Best Netflix horror series to watch this Halloween - Dexerto
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Best Netflix horror series to watch this Halloween

Published: 6/Oct/2021 12:36

by Sam Smith

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Looking for a new series to watch to get scare yourself silly this spooky season? Check out the best Netflix horror series to watch this Halloween.

Sitting down to binge a Netflix show has become one of the world’s favorite pass-times, but as we approach Halloween our thoughts start turning to what creepy show can we watch next?

Here’s a list of the best horror shows on Netflix to get in the mood this Halloween.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

netflix horror series bly manor
Netflix
Bly Manor’s ghosts often hide in plain sight.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is a modern reimagining of the classic ghost story The Turn of The Screw by Henry James. It’s the second season of Netflix and Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting anthology and tells a very different story to the first season, but features many returning cast members.

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Instead of relying on jump scares, the series instead builds feelings of dread in the pits of the audiences’ stomachs, then ramps up the tension until the inevitable and horrifying payoff. As a result, the series manages to be far scarier than most shows/movies that rely on jump scares over atmosphere.

Scream

netflix horror series scream
Netflix
Ghost Face stalks his next victim.

While a new Scream movie is in development, fans of the satirical slasher franchise should check out the Netflix series. Like the films, the series is centered around a group of teens who start to be picked off by a new Ghost Face killer.

This time, the killer is using social media and modern technology to stalk their victims, allowing the series to feel like a modern update to the films. It also has a lot to say about the terrors of cyberstalking and how modern slasher horror has evolved since the 90s.

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You

netflix horror series You
Netflix
Joe’s garden is getting full of bodies.

You is based on a series of novels of the same name by Caroline Kepnes. The story follows mild-mannered bookstore clerk Joe Goldberg in his pursuit of love. The only problem is Joe has an obsessive personality and stalks the objects of his affection with murderous zeal. Should they not return his affection then things can get dark very quickly.

The show channels Fatal Attraction and Dexter, with the story being told from Joe’s point of view for the most part. Joe is often depicted as sympathetic. He is frequently able to convince himself – and the audience – why what he’s doing is justified. Although, it soon dawns on the audience that they are sympathizing with a serial killer.

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Kingdom

netflix horror series kingdom
Netflix
The Prince must save his Kingdom before he can save his crown.

Based on the graphic novels of the same name, Kingdom follows the crown prince of medieval Korea as he navigates a plot to steal his throne amid a zombie apocalypse. What sounds completely bizarre on paper works surprisingly well. Kingdom is one of the best zombie shows on TV, injecting humor, horror, and tense action sequences in abundance and at the right time.

Throughout the first series, the characters are often on the backfoot, running from zombies or fortifying towns, castles, and roads from the rampaging hordes. It’s thrilling and never lets up. The series also manages to scratch that political intrigue itch left by Game of Thrones.

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Haunted

netflix horror series haunted
Netflix
Haunted features some very scary moments.

Not to be confused with The Haunting, Haunted is also a horror anthology but rather than telling a different story every series, Haunted tells a different creepy tale every episode. Each starts with a group of survivors sitting in a circle setting the scene before they tell their story. This gives the series a documentary feel, despite those telling the story also being actors.

Some episodes are stronger than others, but some are truly frightening. Haunted’s ghost/monster of the week style works well, as some viewers will find some stories more disturbing than others. The very first episode of the first season is particularly chilling, involving a man being haunted by the ghost of his neighbor every night when he goes to bed.

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Midnight Mass

netflix horror series midnight mass
Netflix
Midnight Mass is a master-class in tension.

Midnight Mass comes from the twisted mind of Mike Flanagan and at first glance, appears to be the third season in his The Haunting anthology. But despite using many of the same cast members and crew, Midnight Mass is a very different horror series.

The plot involves a man returning from a lengthy spell in prison to his childhood home, a deeply religious island community that is mistrustful of outsiders. The series does an excellent job of making its characters appear isolated and vulnerable, and this is before the real danger reveals itself. Midnight Mass often feels reminiscent of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lott.

Penny Dreadful

netflix horror series penny dreadful
Showtime
The Creature threatens his creator.

Penny Dreadful weaves various icons of gothic Victorian horror into one narrative. It does so naturally and without any character ever feeling like they don’t belong. Throughout the series, characters like Wolfman, Dracula, Dorian Grey, Doctor Jekyll, Frankenstein, and his Monster all make an appearance.

Each character’s origins are explored and it’s fun to see how these characters move around the world and interact with one another. Some are well aware of who the others are while others remain in the dark.

Slasher

netflix horror series slasher
Netflix
The Slasher’s often resemble classic horror icons.

Slasher makes good on its title, delivering a different story of characters being stalked and slashed to death by a serial killer each season. The story is often a ‘whodunnit’, where every character is a suspect or has some motivation for murdering the others due to some transgression from the past.

The series is gory and tense. It also understands its audience very well, never straying too far from what fans of the slasher genre would enjoy. Of course, there are plenty of twists with each season of the anthology, and the fun is speculating who the killer might be, why they’re doing it – and who’s going to be next on the slab.

American Horror Story

netflix horror series AHS
Fox/Disney
The latest American Horror Story season – Double Feature.

Now in its tenth season, American Horror Story has become one of TV’s biggest horror shows ever. The first 9 seasons are available to stream right now on Netflix. The series is an anthology, reinventing itself every season with many of the same cast members in different roles.

Although as the series has grown, connections between characters, places, and events from earlier seasons have started to appear. AHS is now an interconnected universe where crossovers can happen anytime. Each season also has a different theme, with insane asylums, witches, haunted houses, summer camps, and cults all appearing at some point.

The Haunting of Hill House

netflix horror series hill house
Netflix
Hill House features some of the scariest moments ever seen on TV.

The Haunting of Hill House is the first season of Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting anthology and might just be the scariest show on Netflix. The series is a modern retelling of the novel of the same name. But this adaptation reimagines the characters as a family, all living in the House and being tormented by its restless spirits.

The show focuses on the family’s trauma in two timelines, one when they’re living in the house and another once they’ve fled it. However, Hill House is not done with the Crane family and does all it can to draw them back.

The Haunting of Hill House also forgoes jump scares for a slow-burning horror designed to get under the audience’s skin. It became popular for hiding ghosts in plain sight in many scenes, adding to the series mystery and creep factor.