TelevisionOctober 30, 2020

Emily Writes: The best spooky TV to binge this Halloween weekend


Are you excited about spending Halloween on the couch this year? So is Emily Writes, who has some suggestions for a weekend of spooky streaming.

If 2020 hasn’t been scary enough for you and you’re looking to be terrified this Halloween, there’s plenty to watch on all of the streaming services. Binge away and add to the existential dread you carry around daily. Here’s the top 10 best shows to stream this weekend.

10. The Haunting of Hill House / The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

The Haunting of Bly Manor has just dropped on Netflix and if you’re a millennial or Zoomer incapable of watching TV without checking your phone or scrolling Instagram at the same time you will absolutely not be able to follow this show. Points for queer representation but honestly, The Haunting of Hill House is far superior. It’s scarier and less convoluted.

9. Last Looks (Quibi)

OK, I know I’m the only person who watches and loves Quibi but I’m still including this one. Catch it before Quibi goes. It’s a documentary series on “the dark side of glamour”. It’s beautifully shot and includes “real life crimes that shook the fashion industry”. It’s bite-sized true crime basically, narrated by Dakota Fanning of all people. But what I like the most about it is the clothing and make-up. It has also introduced me to some fascinating stories like the murder of Maurizio Gucci, the story behind fake heiress Anna Delvey, and fashion journalist Christa Worthington’s horrific murder and slut shaming in Cape Cod. I don’t usually like true crime but I really like this series.

8. Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon Prime)

You may argue that Little Fires Everywhere isn’t scary enough to watch on Halloween but I think Reese Witherspoon’s white lady characters are very scary. Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller this adaptation depicts motherhood as a terrifying and secretive journey where you sink or swim. Kerry Washington is very good in it and there’s rising dread with every episode until you reach the gripping finale.

David Tennant in Deadwater Fell (supplied)

7. Deadwater Fell (TVNZ OnDemand)

I never really understood the attraction people have to David Tennant until I watched this. Then I watched two episodes of Des (that’s all I could stomach – it’s about serial killer Des Nilsen and is on TVNZ as well if you’re so inclined) and my attraction disappeared in seconds. Anyway, Deadwater Fell is a British drama slash thriller based in a small Scottish town where everyone knows everyone’s business. A terrible house fire leaves a family dead. Was it an accident? Or was it murder? What a great beard though.

6. Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)

Season two just dropped but I still think season one is the best. I was really into season one and I still look up the cases for updates. But season two was just really sad and grim. It no longer felt like a guilty pleasure – instead I just felt like a terrible person for watching it. Still, it will lead you on a journey into murder Reddit which is definitely a frightening place. Those people are the worst. You can also catch the OG Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime. It still holds up.

The extremely horny True Blood

5. True Blood (Neon)

It’s horny and there’s vampires. What more could you ask for? And there’s seven seasons on Neon. Seven! Only four of them are any good but hey, every one of them has Alexander Skarsgård in it.

4. Servant (Apple TV)

Servant is terrifying and I’m obsessed with it. From the messed-up mind of M. Night Shyamalan, King of the Plot Twist, Servant is the story of an insufferable rich white couple who are in mourning following the death of their baby. I know, it’s not for everyone. I don’t want to give anything away but they hire a nanny after this death and everything becomes really, really fucked up. It has been a while since I’ve waited week-to-week in anticipation of a TV show like I did with this one – Servant totally captured me. You can watch the whole season because it has been out for a while.

What We Do in the Shadows (supplied)

3. Wellington Paranormal (TVNZ OnDemand), What We Do In the Shadows (Neo)

Because I live in Wellington, I’m contractually obligated to include these two shows. Plus, Karen O’Leary is a delight.

2. The Handmaid’s Tale (Neon)

Predictable, but I couldn’t not include it. It’s terrifying in and of itself but it’s also just terrifying because you can see it happening. Like now. You all know the plot but it’s basically what happens if or when Trump wins the US election next week.

1. Lovecraft Country (Neon)

The best show I’ve seen this year. Lovecraft Country is incredible. The first episode is a confusing what-the-fuck-is-this introduction, but stick with it. It gets better every episode. Set in segregated 1950s Jim Crow America, the show presents the horror of overt, systemic and brutal racism as the true monsters of the era (along with actual monsters). Sundown laws, the Tulsa race massacre, the murder of Emmett Till, Trumball Park housing, the “green book” are all featured among the magic and monsters of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. It’s truly frightening to see history repeat in 2020.

Honourable mentions that didn’t make the cut: Zombody Save Me! (TVNZ), The Victim (TVNZ), Gloriavale (TVNZ), The 1pm briefing with Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Evil (NEON), iZombie (NEON), The Terror (Amazon Prime), Fire in Paradise (Netflix).

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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