13 Horror TV shows worth digging up

Following on from my list of unknown horror films, I thought a list of the better horror TV shows was in order. Unfortunately horror TV shows, tend to have a shorter lifespan than other genres, so there are some mini-series and cancelled series featured on the list. But even though their stories have ended, I believe they are still worth the watch.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Plot summary:

After his hometown is destroyed and his mother is killed, young Eren Yeager vows to cleanse the earth of the giant humanoid Titans that have brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

What makes it good?

I have never been so scared of an animation in my life. The monsters in this anime are so scary because they resemble us – with the static smile and nakedness makes it even more horrifying – and they are cannibals to boot. Following a group of friends who join an elite regiment, vowing to do anything in their power to reclaim the land that was stolen from them. There was a live action film of Attack on Titan made as well.

The Strain

The Strain - David Bradley

Plot summary:

A mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism ravages the city of New York.

What makes it good?

This show is exactly how I have always wanted vampires to be depicted. They aren’t the sexy, mysterious vampires of the past. They are gross and disgusting and it is seemingly almost impossible to defeat them. All the characters are fantastic to watch with good casting choices. The Strain is based on a book trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, which I highly recommend also. There are slight differences from the book, but personally I think it holds very well.

iZombie

iZombie - Rose McIver - Aly Michalka

Plot summary:

A medical resident finds that being a zombie has its perks, which she uses to assist the police.

What makes it good?

This is more of a horror comedy, but it is still pretty fun to watch. It does have a certain level of grossness to it with the consumption of human brains featuring pretty heavily. It starts off with our protagonist hiding her zombie nature and assisting the police by consuming their brains. As you can imagine, hiding that secret becomes more and more difficult, and there are dangerous acquaintances ready to pounce.

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow - Tom Mison - Nicole Beharie - Orlando Jones

Plot summary:

Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

What makes it good?

I have always loved the story of Ichabod Crane, but I’ve always viewed him as a coward in the stories I’ve seen. This show is great because Ichabod becomes more likeable, and he teams up with a detective to turn this into a supernatural crime show. It’s a bit of light-hearted fun where the stakes aren’t that high.

Daybreak

Daybreak

Plot summary:

High school outcast Josh is searching for his missing girlfriend in post apocalyptic Glendale. He’s joined by a group of misfits Angelica and his former bully Wesley. On the way they’ll face many weird things.

What makes it good?

I am so sad that this show has been cancelled, as it had such good potential. It follows a post-apocalyptic world in which all the adults have been killed or transformed, leaving all the kids to govern themselves. As you can imagine, they split into factions with some factions more dangerous than others. It’s like a lighter version of The Walking Dead and features a stellar performance by Matthew Broderick.

Helix

Helix - Billy Campbell

Plot summary:

A team of scientists are thrust into a potentially life-or-death situation when they arrive in the Arctic to secretly investigate what could be an outbreak of a strange disease in a secluded international research facility.

What makes it good?

Now there were two seasons before this was cancelled, but really only the first season is worth a watch. It’s like a mix between Pitch Black and when the crew in The Expanse tackle Eros. Unfortunately they pivoted in the wrong direction and the second season has none of the magic of the first.

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Plot summary:

A group of school kids and a cat who fight ghosts.

What makes it good?

I am including this on the list with a caveat, you must watch the dubbed version only. I don’t normally recommend dubbed versions but in this case it makes the show. What is great about the English dubbed version is that all the script is entirely improvised, leading to many humorous scenes. Jokes ranged from pop culture references, politically incorrect jokes about race, religion and sexuality and even featured jokes mocking the poor animation of the show.

Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing

Plot summary:

A British taskforce, lead by the daughter of the vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing, battles the supernatural with the aid of two vampires.

The vampire Alucard, his master Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, and his newly sired ward Seras Victoria, try to protect England from a war-crazed SS-Major who seeks to start an eternal war with his vampire army.

What makes it good?

Spinning the idea of what makes a hero on its head, we are presented with the vampire Alucard, who walks the fine line between good and evil. Though this is a very dark anime series, there is humour scattered in. This another series that takes all the previous incarnations of vampires and throws them out the window. Featuring epic battle scenes with a nightmarish visual style, Hellsing Ultimate pulls no punches in its gore.

Residue

Residue

Plot summary:

The government cover-up of the causes behind a massive explosion in a futuristic UK metropolis spur photo journalist Jennifer Preston on to search for the truth and in the process blow open a paranormal phenomenon haunting the city.

What makes it good?

This is a mini-series that unfortunately fell victim to Netflix’s cancellation hammer. However, it is still a worthwhile watch in itself. The story is shown in 3 episodes in which an intriguing storyline is presented – featuring sci-fi, paranormal, government conspiracy and quarantine zones. The director, Alex Garcia Lopez, manages to create a suspenseful and dark atmosphere where you are not sure you want to know what the secrets are.

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Plot summary:

This parody series is an unearthed 80s horror/drama, complete with poor production values, awful dialogue and hilarious violence. The series is set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.

What makes it good?

This is mainly a parody show about the egotism of the authors, but is set in the fictional world created by fictional author Garth Marenghi. Meant to be a fun take of 1980s television drama, it has poor production and special effects, sub-par acting, choppy editing and terrible storylines. However, that is what makes this so great, as that effect makes it hilarious, especially the music which also parodies the fictional show.

Nightflyers

Nightflyers

Plot summary:

A crew of scientists embark on a mission aboard a ship called the Nightflyer to investigate a mysterious alien signal, but soon begin to question if there is already something on-board the Nightflyer with them.

What makes it good?

This has a lot of hate on the IMDb user reviews mainly because it replaced The Expanse before it got picked up by Amazon. But if you have ever wanted Event Horizon in a TV format, I would give this a go. Unfortunately like many sci-fi or horror shows, it was cancelled after one season but this appears to be poor timing rather than the quality of the show.

Storm of the Century

Storm of the Century

Plot summary:

A dangerous blizzard hits an isolated town and brings along a mysterious stranger intent on terrorizing people for his own desires.

What makes it good?

Stephen King adaptations range from bad to good with everything in between, luckily Storm of the Century falls in the latter group. The best thing about this show is the depiction of a strong community spirit in the town, which is established through good character development. This makes it all the more powerful when the town members’ secrets come out, fracturing the close-knit group. This show has suspense in abundance.

Wynonna Earp

Wynonna Earp - Melanie Scrofano - Tim Rozon

Plot summary:

Following Wyatt Earp’s great great-granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.

What makes it good?

Based on the comic book series of the same name, Wynonna Earp is a western supernatural horror show in which Wynonna must battle revenants who threaten the whole town and beyond. The great thing about this show is that it manages to combine an atmosphere of fun and grit in a supernatural setting. I especially like this as it features a prominent female cast, which are written as strong, kick ass and complex. And it does not shy from any one of them using profanities. All the characters are written well in this show, and every action they take makes sense in their character arc even if it surprises you.

What Horror TV shows do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.

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