The howling winds of Halloween are approaching and with that, a rash of horror-themed TV shows for your viewing pleasure. From classics such as The X-Files to modern phenomena like American Horror Story, scares have long been a staple of the small screen.
With more TV around than ever before, we’ve picked out some of the horror shows that aren’t a complete horror to watch.
Where to watch: BBC iPlayer
For fans of: Red Rose, Dead Set
A killer duck. A cruise ship. A murder mystery. BBC Three’s Wreck is a comic-horror delight featuring a group of newly inducted cruise ship recruits finding freedom, love and cliques while riding the waves.
Starring Ladhood’s Oscar Kennedy and laced with an Inbetweeners-style humour about the tribal nature of young adulthood where the mean girls are akin to the mafia and more terrifying than the giant duck offing those on board. As you may have gathered, Wreck is also a mischievous slasher in the vein of Scream so you get a dose of horror with your humour this Halloween.
Where to watch: Sky/NOW
For fans of: American Horror Story, The Twilight Zone
Starring stand-up comedian Michelle de Swarte and flickered with delicious jet black humour throughout, The Baby tackles motherhood and parenting with its Twilight Zone synopsis: a woman who doesn’t like or want children has one fall out of the sky on her. Oh and it has murderous intentions.
Doubling as a thorny social commentary on a woman’s right to choose and societal expectations of motherhood as the seemingly unkillable baby runs through women in search of the one that can give him love. It’s not a subtle metaphor but it’s an effective one. For those that like a creative death scene, The Baby will be your thing.
Where to watch: Sky/NOW
For fans of: Servant, The Midwich Cuckoos
The serial killing doll is back for his own second season on TV after clocking up eight movies to his name. With horror icon Brad Dourif returning to voice the evil tyke, the series loses none of the original film’s wacky sensibilities while maintaining an absurdist level of horror.
Chucky hasn’t been tamed for TV with its litany of grisly kills and acerbic humour bounding across the first two seasons of the show – highlighting why the redheaded wrecking ball became shorthand for a menacing child in the first place. Child’s Play aficionados will also be pleased to see the likes of Jennifer Tilly, Fiona Dourif and Alex Vincent return from the films.
The Midnight Club
Where to watch: Netflix
For fans of: The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass
The latest offering from horror supremo Mike Flanagan, The Midnight Club is the story of terminally ill teenagers who meet up to tell each other scary stories. As is usually the case with Flanagan’s film and TV, death lurks around every corner but this Netflix curio adds a dose of meta deconstruction with frequent fourth-wall breaking.
Those that like Flanagan’s other shows will be treated to a lot of the same wicked delights. If you come in wanting jump scares then jump scares you will get as the show has officially broken the world record for most uses of the divisive technique.
Let the Right One In
Where to watch: Paramount+
For fans of: Interview with the Vampire, Day Of The Dead
An expansion on the 2008 hit Swedish horror film that has also been adapted into the English language and into a stage production, Let the Right One In proves there’s still quite the appetite for the vampire.
Compared to some more recent teen-friendly fang action in the likes of The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, Let the Right One In ups the psychological stakes for a more serious take on the genre. Through a naturalistic lens, the show focuses closer on the emotional impact of vampirism. The Hateful Eight’s Demián Bichir is the standout as a father trying to supply human blood to his vampire daughter.