This Christmas, I could put out another Pixie’s picks for holiday viewing, but with the exception of Krampus or A Christmas Horror Story, it’s pretty much the same. See that list here, my review of Krampus here and A Christmas Horror Story here. Instead, I’d like to list a bunch of series that I’ve fallen in love with, and a couple that I’ve had no time to view. What better time to watch them then when you’re enjoying (or avoiding) family this holiday season? So here’s a list of binge-worthy shows to help you unwind with (or hide from) your favourite horror cousins, aunties and uncles this Christmas:
Channel Zero: Candle Cove (Syfy)
Take 2 parts It, 1 part Twin Peaks, 3 parts The Children and give it a swirl. Strain the aforementioned inspirations and you’ll get a delectable and unique mixture of one of the most unsettling, genuinely creepy shows out there. Inspired by a Creepypasta called “Candle Cove”, writer Kris Straub has created a tense world where child psychologist Mike Painter (Paul Schneider), plagued by disturbing dreams and personal demons, returns to his hometown to revisit his twin brother’s disappearance. When he arrives, there’s a whole lotta weirdness going on with the kids in town, and it harkens back to a local tragedy, along with a dreaded TV show that only children can see. Throw in some creepy puppets, truly intense scenes that will make your skin crawl, and fantastic, understated performances, and you have an instant horror hit. The subsequent seasons will be based on other Creepypasta stories, so stay tuned for more uber-weirdness.
Stranger Things (Netflix)
If you are the last person on the planet that hasn’t seen this great throw back to 80’s sci-fi horror, I suggest you get a subscription to Netflix and hunker down to watch a really cool show. The Duffer Brothers wrote and directed this story of three boys Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) desperately searching for their missing friend Will (Noah Schnapp). When they meet a mysterious and mostly silent waif of a girl they nickname “Eleven” (Millie Bobby Brown), their world changes forever. There is also a sinister government organization, an alternate reality and the missing boy’s determined mother played by Winona Ryder to provide us with plenty of chills and spills. Season 2 is in the works, so you’d better catch up if you haven’t seen it yet!
The Exorcist: The Series (Fox or CTV)
Here is my review of this brilliant adaptation of a classic horror film to the small screen. You must see this!
Beyond the Walls: Au-Dela des Murs (Shudder)
This French mini-series is on my list to watch. After inheriting a house from a man she doesn’t know, Lisa (Veerle Baetens) moves into the sprawling and somewhat derelict abode. When she starts to hear noises in the house, she smashes through a wall to find a creepy and ominous world. She’s taken on a psychological journey to deal with her past and bizarre present. The trailer alone had me. With such beautiful and artistic scenes, I’m excited to see what director Hervé Hadmar has to offer.
Black Mirror (Netflix)
This was a show I got wind of last year, and was so enthralled with it that I had to watch it in one sitting. Here is my post on Season 1 and 2. Season 3 is now available on Netflix. I’ve only watched 2 episodes, but it’s pretty much the same great writing and sly observations on society at large. Definitely a cup of very dark humor not to be missed.
Sense8-Christmas Special (Netflix)
For those of you who have been champing at the bit like I have to see more of this mind-blowing, multicultural, gender-bending, identity positive and incredibly produced show, champ no more! The continuation of the trials experienced by a group of psychically connected individuals and the nefarious plot to control their powers will air on Netflix December 23rd. This 2 hour Christmas special offered up by the prolific Wachowski sisters will be watched with glee by myself and the horror boyfriend!
Yet another classic film adapted for TV, but this one I haven’t had a chance to catch. I loved the 1973 movie, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the HBO series. With a stellar cast and what seems to be a stellar production, it seems I’m in for a treat!
The Fall (Netflix/BBC2)
This gorgeous contribution to the serial killer genre is a slow-burn creeper that really gets into your head. Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), is an unassuming father of 2, a grief counselor and serial killer. Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is the detective brought in to find him and soon becomes consumed with his horrific crimes. The two circle each other as each makes progress with their obsessions, but only one can ultimately win. Written and directed by Alan Cubitt who also penned episodes for Prime Suspect 2, Season 3 has just been released on Netflix, and not only is it a visual treat to watch, but the writing and performances are top notch.
I hope you enjoy your binge watching whatever your tastes may be, and have a wonderful and safe holiday season!