The Best Spooky Shows to Stream While Quarantined
Trapped inside and want something scary to watch? We’ve got you covered.
It’s been four years since we’ve been treated to the macabre delights of Penny Dreadful, the period fantasy-horror series from John Logan (Gladiator) and Sam Mendes (1917) that our own Kevin Fallon called “a shameless orgy of blood, gore, and scary fun.” And this Sunday night, a spin-off series—Penny Dreadful: City of Angels—premieres on Showtime.
With that in mind, and people starved for new content to stream whilst self-isolating due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, here are some of the finest shows available that will give you the chills.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Showtime)
This spin-off series is set in 1938 Los Angeles, and, in addition to its stunning visuals and all-new cast—including Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer as a shape-shifting demon and Nathan Lane as a hard-nosed detective—contains a truly wild plot involving a series of gruesome murders, racial tensions between the whites and Mexican-Americans, Nazis infiltrating local government, shady radio televangelists, and much, much more.
Boasting an outstanding central performance from Laura Linney, the “most delightfully dangerous woman on TV,” the third season of this pitch-black noir proves it’s not only one of the bluest shows around but one of the most gripping.
Twin Peaks (CBS All-Access and Showtime Anytime)
There have been oh-so-many imitators but David Lynch’s murder-mystery remains a cut above the rest. From its haunting Angelo Badalamenti score to its striking stars to its surreal blend of soap opera and the supernatural, it’s more than worth your time. (Plus, Elizabeth Warren’s doppelganger drops in for the occasional laugh.) The first two seasons are available to stream on CBS All-Access, while the third-season revival is available via Showtime on-demand.
The Stranger (Netflix)
This British mystery-thriller from novelist Harlan Coben has an irresistible premise: a stranger (Hannah John-Kamen) appears out of nowhere to tell Adam Price (Richard Armitage) that his wife Corinne (Dervla Kirwin) faked her pregnancy, igniting a deeply weird and eye-opening series of events. One wacky cliffhanger after another.
True Blood (Prime and HBO)
Sexy, silly and violent as hell, Alan Ball’s vampire series was a total bloodsucking trip—and introduced us to the towering Swede Alexander Skarsgard. Forget Twilight or any of the others, this here is the definitive aughts vampire diversion, and is available to stream in its entirety on Prime or HBO on-demand.
The Fall (Netflix)
Those of you who only know him for his wooden (and woefully miscast) turn in the Fifty Shades films will be surprised to learn that Jamie Dornan is absolutely mesmerizing as a twisted serial killer in this Irish-set crime drama, and the inimitable Gillian Anderson is every bit his match as the detective on his tail.
Bryan Fuller’s (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) take on Hannibal Lecter, embodied deliciously by Mads Mikkelsen and his exquisite cheekbones, is a feast for the eyes. Whether it’s a violent dismemberment or succulent meal, its phantasmagoric images will stick with you long after you’ve finished. A shame NBC didn’t know what to do with this series. It would have been a big-time hit on Netflix. Their loss is your gain.