Television has been giving movies a run for their money in recent years; film stars are dabbling in TV and Netflix has led the way in the digital revolution. If you’re stuck of any decent movies to watch this Halloween, here are 11 TV shows to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.
American Horror Story Asylum Almost no two people who like AHS agree on what is the best season so far, for me the second season remains the most satisfying, although Murder House comes in a pretty close second. Jessica Lange leads the ensemble cast as Sister Jude, a strict nun (with a sinful past) who is in charge of the Briarcliff Asylum. Demons, aliens, and Anne Frank all play a part in the audacious story.
Psychoville The annual viewing of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s fabulously dark Psychoville has become a tradition since the series debuted just five years ago. If you liked The League Of Gentlemen, then you know what to expect from their wicked sense of humour.
Dark comedy can be a nightmare to get right, but Pemberton and Shearsmith make it look easy, despite an untimely end and lasting just 14 episodes Psychoville is a deliriously enjoyable series that geeks like us well appreciate all the more. They even made a Halloween Special, so why are you reading this when you should be watching that.
Inside No. 9 From one anthology TV series to another, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton follow Psychoville with another deliciously macabre offering. Each story takes us into a different number nine with a variety of unhinged characters.
Reece Shearsmith recently confirmed that a third series is in the works and will be with us sometime next year.
Crooked House Another League of Gentlemen alumni writes and stars in a delicious ghost story, Mark Gatiss’ Crooked House might just be his finest work to date. A trio of connected tales of terror revolving around an old stately home Geap Manor. Featuring Julian Rhind-Tutt, Philip Jackson, Jean Marsh, Samuel Barnett, Andy Nyman and Derren Brown in a role eerily too close for comfort. Halloween isn’t the same without a good ghost story.
IT While we wait for the long-gestating movie reboot that may or may not be two parts, the TV mini-series of Stephen King’s IT makes for perfect viewing over Halloween. Tim Curry became a fixture in my childhood nightmares, his performance as Pennywise The Clown is a towering piece of work.
Chimera Another TV mini-series from us Brits, ignore the cut-down version retitled Monkey Boy the original four part series has stayed with me since I saw it over 20 years ago. Chad is the result of years of scientific experimenting, a half-boy half chimp hybrid, chaos erupts when Chad gets free and goes on a rampage. Doesn’t sound very scary does it, well you’re wrong because when I wasn’t having fever dreams of Pennywise, it was the image of Chad standing at the foot of my bed in the dead of night that kept me awake.
Dead Set It wouldn’t be right to let Halloween pass without some kind of blood soaked zombie action. As everybody and their dog watches The Walking Dead, why not give Charlie Brooker’s zombie satire a spin instead.
Marchlands A five part mini-series from ITV tells the tragic story of Alice, a young girl who died in 1968 and her restful spirt continues to haunt the inhabitants of her former home. Set in three timelines, Marchlands is an elegant ghost story that draws you in and doesn’t let go. Treat yourself this Halloween.
Penny Dreadful John Logan’s horror mash-up doesn’t get as much praise as it deserves, a starry cast including Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, and Josh Hartnett populate the lavish production. American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, Victor Frankenstein, respected explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and medium Vanessa Ives join forces to battle the rising tide of darkness.
The Enfield Haunting Timothy Spall leads the cast in this mini-series shown on Sky Living earlier this year. Based on the The Enfield Poltergeist incident, Spall is joined by Matthew Macfadyen and Juliet Stevenson. As you would expect, Spall delivers a flawless performance in a beautifully constructed chiller like they used to make back in the day.
We’ll be seeing another adaptation of this story in the forthcoming sequel to The Conjuring.
Supernatural Supernatural was a series I was a little late to the party to, already in its third season by the time I started watching; the show has become a firm favourite of mine over the years. The first five seasons remain the best with series creator Eric Kripke departing as showrunner, but the journey carried on without him and still offers its loyal fans surprises. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles still find new depths to explore their characters.
Over the course of their ten-year road trip, the Winchesters have encountered everything from vampires, to vengeful spirits, the devil, rogue angels and have literally been to hell and back. Few TV shows make it to season 11, but then not every series has the loyal fanbase that Supernatural commands. Showing no signs of slowing down and if you have yet to take the journey with the Winchester brother what better time to get all caught up than Halloween.