Need new shows to binge watch this fall? How about something spooky and dark? Here are 9 MUST WATCH horror TV shows to get you in the Halloween spirit this year!
American Horror Story (2011-)
After the success of Glee, Ryan Murphy went in the completely opposite direction and created this anthology horror series. There have been seven seasons, each with a different theme. In order, Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke, and Cult. The cast features many of the same actors playing different characters each year, including Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, and the star of the show, Jessica Lange. Though the quality of the seasons varies, the first two, Murder House and Asylum, are amazing and always worth a watch.
Created by Bryan Fuller of Heroes, this show is so brutal that it’s amazing NBC actually put it on the air. Sort of a prequel to Silence of the Lambs, the show explores the relationship between a younger Hannibal (played by the bewitching Mads Mikkelsen) and the gifted profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Their relationship is so complex and captivating, and though there’s plenty of blood and gore, Fuller somehow creates visuals that are beautiful and appalling at the same time.
The Terror (2018-)
The Terror premiered this year, and was a hit from the start. It’s an anthology series like American Horror Story, themed around historical horror. The first season is a fictional account of what may have happened to the lost men of the arctic expedition of 1845, led by Captain Sir John Franklin, aboard the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror. The show does have a supernatural twist, but it also explores the more human horrors they faced, like starvation and mutiny.
David Fincher’s most recent project is a television series based in the 1970’s. It’s about the first FBI agents to study the psychology of murderers, and coin the term “serial killers.” Led by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, the show is both visually stunning and absorbing, as we watch the two men interview famous killers, such as Richard Speck, Jerry Brudos, and Ed Kemper (played to perfection by Cameron Britton). Not direct horror like the previous shows, but just as scary.
This show’s based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, who also wrote The Walking Dead series and created both television adaptations. Outcast is about a man who goes searching for answers as to why he’s been surrounded by demonic possessions his whole life. It’s got exorcisms and family issues, and the mystery is never straightforward. Watch this if you’re looking for subtle horror, with complex characters and beautiful cinematography.
When young boys start going missing again after 33 years, the investigation brings to light a strange history of the town of Winden involving four interconnecting families. Netflix’s first German-language original series, Dark’s part science fiction, part crime, part horror, and definitely worth your time. It does get complicated, so just a warning, you’ll probably want to watch it twice to really understand everything.
Black Mirror (2011-)
I assume everyone’s at least heard of this show. It’s another anthology series, where each episode is sort of a mini movie, portraying different horrific possibilities for the future. Most episodes are dark or very sad, and show the negative effects of technology. All the episodes leave you thinking about them for long after, but there are a few, such as “San Junipero,” “Be Right Back,” and “The Entire History of You,” that really stand out.
The Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst (2015)
This show’s a bit of a stretch to be on this list, but if you like crime and serial killer documentaries, you need to watch this. It’s about real estate icon Robert Durst, who has been the key suspect for multiple murders for years. For some reason, he let filmmaker Andrew Jarecki interview him for this series, and let me say, what happens next is something to see.
Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
And I saved the best for last. Kind of like what Universal is trying to create with the Dark Universe, Penny Dreadful is an amalgam of all the classic monsters. But it succeeds where the movies do not. There’s Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, Dr. Jekyll, and Dracula, to name a few. Led by Vanessa Ives, an original character played by the magnificent Eva Green. It all blends together into a beautiful gothic horror, with action, romance, and drama. What more could you want?
What’s your favorite horror show? Hit the comments and let us know!
(Featured image: Netflix/Showtime/Cinemax/FX)