The horror genre is thriving on television at the moment, perhaps more than in any other format. With the highly successful (in my opinion) adaptation of the Evil Dead movie franchise into the TV series Ash vs Evil Dead, and the news that a new TV show based on Tremors is in development, including Kevin Bacon in the lead, I have decided to have a look at some of the best horror on TV in the past decade.
1. Supernatural – arguably where the new large-scale trend towards horror on the small screen began, and definitely one of the few horror offerings on TV when the pilot aired ten years ago. Though the central plot line has moved into the territory of melodrama at times, at its core the show is a good old-fashioned good vs evil tale, where the heroes are flawed and human, and the recurring villains are sometimes just plain evil, or sometimes heroes led astray by the best of intentions. There are plenty of shades of grey in this show, and for a fan of classic horror literature and movies there are many subtle or not-so-subtle nods to the classics. Most importantly, certain episodes really hit the spot in terms of being truly terrifying, particularly in the early seasons. Notable examples include Bloody Mary, Hook Man, Home, Provenance, Everybody Loves a Clown, No Exit, Croatoan, Road Kill, and Folsom Prison Blues, just to name a few.
2. Masters of Horror – a series of 13 one hour horror mini-movies from some of the greatest writers and directors of horror.
3. The Walking Dead – an adaptation of the graphic novels. In a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, survivors battle the undead and each other. One of the best examples of zombie horror.
4. True Blood – corny, camp and often utterly ridiculous, True Blood was also deliciously gory and violent, and a fun take on horror/comedy with vampires, and a whole range of other supernatural critters.
5. American Horror Story – take every horror trope you can possibly think of, push it to the absolute limit, toss on some extra crazy and a few buckets of blood, and you have American Horror Story. Often over the top, sometimes misses the mark, but well deserving of a place on this list.
6. Ash vs Evil Dead – horror comedy at its best. Only four episodes into season one I am completely hooked. Actually, I was hooked from the trailer when it was first released a few months ago. True to the original movies and completely awesome.
7. Sleepy Hollow – a modern take on the headless horseman tale, often funny and sometimes genuinely creepy. I haven’t seen much of this show since season one, but I like what I have seen.
8. Hannibal – an adaptation of the novels, starring Hannibal Lector. Gory, dark, and perverse.
9. Penny Dreadful – An explorer, an American gunslinger and a medium unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London. Features familiar literary characters such as Dr. Frankenstein and Dorian Gray.
10. The Returned – dead people from a small town begin returning home just as they were at the time of their death, and unaware that they were dead.
There are a wealth of other horror TV shows out there at the moment, and unfortunately I don’t have access to all of them. Have I missed one of your favourites? Do you have any recommendations?