If you’re ready for a spooky and scary run up to Halloween, here are ten amazing shows to get you in the mood for the 31st October.
Twin Peaks was the buzz of 1990’s television fans, and is still the buzz of TV connoisseurs – it is easily considered a cult classic. The residents of a small forgotten town are shook by the murder of beautiful teenager Laura Palmer. Her murder investigation uncovers layers of town secrets and mysterious circumstances. A perfect gradual build-up to Halloween, Twin Peaks is laced with supernatural and bizarre undertones. The ‘log lady’ is one of the most strangely enjoyable elements of the show that claims her log “saw something the night of the murder”. Created by David Lynch, this show makes the skin crawl like no other – perfect for October nights.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Arguably the best vampire based TV show of all time, this cult classic is still poignant and relevant today – despite the dated CGI. Spanning seven seasons and a spinoff (Angel), Joss Whedon’s epic is a must see this October, especially as it turns twenty this year. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the epitome of the kick-ass feminist icon. With her rag tag group of misfits, the ‘Scooby Gang’, there is no evil they can’t conquer. Hilarious, scary and progressive, this is a show that defies genre. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul, but it is so worth it.
American Horror Story
Seven seasons deep, American Horror Story has just begun its new season ‘Cult’, and is the current height of television gore. Complete with killer clowns, crazed serial killers and a Charles Manson copycat, this season doesn’t hold back on the blood and guts. All seven seasons have tackled terrifying themes – haunted houses, witches, asylums, and the list goes on. What is great about this show is that you can dive into any random season as a newcomer. Our personal season recommendations are season two, ‘Asylum’, and season four, ‘Freakshow’. If you can stomach it, American Horror Story is the perfect show to get you in the Halloween mood.
Despite the dubious name (please ignore the 80s film), Teen Wolf is an excellent dark supernatural drama and horror. Average teenager Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) is bitten by a werewolf, irrevocably changing his life. While the first season is a bit more warm and fuzzy, showrunner Jeff Davis takes the show down a creepy and twisted path. He ignores the werewolf/vampire trope and instead incorporates an eclectic mix of lesser known mythologies including banshees, druids and a nogitsune. Classic horror film techniques, such as jump scares, are employed throughout, making for a rather chilling and at times disturbing watch. For fans of supernatural teen drama looking for something with a little more bite, this is perfect.
The Walking Dead
Well-known and running since 2010, The Walking Dead is a notoriously terrifying show, starring main character Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes. After getting shot and falling into a coma, he awakens to a zombie apocalypse. He sets out in search of his family, finds them and then leads a group of people to survival. The Walking Dead is an obvious Halloween pick – zombies, blood and guts, survival and some soap-opera style drama. What more could you want?
Another cult classic, Charmed follows the Halliwell sisters, a trio of witches known as ‘The Charmed Ones’ who use their good magic and the ‘Power of Three’ to fight against demons, whilst constantly struggling to have a ‘normal life’. This throwback to the late nineties/early noughties will have you cringing at some questionable outfit choices, rocking out to all the jams at ‘P3’ and feeling nostalgic for the TV shows of old that had genuine heart. Starring Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan, this show oozes feminist power but is probably the least scary option on this list. However, this masterpiece is magical and sure to get you hooked in no time.
Released in 2015, Scream Queens is a horror-comedy hybrid television show starring Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee-Curtis among others. The show revolves around the members of the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority, lead by Chanel and her minions Chanel 2 and Chanel 3. Various events lead to the discovery of an old murder case, and the murderer reappears to claim revenge and torture the sorority members. Hilariously funny and over-the-top exaggerated while still retaining some form of horror-and-gore, this is a perfect pick of some more light hearted entertainment who still want to partake in Halloween festivities.
The Vampire Diaries
Full of angst and melodrama, The Vampire Diaries is addictive and always enjoyable. Centered on Elena Gilbert, a normal girl who gets thrown into the mix when sexy vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore waltz into town, this show is easy watching at its finest. Yes, it’s mostly a bit of fluff (how many times does Jeremy die and get brought back to life?) but it does include some excellent performances from Nina Dobrev, playing both the naive, innocent Elena and the seductive, murderous vampire Katherine. For the viewer this Halloween who craves a healthy serving of teen supernatural drama, with a side of heart breaking love triangle; the likes of which puts Edward and Jacob to shame.
A modern rendition of The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is a unique and incredibly popular choice at the moment. A different type of ‘scary’ than our other listed shows, this is one not to be overlooked. A sci-fi, technological and somewhat disturbing series, each episode of Black Mirror tells a new and different story; the majority of which involve the evolution of technology resulting in the detriment of humanity. Be sure to watch ‘White Bear’ in season two that reinvents the concept of corporate punishment. The daunting realism of this show, as well as the creepy scenarios posed are what make this a Halloween thriller as opposed to horror.
The viral sensation that is Stranger Things is an essential to this list. With only one season to its name but another to be released on the 27th October, the Duffer Brothers have created unprecedented hype over this science fiction-horror-thriller. Set in the 1980s in the small town of Hawkins, the show follows the mysterious disappearance of young boy Will Byers, and his friends who try to find him. Boasting an incredible cast including Winona Rider, David Harbour and some of the finest child acting seen in years, this is a show that must be experienced to understand how excellent it is. Its creepy, intense and has an awesome synth soundtrack – you can binge watch it in one night.
Image: Wildcat Dunny @ Flickr