With Halloween around the corner, horror aficionados are busy picking out their favourite films and shows to binge on, besides deciding upon their costumes and candies. Netflix, a certified horror treasure trove, has constantly and consistently been the abode to brilliant horror films and series that have nurtured the horror fans in us.
Netflix’s love for horror was recently proven by the streamer’s attempt at the first-ever bot made horror film that left the audience in splits amidst a profound and poignant premise.
From controversial horror films making a comeback to the screaming giant to more consistent performers like Hereditary, The Conjuring and more, Netflix has housed various kinds of scary films that are enough to terrify one into oblivion. Like films, the streaming giant has various scary series that should be paid heed to as well.
Ahead of Halloween this year, we, at Best of Netflix, decided to compile a list of 7 scary series you must binge on:
7 scary Netflix series to binge on before Halloween
7. Ghoul (Patrick Graham, 2018)
A political commentary on the issues plaguing Indian society, this film portrays the same under the guise of a horror story. In a dystopian future, the fascist Indian government persecutes Muslims and burns books. Nida Rahim, a dedicated and loyal military official is tasked with the interrogation of a vicious terrorist. However, things take a dark and sinister turn when Nida is under the impression that the terrorist is possessed by some otherworldly presence.
Derived heavily from Arabian folklore, this three-episode miniseries is inspired by the events in Nazi Germany as well as other dystopian fiction. The general air of claustrophobia deftly conveys the underlying message. The overall unnerving interrogation and background score are buoyed by incredible performances, notably from Radhika Apte in the lead whose untamed and wild nature sets the mood for the show.
6. Midnight Mass (Mike Flanagan, 2021)
Dubbed by Flanagan himself to be his “favourite project so far”, the show is a perfect blend of myth, darkness and psychological horror that emanate from both supernatural elements and evils of “human nature”. Obsession with death and addiction reign supreme while the creator dexterously incorporates biblical allusions, symbolism, imagery and beliefs while questioning faith, morality, madness, chaos, darkness and evil that are the ambitious and overarching themes in the series.
Starring Zach Gilford, Kate Siegel, Hamish Linklater, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli and more as well as a surprise cameo from Flanagan himself and Carla Gugino’s voiceover, the series sees a disgraced young man returning to his hometown in Crockett Island, tormented by his act of having run over and killed a woman.
Tormented by his memories, his faith and hope are put to test by the sudden arrival of the mysterious young priest whose arrival leads to the occurrence of miracles that involve sinister forces as well.
5. Brand New Cherry Flavour (Nick Antosca, Lenore Zion, 2021)
Focused on “predators and prey”, the film revolves around a naive aspiring LA-based filmmaker Lisa N. Nova who is called in by one of her favourite producers for supposed career advice. However, she spirals after the leech abuses her and resorts to supernatural elements to set the producer’s life “on fire” and “make him hurt”. Things begin to de-escalate, and she is caught in her personal hell of nightmare and anguish.
Starring Rose Salazar, Eric Lange, Catherine Keener, Leland Orser, Jeff Ward and more, this miniseries will take the viewers on a hallucinatory ride involving sex, magic and revenge over a course of eight riveting episodes.
This sultry and morbidly funny trailer contains a dope mix of hilarity, horror, revenge and magic amidst classic ‘90s seedy nostalgia that leads to a mind-numbing horror ride.
4. The Haunting of Bly Manor (Mike Flanagan, 2020)
Flanagan’s 2020 series saw a lot of his cast returning in fresh roles. With heart-rending backstories and seamless narrative, the creator’s ingenious vision tackles the topics of love, grief and loss deftly.
A near-psychological rampage, the miniseries scars and heals the audience at the same time while bringing attention to their theory of every love story being a ghost story.
Set in a quaint fictional village named Bly, the events occur in Bly Manor when a young au pair named Dani comes to tend to the Wingrave children while dealing with a traumatic past of her own. The Manor hides sinister secrets and ominous narratives take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster.
3. The Haunting of Hill House (Mike Flanagan, 2018)
Based on Shirley Jackson’s eponymous novel, Flanagan’s 2018 miniseries marked the beginning of his spectacular collaborations with Netflix. Flanagan, as usual, pays no heed to the linearity of time and makes the past, present and future blend together as one.
With jump scares, ghostly apparitions and other occult disturbances, the omnipresent tension heighten the psychological horror that manifests in the frail and relatable characters who are pushed towards insanity.
The series revolves around the Crain family who moves into the Hill House to make renovations. The children and their parents are confronted with sudden anxieties when they face the supernatural horrors of the house. Traumatised by the ghosts of their past as well as their mother’s suicide, they grow up to be dysfunctional adults who are forced to come together in a terrifying premise.
2. Kingdom (Kim Eun-hee, 2019)
Set in the Joseon Dynasty in Korea right after the Imjin War, the series focuses on a mysterious plague that causes the dead to be resurrected and zombies soon overrun the empire amidst rising political tension, brewing malice and a lot of conspiracies.
The show portrays how power corrupts everyone, with a perfect blend of various genres, including horror, historical period drama, and political thriller. Amidst injustice, greed, envy and inequity, the series exactly reflects what Eun-hee said it would: “Politics and the living dead are not separate but rather come together as one”.
Eun-hee further elaborated that the show portrays what politics really is. “If we go deeper and deeper, it all boils down to politics. The pain that comes from politics, the price we have to pay for pain, they are the message that penetrates the series.”
1. Squid Game (Hwang Dong-hyuk, 2021)
Directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the survival thriller series stars Lee Jung Jae, Park Hae Soo, Jung Ho Yeon and Wi Ha Jun. It sees a group of 456 strangers betting their lives against whopping prize money of 45.6 billion Korean Won.
Forced into a confined space, with a flurry of shapes, including squares, circles and triangles, the participants are being watched closely by the panoptic gaze of unknown and sinister forces hidden under masks and overalls.
The premise is riveting and unnerving. It is a brilliant critique of capitalism, power, greed and lust. It shows how desperation, frustration and vulnerability bring to the fore the basest and most despicable emotions in man. Set in modern-day Korea, the nine-episode series sees a dystopian and nightmarish experience inducing paranoia, frenzy and anxiety.