This semester, I’ve been taking a literature class that’s focused on the horror / weird genre. I was worried at the beginning of the course because I try my best to stay away from that genre in books and movies, but I’ve slowly noticed that that’s not true for the TV shows I watch. In fact, some of my favorite shows could be considered part of the horror genre. So, here’s the list of horror shows I’ve watched.
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
ORIGINAL RUN: 1997 – 2003
TOTAL SEASONS: 7
PREMISE: Buffy Summers is a normal teenage girl by day and the OG demon hunter by night, long before Shadowhunters ever existed.
I never watched Buffy when it was on air, but I did watch it a couple of years ago on Netflix, and I’m watching it again along with Rewatchable Podcast from Hypable. While it’s definitely a product of it’s time, Buffy has some of the most memorable and my favorite episodes in any of the shows that I’ve watched. “Hush” is one of my favorite episodes from the series, with one of the most terrifying monsters called the “gentlemen.”
ORIGINAL RUN: 2016 – Ongoing
PREMISE: When middle schooler, Will, goes missing, his friends and family set out to find him among the many weird and horrific events taking place in their town.
I didn’t know what to expect from Stranger Things, other than something strange. I bought into the hype and I wasn’t disappointed by it. From the first episode, I was equally horrified and intrigued by it, so of course I binged the entire season within 48 hours or less. The story of Stranger Things looks like it could be pulled out from the collection of stories I’m currently reading for class this semester, it belongs there. In only 8 episodes (and 48 hours of binging) I was introduced to some scary powerful kid, creepy government labs, the upside down world, large demagorgan monster, and even more creepy signs and messages. The first scene of the show scared me enough that I had nightmares that night. Even in the moments that everything appears to be fine, I was still horrified because something always happens.
The Vampire Diaries
ORIGINAL RUN: 2010 – 2017
TOTAL SEASONS: 8
PREMISE: Elena is a normal teenage girl until she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between two handsome vampire brothers.
At the height of the vampire hype, Vampire Diaries came into being with cheesy and sometimes cliché storylines, but it did keep me watching for 8 seasons until it’s series finale this past Friday. A moment of silence please…
In spite all the romance, recurring storylines, and eerily familiar Buffy similarities, The Vampire Diaries still managed to scare me. Sure, it doesn’t compare to some of the others on the list but with it’s vampires, werewolves, and witches running loose, the dark forest scenes, unexpected deaths, and gore, it’s enough to scare me.
The Walking Dead
ORIGINAL RUN: 2010 – Ongoing
PREMISE: Rick Grimes wakes up months after being in a coma and finds himself in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.
This is the only one show on the list where gross and horror truly come together. Sometimes, I don’t know if I’m scared because they are zombies, or I’m so grossed out that I get scared. Whatever the reason may be, the show exploits it and makes for some truly horrifying scenes from a sickening zombie in a well, to making me think something is going to pop out, it all equally scares and disgusts me… and somehow I keep on watching.
Pretty Little Liars
ORIGINAL RUN: 2010 – 2017 (final season will finish airing this year)
TOTAL SEASONS: 7
PREMISE: Four teenage girls begin to receive mysterious messages from A after their friend goes missing.
The show is not exactly horrifying in the same way as the other shows mentioned on this list. Instead, it’s more mysterious and thriller and less gory and gross, but it still managed to scare me. The terrifying thought that someone is constantly following you and knows all your secrets should be enough to scare anyone, but the dangerous situations, dark places, creepy clues, creepy dolls, and creepy people, just add to the horror of it all. Unfortunately, the repetitive plots and A’s identity constantly switching and changing, kept me from ever finishing the series.
These are the series that could be considered horror but I haven’t finished the series, watched enough to decide, or I’m just unsure if they would fall under this category.
- American Horror Story
Because 3 of his shows have been mentioned (Buffy, Angel, and Bones)
- The Originals
- Being Human
- Game of Thrones
- How to Get Away With Murder
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