Header image courtesy of FX Networks
Staying in this Halloween rather than braving the crowds? Here are nine hair-raising television shows on Netflix Hong Kong to make any watch party—socially distant or not—that much spookier. See if you can binge-watch these in one weekend without getting the creeps!
Anyone who has heard anything about The Haunting of Hill House will no doubt be familiar with the mention of the Bent-Neck Lady, and indeed, she is just one of the few things that make this horror epic that much creepier. This supernatural horror drama tells the story of the Crain family and the ghosts—both literal and figurative—that plague the family after they move into the haunted Hill House. With an iconic single-take sequence and expertly placed jump scares, it has effortlessly spawned a sequel—The Haunting of Bly Manor.
What if we took zombies and placed them in feudal-era Korea? The answer, according to Netflix, is the hit South Korean drama Kingdom, which follows Prince Chang as he navigates palace intrigue to quell a mysterious plague that is turning his subjects into flesh-eating monsters. Inventive, dense (in a good way), and suspenseful, Kingdom is a fresh take on a genre that has been dominated by The Walking Dead for the past decade. If you can get through the first season in one weekend, there’s a second one waiting for you.
Ah, what would a list about horror shows be without American Horror Story, one of the forefathers of the modern horror television genre? Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, this anthology series centres on spine-chilling stories featuring a dizzying cast of characters set in different locations, including an insane asylum, a haunted house with a murderous past, and a witch coven, to name a few. Recurring cast members have counted Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, and Cathy Bates among them, and yep, there is even a cameo by Lady Gaga in one of the seasons. There are currently nine seasons of American Horror Story on Netflix Hong Kong so you can continue to creep yourself out long after Halloween has passed.
Based on the fictional town created by masterful horror veteran Stephen King, Castle Rock is an anthology series set in Maine that follows the haunting stories of its residents. Produced by J. J. Abrams and featuring Bill Skarsgård, André Holland, Lizzy Caplan, and Sissy Spacek across two seasons, the psychological horror show tells the tales of a death-row attorney who represents an unsettling inmate incarcerated at the local prison, and a feud between clans ignited by the arrival of a budding psychopath. Fans of Stephen King will no doubt delight at the references to some of his most famous stories, including “Jerusalem’s Lot” and Misery.
Anthology series seem to be all the rage these days, and here’s a Norwegian take on the genre. What do its six different horror stories have in common? Its doomed protagonists all took a ride on the same spectral bus. Blending dark humour with horror, viewers have called Bloodride the Scandinavian answer to Black Mirror, with plenty of (predictable) twists and turns, but entertaining nonetheless. Each episode clocks in at just 30 minutes, making this the perfect Halloween weekend binge-watching material.
Specialising in cold cases and paranormal phenomena, this cult classic first aired in 1987, riveting audiences with its immersive stories that focused on the tales of ordinary people who have experienced unthinkable things. Fortunately for nostalgic true crime buffs, Unsolved Mysteries has been picked up by Netflix for a 2020 reboot, and the series continues its quest of drawing viewers into their investigation and appealing to the public who might hold the clues to solving these enigmas. From ominous disappearances and cold-blooded murders to inexplicable alien encounters, the series is undeniably arresting—and there are two whole seasons of it.
If you have ever wondered how Nurse Ratched become the cold, unforgiving tyrant and the main antagonist of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, perhaps Ryan Murphy will be able to answer that question with this new psychological thriller. Starring Sarah Paulson of American Horror Story fame, Ratched follows the tale of the eponymous nurse, revealing her origin story within the unnerving environment of Lucia State Hospital, a mental institution where doctors have begun conducting experiments on the human mind.
All right, sure, this pick might come off a bit more as PG-13 spooky rather than real horror, but we don’t all have to be scared out of our wits for the season, right? Kiernan Shipka leads the supernatural horror series as Sabrina Spellman, the titular half-human, half-witch who leads a double life as a regular high school student and a student of witchcraft in the magical world. Along with her friends (both human and supernatural), she battles the evil forces that threaten to engulf her family and the human world. With three completed seasons under its belt and the fourth (and final) one coming to completion at the end of 2020, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a ghostly coming-of-age tale with just the right amount of spine-tingling spookiness.
Perhaps an unconventional pick for our final recommendation, but there’s no denying that the subjects explored in Black Mirror are not haunting in their own rights. Created by Charlie Brooker, this science fiction anthology series delves into dystopian themes, examining modern society under a critical lens and presenting the unforeseen consequences of our march towards new technologies.
Dark and satirical, with a balance of lighter stories and some truly disturbing episodes, Black Mirror highlight topics that Brooker says sheds light on “the way we live now—and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we're clumsy.” Arguably the best (and worst) part about Black Mirror is that each stand-alone episode is moulded into a digestible one-hour format and tells its story skillfully from start to finish, which makes uncontrolled binge-watching almost inevitable. Just watch it—and be prepared to feel thoroughly disconcerted.