Horror TV shows tend to be easier to watch. Here are nine series that are testing the limits of viewers’ taste for scary television.
For would-be viewers who are just too reeling from the thought of seeing a scary movie in theaters – subjected to a stream of unsettling images and a cacophony of disturbing sounds, fingers clenched over their eyes or a sprint towards the exit as the only respites – TV can help you get to grips with the horror genre while maintaining a sense of distance and control. Who’s to say we don’t become completely engrossed in profanity, jump scares, hacks and cuts, etc., when given the ability to adjust the brightness, adjust the volume and press pause when the experience becomes too much?
Here, towards the end of the Halloween season, IndieWire offers a guide to shows that could help anyone become a horror fanatic, with spooky, spooky, and downright terrifying designations indicating which shows can briefly give you chills up the streak. which often resemble waking nightmares. Take a look below, if you dare.
“Black Mirror” (Streaming on Netflix)
Strictly speaking, Charlie Brooker’s disturbing exploration of our better new world where technology rules is a work of science fiction. (Editor’s note: We highlighted this in a recent guide to scary episodes of non-horror TV shows highlighting the Season 3 “Playtest”). There really aren’t many horror tropes built in, there’s hardly any murder, but the very first episode is a perfect litmus test for how much discomfort a viewer can handle. As an anthology series, there are some episodes that are funny, kitschy, and even romantic, but then you come across an episode like “White Bear” that breaks the brain, makes them question reality, and go to bed. with a little sick feeling in their stomach.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Streaming on Hulu)
©20thCentFox/courtesy Everett Collection
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s iconic vehicle certainly has little touches of horror throughout its seven seasons, but if one can handle the look of the vampires, with their fangs and super pinched T-zones, then there will be very few episodes that will be difficult. pass through. In fact, the supernatural teen drama is a series where many former antagonists, like punk vampire Spike (James Marsters) or avenging demon Anya (Emma Caulfield Ford), become fan-favorite characters over the course of the series.
“True Detective” (streaming on HBO Max)
Season 1 of creator Nic Pizzolatto’s crime drama is the definition of bad vibes. A story told over the years, there are scenes where stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson act uncomfortable, and the murders tap into the darker parts of the Southern Gothic genre. The uneven-at-best season 2 caused a stir for different reasons, but season 3, featuring Mahershala Ali after the Oscar win, offers the same brand of unease. The anthology series may not be scary enough to give viewers bad dreams, but it will certainly have them calling the kids inside and maybe locking their doors at night.
“Evil” (Streaming on Paramount+)
There’s no way around it, a procedure about a psychologist, a priest-in-training, and an entrepreneur setting off to investigate supernatural occurrences, including demonic possessions, is going to have its chills and chills. The series created by Michelle and Robert King doesn’t try to pull too many punches in the horror department. But protagonists Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi have great chemistry together, which gives the series a welcome sense of levity. Also, for anyone who loves snippets from the title of “Law and Order,” wait and see how creative this show gets with that kind of winking plot.
“Stranger Things” (Streaming on Netflix)
Courtesy of Netflix
Given the age of the cast, it’s easy to assume the Netflix flagpole series is a kids’ show, but things start to get bloody even in Season 1. That said, the creation of Duffer Brothers , produced by Shawn Levy (“Free Guy”), aims to evoke the feeling of being a child of the 80s, where weird films like “Gremlins” and “Poltergeist” became cultural phenomena. Each season brings more monsters and mayhem, making it a middle-of-the-road gateway to horror, but characters like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink) are just too adorable to shy away from.
“The Walking Dead” (Streaming on AMC+)
While “Stranger Things” is a show that gets creepier and creepier, this AMC series continues to crank out spinoffs at a rate that has desensitized some viewers to its bloody zombie violence. The so-called ending conflict that never seems to end? Humans are the real monsters. And while we’re sick of this point being hammered home again and again, the season 11 show may be worth watching – if only to see the sheer amount of world-building it goes on. accomplishes.
“American Horror Story” (Streaming on Hulu)
Serious horror fans may dispute this “terrifying” classification, given the goofy places Ryan Murphy’s landmark series has gone in its final seasons. But those first two chilling tales — “Murder House” and “Asylum” — changed horror television forever. As an anthology, the series delivers many different flavors of the horror genre, and tears them apart with such speed that it’s hard to name many horror concepts it hasn’t tried at least once. time. Almost every season brings a memorable moment (or more!) that will haunt viewers for the rest of their TV-watching days, but if anyone can make it through all 11 seasons of the FX series, they should be able to sit through scariest movies.
“Penny Dreadful” (broadcast on Showtime)
Although the Showtime series and its 2020 reboot “City of Angels” are no more, audiences are still haunted by the contained “Penny Dreadful” scares. Season 1 alone represents just about every one of the standard monsters, with its version of the Frankenstein story being particularly gruesome. Star Eva Green is a sight to behold though, especially if you’re the type of person who watched “Hereditary” just to see what the fuss was about around Toni Colette’s performance. Both characters the actresses play have their demons to exorcise, and “Penny Dreadful makes it a special kind of serialized hell.
“The X Files” (Streaming on Hulu)
Yes, it’s another supernatural procedural that might seem a bit mundane, but when this Chris Carter creation wanted it, it could generate abject horror scary enough to burn into your brain. Move past the fancam-inducing tension between FBI agents Mulder and Scully — expertly played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson — and you’ll find yourself subject to an episode like “Home,” the Season 4 episode which sits at the top of nearly every list of most disturbing TV episodes of all time. In theory, “The X-Files” is for everyone, but in practice, the legendary series is not for the faint-hearted. Watch and see your horror sensibilities honed by an evolving experience that always keeps you guessing.