So lucky we are, to live in a time where horror isn’t just released around Halloween. The increase in spooky, dark, and down-right evil television shows are a welcome change among the never-ending crime dramas and cheesy sitcom lineups.
Over the past year, I’ve managed to get through quite a few series. Let’s dive right into the list!
- Marianne (2019)
- Ju-On: Origins (2020)
- Requiem (2018)
- The Rain (2018)
- Bates Motel (2013)
- Dark (2017)
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)
- Daybreak (2019)
- Van Helsing (2016)
- Scream Queens (2015)
- Stranger Things (2016)
- Haunting of Hill House (2018)
- Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)
- Goedam (2020)
- Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015)
You’ll notice the majority are Netflix originals, and I think it’s clear why. Premium subscription services offer us a chance for new stories to be told, in interesting (and often more violent or controversial) ways than traditional cable networks do. The quality of shows being pumped out by Netflix, Shudder, Prime Video, and HBO is higher each and every year. I’m loving their willingness to take a shot on a show that otherwise may never have been made, and that spans into almost every genre. Horror, in my opinion, has maybe benefitted from that the most.
So, while many on the list were watch-worthy, I’ll explain why the below shows made it to my top 3.
Haunting of Hill House (2018)
It comes as no surprise that this show made it in my top 3 of best TV horror.
Beautifully acted and executed, this resurrection of Shirley Jackson’s novel by the same name, weaves a spooky and tragic story involving the Crain family.
I’ve watched this series 4 times now. Every time I do, I see something new and different. It’s a show that evolves with you – showing the level of creepiness you need to see.
The creep factor in this show comes from its mysteriously constructed narrative, but it’s well documented online that it also delivers on an impermanent environment. Look closely at statues and shadows, you’ll see more each time you watch.
Haunting of Hill House concludes in a finale that will leave you wanting more, even after all the answers are given. I can’t recommend this one enough to anyone who likes supernatural and psychological horror, and the atmosphere of a beautiful old house.
If I had to select a favourite show of 2020, this would be it. Not just for being the horror category, but for almost every imaginable reason.
Dark is a German-made sci-fi/horror hybrid, that ignores how we understand time. The story follows a group of intertwined characters along the better part of a century. People begin to go missing in the small town, leading a few to be lost in time, and stopping to show the evolution of the characters every 33 years.
There was something interesting about the timing of a story that evolves in 33-year chunks as I entered my own 33rd year, as well as dealing with the end of the world – which happened to be set in 2020. The show’s writers must have seen that one coming.
The complexity of the story deepens with each season, and just when you think it can’t get any more twisted, it’ll surprise you. This show will definitely require your undivided attention. Dark is addictive; buckle in for the impending binge!
All 3 seasons of the show are available on Netflix (well dubbed, or in the original German with subtitles).
I stumbled upon the French show, Marianne, during my horror movie binge. I wanted to keep the dark and spooky mood through the whole time, so that theme bled into the TV I watched as well.
I’m not sure if the creators will continue with this story, so I think it’s more appropriately called a mini-series, self-contained in one creep filled season.
The tale follows a successful young writer home to a moody French small town. She arrives fresh from a promotional tour advertising her horror novel constructed from memories of her childhood. The evil spirit was just supposed to be a bad dream, but instead, she is so much more. Marianne truly is a waking nightmare.
I appreciated the creator’s dedication to creating a deliciously creepy character in a genre that tends to dance along the same demonic tropes. In that way, Marianne delivers a show that may just keep you up at night.
If you’re a horror buff like I am, then stick around and prepare for an upcoming breakdown of some of the best and worst movies I found along my journey.
Until then, stay spooky.
Featured photo by Michał Lis on Unsplash