The Best of Alternative Halloween Horror TV

by thethreepennyguignol

Hi! I’m Louise, I’m twenty-four, and the only thing that gives my life meaning is the horror genre! It’s October, which means I actually have a tenuous reason to talk about the genre for a change, as if I need one.

I’m a huge fan of horror television, and man, is there some good stuff out there – The Haunting of Hill House, Marianne, the first two seasons of American Horror Story but Certainly Not the newest ones – but I want to share some of my newest discoveries to creep you out this Halloween season. From slashers to zombies to, uh, miscellaneous, let’s dive into the sPoOkiEst series out there.

  1. Slasher

I just started watching this show a few weeks back, and goodness me, how have I missed it for so long? An anthology series, with each season revolving around a new story and set of characters, it’s horror in the AHS mould, but without any of the AHS claims to tenuous prestige. The slasher genre is one that embraces utter ridiculousness by its very nature, and Slasher takes that on in style with a tone that manages Scooby Doo camp alongside somewhat spooky slashdom and chaotic but compelling whodunnits where everyone is comically awful but at least entertaining to watch. The violence is impressively graphic and unflinching, and the show played fair with a solid mystery story amongst all the absurdist amputation and indiscriminate gore. If you want a low-commitment but high-reward nonsense – and have a strong stomach for people being turned into ex-human chum – this is the show for you.

2. Channel Zero – The No-End House

I reviewed the first season of this anthology creepypasta show early this year, and I’ve only just plucked up the courage to jump into the second – and damn, what an outing this is. Written by Nick Antosca, of Hannibal writer’s room, uh, non-fame, No-End House is a nightmare exercise in psychological torment stretched over eight episodes and I can’t reccommend it enough. Sometimes, I just wake up in the morning and want to watch something that’s going to ruin the rest of my day, and this let me scratch that itch. John Carrol Lynch stars in a role far greater than anything American Horror Story could ever give him (I promise I’ll stop dunking on this show eventually, probably), amongst a solid cast of young unknown actors. But it’s the season’s passionate commitment to the oblique, disturbing imagery that fills its foreboding suburban landscape that makes it so enduring.

3. Dead Set

I feel like, amongst all the Black Mirror chat, Charlie Brooker’s first shot at horror TV is often overlooked. A zombie flick set against the backdrop of a season of Big Brother, Dead Set is low-budget, blackly comic, decidedly British spin on the subgenre. It’s a particular treat if you’re acquainted with the British backdrop against which it takes place, but even if you’re not, this is still one of the best takes on the zombie genre on television. And yeah, I include The Walking Dead in that. Especially The Walking Dead.

What are you watching this spooky season? Let me know in the comments below! If you want some more cinematic scares, check out Halloween Season at No But Listen, and, as ever, please consider supporting me on Patreon!

(header image via What’s On Netflix)