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TV Show Horrors

Friday, October 13, 2017

With Halloween approaching, get in the spirit with a horror movie marathon. Aakriti Patni talks about TV series that are guaranteed to send a chill down your spine

A festival that brings out the eerie spirits that lurk in the shadows and which celebrate darkness, Halloween is almost upon us. While the spooky festival may not be celebrated here like it is in the US, we can get into the spirit in our own way. If you’re looking to cultivate some of the creepiness that the harvest festival is about, why not turn to a TV marathon? In preparation for Halloween, immerse yourself in the best horror on television. And no, we don’t think binge-watching Ghost Hunters counts as horror.

American Horror Story

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If you haven’t stumbled upon this wickedly interesting and terrifying show yet, you’re probably doing something wrong. This anthology horror series focuses on a new plot each season and it has left audiences, quite literally, shaking in their seats. However, it’s not just the gore and spooky mysteries that make the series worth a watch, but the intricate plot lines, the direction and, above all, the acting. Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk envisioned each season and storyline to have its own beginning, middle and end. Start with the first season, which revolves around a haunted house, or follow a coven of witches in the third; but be warned, once you start, you may be too scared to stop!

Penny Dreadful

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Infusing historical literature with dark mysteries and intriguing plots, Penny Dreadful is a horror period drama that is inspired from 19th century British literature. The title of the psychological thriller refers to ‘penny dreadfuls’, a term used to classify gothic literature during the Victorian era, which focused on lurid and sensational topics. The series draws upon many classic literary characters such as Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and Dorian Gray and explores their lives in a terrifying narrative as they lurk in the darkest corners of Victorian London. For classic literature enthusiasts and those who enjoy psychological thrillers, the show is a horrifying treat that you will gladly savour this Halloween.

Scream Queens

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A horror comedy show, Scream Queens is for those who love their comedy spiked with a bit of mystery and gore. Following a typical sorority house and with an American university theme, the show mocks this entire setting and uses different aspects of the stereotypical university education as motifs and plot lines in the storytelling. While perhaps not the most riveting TV show to watch for a Halloween-themed scare, the light-hearted series will leave you and your gang splitting with laughter. To top it off, former Glee star Lea Michele, singer Ariana Grande and Emma Roberts star in the show, which is quite possibly enough of a reason to get started on this one.

Bates Motel

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This is the perfect choice for fans of Alfred Hitchcock, especially those who loved the classic Hitchcock film, Psycho. A contemporary reimagining of the film, the series starts off as a prequel to the movie, depicting the lives of the lead characters Norman Bates and his mother Norma Bates prior to the events that occur in the original film. However, the series is set in modern times and delves into Norman’s mental illness and the dangerous outcome. A psychological horror drama, the series has received rave reviews, especially for the acting and the conceptualisation. It has proven to be a hit with Hitchcock fans, as the storyline strays from the original film and provides brilliant alternative versions.

The Exorcist

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Not for the faint-hearted, this TV series is a sequel to and part of The Exorcist franchise. Perhaps one of the most iconic films in the supernatural genre, the films gained immense popularity and cult status. A similar plot line dominated the first season of the show, with a demonic possession that plagues a family. But, deviating from the usual focus of the family that is being troubled, the show concentrates on the two priests who are summoned to deal with the problem. They belong to different churches and the TV series explores their characters far more than the movie ever attempted to, but at the same time, it retains the essence of horror created by the original film. However, be sure to have some company when cosying up to this quintessential horror film and TV series this Halloween.

Hannibal

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It may be yet another psychological thriller horror TV series, but it tops the charts with critical acclaim for the performances of the leading cast as well as its visual style. Based on the spellbinding Hannibal book series, the TV series includes psychopathic murders, cannibalistic serial killers and an FBI investigator who wants get to the bottom of these hideous acts. But the series pays special attention to the complex relationship between FBI investigator Will Graham and lead character Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who is also a forensic psychiatrist. Lecter pushes the fragile boundaries of Graham’s sanity in order to turn him into a killer himself. This isn’t a typical ‘in your face’ scary show and it is devoid of ghosts and monsters, but it is just as twisted — truly a treat for those who love the psychological horror genre.

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