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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

Boo! Tube

SPOOKY GOOD TV for Every Day


REC


Spoilers For: Why Jennifer Coolidge is my spirit animal.



As official spooky season bat flaps to a close, I realize horror tv is never out of season for me. This year turned out some vicious new treats worth celebrating. Like an everlasting Gobstopper or a slutty outfit just because, I recommend you let these winners linger on your palette long after October dies.


Here's a sickening round up of some new small screen spine tingles to keep in your sweet arsenal all year.


Best Creepy TV Not to Bury Alive:

The Watcher


With an incredible cast and an intriguingly eerie based-on-a-true-story premise (your neighbors are watching you, in your home at night when you sleep, and sending you descriptive hate letters straight to your mailbox) Ryan Murphy's latest Netflix dramedy thriller creation serves true chills. The idea of being watched is not foreign to the female psyche, but what happens when that paranoia takes over your family's every move--polluting your precious, suburban utopia? As a manic, charming real estate agent with claws, Jennifer Coolidge performs in one her most nuanced roles ever. She is a tour-de-force of tragi-comic creepiness, her every joke a slice, and her laced threats dripping in honey. Her star power takes this project to the top of my Boo! Tube list.



Garth Marenghi's Darkplace


Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade (Garth's creators) are absolutely brilliant freaks. This gothic, "creepy", absurdist perversion of an 1980s hospital workplace drama (made in 2004) is unlike anything I have ever watched. It's unbridled in its silliness, with shockingly slow motion sequences, a hilarious interview-style meta frame to undercut its own action at every turn, and some of the most ridiculous situational, physical comedy of all time. Watch it now for free on Amazon prime. You might regret it, but your brain will never be the same.




Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities


And now for something completely different. Guillermo del Toro cooks up Hitchcockian realness with his timely new horror fiction anthology on Netflix. Cabinet of Curiosities combines body horror (trigger warning--truly visceral body horror) with sharp psychological dread as his characters encounter seemingly innocuous items/creatures that ultimately undo their lives. The unraveling of each character in response to these finds mirrors the horror of daily life--we never know how we might contribute to our own quick and painful demise. Gorgeous mis-en-scene and incredible writing to boot--you can't miss it. Even if you just watch one--but I'll bet you can't watch just one.



Los Espookys


I want to live in a world beyond all imagining. That's why I'm a writer. No show fired my personal imagination harder this freaky tv season than season two of Los Espookys on HBO Max. Where the characters engage in the false performances of the supernatural to help others achieve their mundane goals--and inadvertently collide with actual horrors in the process. Whether they're making an eclipse happen to distract at just the right moment of a political campaign or staging a fake ghostly appearance in a graveyard, the visuals are impeccable and the epic oddness of the story pairs always with an ardently human ensemble comedy. The cast is perfection, the ever-expanding mythology is to die for. Also, an incredible example of truly bilingual tv--half in English, half in Spanish. Stupendous creeps and incredible characters (Tati alone merits your viewing) abound. Get on board and avoid falling anchors from above.




What should I add to my TV Cabinet of Curiosities for year round freaky feels? Comment below!


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