the same idea.”
The two sides combined forces, allowing Cream Productions to tap into Roth’s “incredible understanding” of horror and thrillers and their background in paranormal television.
“It’s been a remarkable bit of synergy,” Booi said, adding the work began before the two sides worked on the Zak Bagans’ show “Haunted Museum”.
Eli Roth wanted to do a show about entities that ruined people’s lives over time.
“He wanted to look at something that explored, in a long timeframe, what that would be like; day-after-day living with something like this,” Booi said. “This is very near and dear to Eli’s heart, and something he wanted to do.”
The new original anthology series focuses on the shocking, modern-day real-life stories of hauntings that have left a lasting impression on victims. Viewers will be introduced to multiple eyewitnesses who share their harrowing brushes with the other side of the veil.
“We look at a lot of different experiences,” he said. “We look at everything from an American military vet who was serving in Iraq, we tell stories of soccer moms, college students — we try to cast a wide net here.”
Episodes that resonated with Booi were from the first few episodes. Canadian director Cat Hostick connected with the material, including on the episode “Portal to Hell” about a woman and her young son that move into a new house.
She made the mistake of inviting the entity into her life and what she perceived as being benevolent turns out to be quite the opposite. Another story features the aforementioned veteran who returns from the Persian Gulf haunted by an entity.
The Canadian broadcast premiere of “Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life” is on Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. on T+E.