Television shows

7 terrifyingly scary TV shows to binge on if you feel like cringe on Halloween

Sarah Paulson is Mamie Eisenhower in an “American Horror Story: Double Feature”, which has a reputation for going off the rails. Photo: FX

Previously, if you wanted a horror frenzy, you would sit down to watch multiple movies featuring the same killer wearing a hockey mask, or a collection of subgenre movies featuring zombies or werewolves. The streaming world has embraced this frenzy model by queuing entire horror series to keep viewers terrified of bite-sized pieces.

As Halloween approaches, here are some of the best shows to go through, ranked from least spooky to most.

‘Monster’ (2019)

Just because we’re trying to scare our pants off doesn’t mean we can’t learn something too. PBS has teamed up with Dr Emily Zarka for the excellent ‘Monstrum’ web series, where she uses her encyclopedic knowledge of the world’s legendary monsters and very disturbing animations, to explore both the gruesome details of characters such as El Silbón. and the Black -Eyed Kids and their importance in the cultural settings that spawned their stories.

It’s also the only series on the list that’s safe for kids who are interested in monsters, and it never hurts to teach them to avoid the Mothman.

Check this out: Available to stream on the Storied YouTube channel.

“The Twilight Zone” (1959)

Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” has been rebooted several times, most recently by new horror god Jordan Peele for Paramount +, and yet nothing ever stands up to the original. Serling himself is perhaps the most successful writer and television producer of his generation. He brought horror icons such as Richard Matheson to the general public through the program.

Rights to the series come and go between streaming services, but it was recently acquired by Hulu, again making its bizarre American take on post-war terror easily accessible. Some highlights of the series: “After Hours”, where Anne Francis is harassed by models; the luminous apocalypse where a world without night drives people crazy in “The Midnight Sun”; and the classic “It’s a Good Life” about a boy with reality-warping powers who keeps his family subject to his whims.

Check this out: Available to stream on Hulu.

“American Horror Story: Double Feature” (2021)

One could easily argue that the current love for serial horror began with the premiere of “American Horror Story” in 2011. The anthology series has been responsible for creating one of the most shared fictional universes. all-time elaborate, tackling everything from circus monsters to witches.

The show has a well-deserved reputation for derailing (there’s a surprising number of musical vignettes for example), but it’s never boring. The current season is titled “Double Feature,” which divides the story into two parts involving seaside leeches and aliens in the desert. You don’t need to look at the previous nine seasons to understand what’s going on, but it will give you a better understanding of the twisted world of “AHS”. At the very least, the series has consistently featured the largest repertoire of versatile horror actors ever, including Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Finn Wittrock in various roles over the years.

Check this out: Available to stream on Hulu.

“The Haunting of Hill House / Bly Manor” (2018)

Creator Mike Flanagan has also created an incredible horror universe, and what it lacks in scope compared to “American Horror Story” he makes up for in its quality. In 2018, he adapted one of the most famous horror stories, “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, into a gripping family drama that combines ghosts with real-world horrors such as addiction. Flanagan followed with “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, adapted from “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James.

Both shows focus on non-linear storytelling and fear-making with very disturbing spectra, with the Bent-Neck Lady being one of the most famous. Gloriously gothic and melancholy, the two “Haunting of” series represent the pinnacle of modern horror on television. The two stories are not narratively related, but they do share some cast, team, and thematic elements that make them feel like they reside in the same, albeit very disturbing, reality.

Check this out: Available to stream on Netflix.

‘Channel Zero’ (2016)

The Internet has been a fertile, albeit troubling, ground for scary stories. The “Creepypastas” are stories based on urban legends, accompanied by photoshoped images or video sequences, about events which would have taken place in real life (Slenderman is the most famous of them).

“Channel Zero” was an attempt by the SyFy Channel to turn these Internet gems into a loosely connected horror series, and it worked extremely well. The first season involved a small town where a TV puppet show was actually a conduit to another world, home to a terrifying monster whose skin was covered with teeth. The third season featured both a haunted house and an abandoned asylum, as well as a mysterious staircase that seemed to go nowhere and a family of demented meat tycoons. Sadly, the show never really found a mainstream audience, although it continues to live on as a cult favorite.

Check this out: Available to stream on Shudder.

“Two-Sentence Horror Stories” (2019)

Speaking of internet phenomena, “Two Sentence Horror Stories” is one of the best examples of turning an online gadget into a fantasy television. The original idea was exactly what it sounds: write a horror story with just two sentences, such as “She asked me why I was breathing so hard.” I wasn’t. The episodes in this anthology series feature this short story, starting with the first sentence and expanding the narrative over about half an hour, before ending with the second. It’s simple, but strangely effective.

Once the show moved from The CW to Netflix, things got really scary. “Instinct” is a real star, in which an aspiring horror novelist working odd jobs stumbles upon a man suspected of having murdered his wife. The gruesome body horror of “Essence” is also worth checking out, but be aware that it takes a strong enough stomach to get by.

Check this out: Available to stream on Netflix.

“Land of love” (2020)

No horror series burned brighter and vanished faster than “Lovecraft Country,” based on Matt Ruff’s novel. The show starred Jonathan Majors (“Loki”) as Atticus Freeman, a Korean War veteran who enlists his girlfriend, Leti (Jurnee Smollett) and Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to reunite with his father disappeared. Their journeys take them through a virulent and violently racist landscape, and into a strange occult world populated by Lovecraftian ghosts and monsters.

The show was full of spooky visuals, with the monstrous shoggoths particularly well done and the twisted specters, named Topsy and Bopsy, providing pure nightmare fuel. Despite being nominated for 18 Emmy Awards, HBO chose to cancel the series after one season, and with Michael K. Williams, who played Atticus’ father, now deceased, there is little hope. let the story go on. Now, it’s essentially the “Firefly” of horror, and all we can do is appreciate what little we have.

Check this out: Available to stream on HBO Max.