The 30 Best Horror TV Shows on Netflix

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The 30 Best Horror TV Shows on Netflix

Horror television has experienced a renaissance in recent years, thanks to ratings juggernauts like The Walking Dead and then critically acclaimed series like Hannibal. Netflix jumped into the horror TV series game themselves with original productions such as Stranger Things and Mike Flanagan’s various series, including The Haunting of Hill House and Fall of the House of Usher. The streaming giant has accumulated an impressive collection of scary TV series, from foreign imports like Kingdom or All of Us Are Dead to animated fare like Castlevania or Japanese Tales of the Macabre to good ol’ fashioned comedy gore fests like the Netflix original The Santa Clarita Diet.

You can also peruse our lists of the best horror movies on Netflix, the best TV Shows on Netflix, and the 30 best horror series streaming right now.

Here are the 30 best horror TV shows now streaming on Netflix.

30. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

It Still Stings: Even a Riverdale Resurrection Can't Fully Heal Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Bitter End

Created by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Stars: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez
Original Network: Netflix

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The Archie-adjacent teenage witch has had a bumpy two seasons (two-part first season?) so far, but they are still enough to scratch a very specific horror itch for fans of demonic magical metaphor. The show’s attempts at feminism veer from the brutally satisfying to the lip-service-only frustrating, but weaving that driving principle throughout the show’s coming-of-age plots and the underground magical societies within which they take place only binds the show closer into a more cohesive, if imperfect, entity. Shipka, taking all that she earned from Mad Men, dominates the screen while snipping and snapping with each potent line delivery. A plethora of romantic angles supplement the show with its more Riverdale-like elements, but at its heart, Sabrina is a horror show that only looks to get darker as its reign continues. —Jacob Oller

29. Resident Evil

Netflix's Resident Evil Brings New Life to Well-Worn Zombie Franchise

Created by: Andrew Dabb
Stars: Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Lance Reddick, Adeline Rudolph, Paola Núñez
Original Network: Netflix

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Inspired by the hit video game series of the same name, Resident Evil has already been adapted into a hexology of live-action films that made more than a billion dollars at the box office over the past two decades. After the 2021 big screen reboot Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City was DOA with critics and barely made a dent at the box office, Netflix’s series aimed to do something a bit more narratively ambitious with the tried-and-true zombie franchise. The aptly titled Resident Evil, a new eight-episode television series that splits its story straight down the middle between a shiny New Raccoon City run by Umbrella Corp in the present day, and an infected-filled future wasteland long after the world has come to an end 14 years in the future. The series follows the life of Jade Wesker (a last name that should be familiar to longtime fans), played as a rebellious teenager by Tamara Smart in the present day and by Ella Balinska in the future, after she’s grown up into a badass scientist adventurer who is also among Umbrella’s most wanted. The series revels in the expansive lore of Resident Evil, remixing ideas, themes, characters, and creatures that fans will almost certainly recognize from across the games, animated films, and live-action lore. Instead of focusing the narrative on soldiers, cops, or soulless Umbrella goons, centering this new story on Jade and her family does help provide a fresh perspective for a franchise that’s been around for decades. We get to go behind the walls of the sterile, weird world of Umbrella’s rebuilt Raccoon City, where Jade and her family are trying to carve out a new life. The present day story has some major The Walking Dead: World Beyond vibes, doing its best to thread the melodrama of high school with the surreal and deadly stakes all around it. The future-set story is more in line with the kind of zombie-filled post-apocalypse fans of the franchise have come to expect, featuring some ambitious set pieces and locations a bit outside the norm from the usual creepy old mansions, underground labs, and overrun Raccoon City fans might expect. We also start peeling back the layers of how this post-apocalypse works, including the key role Umbrella still plays long after the T-virus has decimated the globe. The show isn’t quite as scary as fans of the OG video games might expect, but there are still some nice creature effects, well-timed jump scares, and compelling characters to keep you coming back for more of the mystery. —Trent Moore

28. Lucifer

Created by:Tom Kapinos
Stars: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D. B. Woodside
Original Network: FOX / Netflix

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In making the move from FOX to Netflix, Lucifer seems to have found its way back to its Season 1 groove—and I’m ready to reclaim my faith. Fast, tense, and dramatically dense seems to be the show’s new guiding principle. Gone are the airy filler episodes of overlong seasons; gone are any nonsensical backslides in character development meant to keep the story from burning itself out ahead of broadcast schedule. What does that leave behind? Well, just about everything that made Lucifer so fun and innovative from the beginning: Amenadiel’s (D. B. Woodside) back-footed angelic earnestness; Mazikeen’s (Lesley-Anne Brandt) stone cold demonic awkwardness; Linda’s (Rachael Harris) human steadiness; Dan’s (Kevin Alejandro) counterbalancing ambivalence; Ella’s (Aimee Garcia) boppy cheerfulness; Little Trixie’s (Scarlett Estevez) wry self-possession; Chloe’s shining moral compass; Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) hidden, self-hating brokenness. Plus the killer soundtrack. Tom Ellis’s abs. Add Inbar Lavi as Lucifer’s effervescently naïve old flame, Eve—yes, that Eve—plus Maze singing the sexiest cover of “Wonderwall” that’s ever been sung, and a big dance finale too sublime to put into words, and you’re cooking with some real (dramatic) Hellfire. —Alexis Gunderson

27. The Society

The Society Sets Fire to the Idea that Any of Us are Anything More than Scared Children

Created by: Christopher Keyser
Stars: Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, Sean Berdy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jacques Colimon, Olivia DeJonge
Original Network: Netflix

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I’ve watched a lot of television series where nuanced self-possession has sharpened my understanding of what it means to be human, but I genuinely can’t remember the last time I came out on the other side of a binge seeing the base tenuousness of the society we’ve made for ourselves with such terrifying new clarity. The Society, Netflix’s new high-tech, aged-up take on Lord of the Flies, manages the trick with a simple bus ride. Although teen television has been peddling in intensely dark moral allegories for decades now, it is difficult to articulate just how existentially devastating The Society gets, or how quickly. The Societygives its modern, engaged audience a co-ed spread of hormonal high schoolers, left behind by a fleet of school buses that (returning from an aborted end-of-year camping trip) drop them off in the middle of the night in an empty, uncanny double of their idyllic New England hometown. They discover the next day that not only are all satellite and internet connections to the outer world gone, but that all roads out of town end abruptly in impenetrable forest. The Societyisn’t remotely interested in spending a lot of time on the whys or wheres of the teens’ new reality. The only thing it cares about is sinking into the psychological nightmare of a bunch of underprepared kids realizing not only that they’re all alone in the universe, but that it’s on them to make up and enforce all the boring, hard rules required to sustain a civilized society.—Alexis Gunderson

26. Daybreak

Netflix’s Post-Apocalyptic Teen Comedy Daybreak Throws Every Trope It Can Find Against the Wall

Created by: Brad Peyton, Aron Eli Coleite
Stars:: Colin Ford, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Sophie Simnett, Austin Crute, Cody Kearsley, Jeanté Godlock, Gregory Kasyan, Krysta Rodriguez, Matthew Broderick
Original Network: Netflix

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Watching Netflix’s new teen post-apocalypse comedy Daybreak, which stars Supernatural’s Colin Ford as a C-student skating his way through a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested Glendale, CA, is like shrugging on a colored-glass suit of ronin samurai armor that someone–possibly Ferris Bueller himself–used the most basic of teen movie magic to fashion, from the kaleidoscope of Twain’s old saw, that there’s no such thing as a new idea, just new ways of putting the same old shiny pieces together.

Look: If what you want out of your next teen/Apocalypse binge are new ideas, Daybreak isn’t going to do the trick. Josh Wheeler (Ford) isn’t a surprising choice for reluctant teen hero. Sam (Simnett) is not a surprising choice for damsel in (possible) distress. Ex-jock Wesley Fists (Crute) and Anjelica the preteen nightmare (Lind) aren’t surprising choices for ragtag heroic sidekicks. (See again: Last month’s The Last Kids on Earth adaptation.) Bloodthirsty jock vikings, homesteading 4-Hers, viciously misandrist Cheermazons and an über-woke principal this close to completely cracking: none are clever Apocalyptic takes on classic high school chestnuts.

That said, for all that Daybreak wears its dozens upon dozens of teen/genre movie tropes on its Mad Max: Fury Road sleeves, it’s still super watchable. More than that, once the first episode (“Josh vs. the Apocalypse, Pt. 1”) dispenses with both the most necessary pre- and post-apocalyptic exposition and the most blatant John Hughes clichés—yes, Josh’s biology teacher does drone “Wheeler?… Wheeler?… Wheeler???” as he turns to break through the wall while she’s calling attendance; no, thank YOU for asking—it does what any self-aware kaleidoscope of old ideas should do and uses its gross of references to subvert some key expectations in compelling ways. —Alexis Gunderson

25. The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

Paste's Power Rankings: The 10 Best Shows on TV Right Now

Created by: Christine McConnell
Stars: Christine McConnell, Mick Ignis, Dita Von Teese, Drew Massey
Original Network: Netflix

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This one-season wonder is like diving into the candy bin on October 1st. When spooky spirits are at their peak, goth chic baker Christine McConnell and her gaggle of Henson-designed muppets help unleash the inner Hot Topic in all of us with her monstrous meals. Well, meals if you, like me, only eat edible arrangements that look like they fell out of a Hammer horror film. The scripted comic bits linking these baking feats are just as endearingly offbeat as Elvira and Svengoolie hosting their own Food Network show, with murders and dinner dates supplementing the caramel arachnids. It might not be that scary, but the best thing about horror is that it doesn’t have to give you nightmares to be fun. —Jacob Oller

24. Devilman Crybaby

Created by: Go Nagai
Directed by: Masaaki Yuasa
Original Network: Netflix (U.S. license)

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To put it lightly, Go Nagai is a man with a reputation. Aside from being one of the forefathers of the “Super Robo”’ subgenre of mecha for his creation Mazinger Z, he is also known for creating works that pushed taboos and prompted the anime industry’s shift from children-oriented fare to darker and more sexually-charged subject matter. Case in point: Devilman. Masaaki Yuasa’s contemporary reprise of Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka’s “love” story is as orgiastically violent and unflinchingly risqué as Nagai’s original manga, a fitting tribute to both the creator’s oeuvre and the character’s storied legacy. Devilman’s influence can be seen everywhere from the Luciferian beauty of Berserk’s Griffith to the apocalyptic loneliness of Neon Genesis Evangelion. For all these reasons and more, Devilman Crybaby positions itself not only as one of the best series in recent memory, but one that will stand the test of time in the years to come. —Toussaint Egan

23. All of Us Are Dead

The 18 Best International TV Shows on Netflix

Created by: Joo Dong-geun, Chun Sung-il
Stars: Park Ji-hoo, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Park Solomon
Original Network: Netflix

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This is not the first time Netflix has brought high-schoolers and zombies together; that’d be the under-rated, short-lived Daybreak. But the new South Korean coming-of-age apocalyptic series All of Us Are Dead makes the school battleground zero for our protagonists when a biology teacher creates a virus that turns their fellow students into the undead. Following hot on Squid Game’s heels, it also managed to parlay the U.S.A.’s growing fascination with South Korean culture into some serious viewership numbers. —Josh Jackson

22. Wynonna Earp

Created by: Emily Andras
Stars: Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley
Original Network: SYFY

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Earpers rejoice! Beloved Western romp Wynonna Earp is as horror-filled as it is feminist, with curses, swords, and so much creative swearing that you’d %&$! your own %&*###$! to have a vocabulary as vibrant. Vampires, demons, and the scariest thing of all, childbirth! augment this delightfully queer story of a woman that blasts her way through every supernatural creature blastable. If you want Deadwood by way of The Walking Dead (AKA The Walking Deadwood), this is your female-fronted way in. And did I mention it’s funny? Oh, it’s very funny. —Jacob Oller

21. iZombie

Created by: Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero-Wright
Stars: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Robert Knepper
Original Network: The CW

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Veronica Mars is the best way to describe this delightful drama. iZombie, from Mars creator Rob Thomas, draws on the strengths of both of these iconic series while carving a distinct path for itself. Liv Moore (Rose McIver) was a promising medical student until one bad night of partying turned her into a zombie. Now she works in the morgue solving murders on the side, all while keeping the true nature of her condition from her loved ones (she’s not that pale because she uses sunscreen, people). As the second season progressed more were let in on Liv’s secret, and she assembled a Scooby gang of her very own, while struggling to protect those that she loves. Much of the show’s success stems from its great sense of humor—witness all the delectable ways Liv serves up brains. But the ghoulish and voracious zombies offer real frights and Steven Weber’s nefarious CEO Vaughn Du Clark is truly terrifying. However it’s the show’s overarching premise—that any of us could find ourselves among the undead trying to control our most basic instincts while our normal life remains just out of our grasp—that will keep you up at night. —Amy Amatangelo

20. First Kill

Netflix's Vampire Romance First Kill Brings Fresh Bite to the Genre

Created by: Felicia D. Henderson, Emma Roberts, Karah Preiss
Stars: Imani Lewis, Sarah Catherine Hook, Elizabeth Mitchell, Will Swenson, Aubin Wise, Jason Robert Moore
Original Network: Netflix

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Twilight. The Vampire Diaries. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. True Blood. It’s safe to say that vampire romance has been done to death, pun intended. However, we’ve never seen a vampire romance quite like Netflix’s First Kill: A sapphic Romeo and Juliet-inspired story set in a world where fair Verona is Savannah, Georgia, and the Capulets and the Montagues are elite vampires and ruthless hunters. First Kill, based on the short story of the same name written by series creator V. E. Schwab, follows teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and teenage vampire-hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis) as they navigate a star-crossed romance in the midst of an ages-old feud. From showrunner Felicia D. Henderson and executive producers Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss, First Kill seeks to unravel the powerful Fairmont vampire clan, led by matriarch Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her husband Sebastion (Will Swenson), while simultaneously disrupting prestigious slayers Talia (Aubin Wise) and Jack Burns (Jason Robert Moore). In eight hourlong episodes, vampires, hunters, monsters, and mothers all fight for the right to call Savannah their home. More than anything, First Kill is a whole lot of fun. It’s campy, it’s quippy, and it’s melodramatic; everything you could ever want from a modern, teenage, Shakespearean vampire story. —Anna Govert

19. Two Sentence Horror Stories

Two Sentence Horror Stories Is a Worthy and Surprisingly Chilling Short-Form Anthology Series

Created by: Vera Miao
Stars: Various (Anthology)
Original Network: The CW

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We’ve had videogame adaptations, podcast adaptations, even adaptations of shortform internet creepypasta. But to my knowledge, The CW’s Two Sentence Horror Stories is the first time a Reddit thread has gotten its own TV show. Creator/writer/director Vera Miao’s horror anthology (making the jump from its previous iteration on Verizon’s go90) is inspired by the glut of microfiction that flooded from the unsuspecting prompt of “What is the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences?”—but how its viral inspiration differs from a traditional logline is … nebulous at best. At the very least, it’s an excuse to watch some efficient, self-contained horror built on the essential components of the genre: expectation and subversion. With only two sentences, there’s not room for much else.

That’s a good thing. More than many recent adventures into the twist-forward form (looking at you, Into the Dark), Two Sentence Horror Stories finds the right balance and speed for its anthology. The quick episodes, each less than a half-hour, waste no time sowing their uneasy seeds. They split their source sentences to give you a vague premise up front and fill in its macabre twist before the credits role. It’s like reading half the joke, then eating the popsicle to get the punchline. Equally delicious and enjoyably corny, the show’s version of “Oh No, Henry!” plotting lands squarely in the Tales from the Crypt style. —Jacob Oller

18. Archive 81

Created by: Rebecca Sonnenshine
Stars: Mamoudou Ahtie, Dina Shihabi, Matt McGory, Julia Chan, Evan Jonigkeit
Original Network: Netflix

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The hit podcast is now a TV series about an archivist, some videotapes, a missing director and a demonic cult. Mamoudou Athie stars as Dan Turner, who’s paid a large sum of money to restore footage recorded by grad student Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), who was living in a mysterious New York building for a research project. The mystery unfolds over the course of eight episodes, as the videos get increasingly strange—and personal for Dan. —Josh Jackson

17. Supernatural

On Supernatural Season 15: Legacy

Created by: Eric Kripke
Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Katie Cassidy, Lauren Cohan, Mark A. Sheppard, Mark Pellegrino, Alexander Calvert
Original Network: The WB/The CW

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It’s no small thing for a show like Supernatural to keep on keeping on, after a decade spent giving all manner of monsters the what for. Consider, as the series heads towards another season premiere, that when The WB first aired the aberration-hunting adventures of the brothers Winchester—Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki)—back in 2005, the network had added a slew of new titles to its ‘05-‘06 schedule, including Just Legal, Twins, Pepper Dennis, among many others. Consider as well that none of them stuck around for very long or made much of an impression. (You’re probably pulling up Wikipedia to find out what they’re each about as we speak.) But Supernatural? Supernatural endured. When the WB merged with UPN in 2006, Supernatural walked out of the Thunderdome. The “why” is obvious. Eric Kripke’s story of two brothers on a mission to protect the innocent from evil in all its sundry forms— ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, the occasional wendigo or djinn, zombies, you name it—maintains a terrific balancing act throughout each of its many, many seasons, blending enough humor, horror and individual personality with well-tread genre tropes and plots to make it a standout from other programs of its kind. Some episodes lean more toward “funny.” Others lean in the direction of “scary.” Others still make you laugh and quake in fear at the same time. It’s no wonder, then, that the death of The WB wasn’t enough to stop the Winchesters from doing what they do. —Andy Crump

16. Oats Studio – Vol. 1

Created by: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Carly Pope, Dakota Fanning, Steve Boyle
Original network: YouTube

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Originally released on YouTube throughout 2017, this is a collection of experimental (but well budgeted) sci-fi and horror short films from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, all of which seem like seeds for potential feature film projects. Oats Studio was a project conceived by Blomkamp to do practical VFX testing while also fleshing out some of his crazier ideas, and each one of the major projects within it is very impressive in its own way. Sci-fi feature Rakka imagines an Earth overrun by telepathic reptilian aliens, as human survivors carry on a desperate and seemingly futile resistance, while Firebase pits a soldier against a reality warping “River God” in a southeast Asian military conflict. The true star of the show, though, is perhaps the pure horror of Zygote, in which Dakota Fanning plays a researcher on the run from a truly hideous creature that has taken over her facility, with heavy vibes of The Thing and last year’s PC game Carrion. The creature of Zygote, with its dozens of borrowed human limbs, is perhaps one of the most demented monsters we’ve seen in the horror world in recent memory, which means this short film really deserves to be seen by a bigger audience. —Jim Vorel

15. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

summer anime

Created by: Yusuke Ishida
Stars: Zeno Robinson, Abby Trott, Xander Mobus, Laura Post
Original network: Netflix

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Any premise can work with the right execution, and Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’s barnburner of a premiere does everything in its power to sell us on its hook. Akira is a twenty-something office worker shackled to a grossly exploitative company, forced to pull endless overtime and endure verbal abuse as his job consumes his life. However, one day everything changes, and as a zombie outbreak rips through the populace, he finds himself reacting to this crisis in an odd way; instead of being horrified about the impending end of the world, he’s elated that he doesn’t have to go to work anymore! While this sounds like a somewhat unusual reaction to an undead apocalypse, and one that would usually be relegated to more comedic material, this episode documents the drudgery of our protagonists’ existence in such excruciating fashion that it’s easy to slip into his headspace. The color drains from its compositions as Akira’s initial optimism over landing his first gig out of school dissolves amidst increasingly oppressive circumstances. This sequence demonstrates how this kind of company culture sucks in its victims, as co-workers brag about who has accumulated the most unpaid overtime and sleep under their desks to meet unreasonable deadlines. We watch as our bubbly main character is reduced to a husk of his former self, the link between his shambling mannerisms and the story’s premise not lost.

So, when the outbreak starts, and our former athlete finds himself chased through streets by a horde of fast-moving corpses, viscera rendered with fluorescent paint splotches as he literally tears away the letterboxing that has been crowding the frame, his exuberance over Armageddon is less a silly punchline and more a moment of triumph. This final stretch is animated with stunning verve, impact frames capturing Akira’s joy as he smashes through the late-stage capitalist hell-nightmare he’s been enduring. Only time will tell if the series can maintain its pairing of a vibrant tone and grave setting, and I hope its other characters are eventually afforded the same amount of interiority that the protagonist was granted (Akira’s office worker crush is particularly shorted in the episode), but if nothing else, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’s premiere is a showstopper. —Elijah Gonzalez

14. The Haunting of Bly Manor

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve, T’Nia Miller, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, Tahirah Sharif, Kate Siegel
Original Network: Netflix

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When is a horror story not a horror story? When is a ghost not a ghost? If a ghost lives, breathes and walks among the living, can that really be called anything other than life? If a ghost feels every bit as much love, fear and regret as a living person, then isn’t life just as fraught with peril as death? These are a few of the roughly 10,000 questions that Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor would like you to roll around in your head during its nine-hour runtime, in which it adapts Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw but simultaneously finds time to go down every narrative rabbit hole you might find on a sprawling English manor’s property. The follow-up to Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House is more unfocused than its predecessor, attempting to build an operatic narrative with detailed backstories for seemingly every character, but it possesses the same sort of devastating emotional intensity seen in the previous Netflix series. What it doesn’t have, though, is likely to disappoint a certain chunk of the audience: The scares.

In the end, what we have in Bly Manor is an epic, romantic gothic melodrama that isn’t interested in classical horror motifs like a struggle of good against evil. This is a deeply human story in which there’s no such thing as indiscriminate evil–only misunderstood and fractured people, both living and dead. Even the ghosts all become figures of sympathy and pity, as they’re revealed as products of misdirected human emotions such as rage, loneliness and loss, rather than the supernatural bogeymen we’re more familiar with. —Jim Vorel

13. Kingdom

Created by: Kim Eun-hee, Kim Seong-hun
Stars: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-nam, Kim Sung-kyu
Original Network: Netflix

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American (or even just Western) zombies are almost always the driving point of the narrative—representing big nasty threats like national anxiety about disease, nuclear war, capitalism, the collapse of society, and racism—often limiting the genre’s possibilities and focusing their plots largely on external forces. By contrast, in Kingdom (transported to South Korea’s Joseon period) these stories become more interested in how existing structures (and the normal people living inside them) handle the threat, and how coping makes them better equipped for the inevitable return to normal. Western zombie shows allow their audiences to appreciate how society adapts to these monstrous allegories, forming the factional city-states of The Walking Dead (Alexandria, Hilltop, Woodbury) or the religious zeal of Santa Clarita Diet’s Anne Garcia (Natalie Morales); Korean zombies rage in a society that ultimately stays the same. The latter’s evils are amplified and exposed by the zombies, but the infected undead also catalyze a satisfying hero’s journey in the midst of misguided magistrates, fear-based isolationism, and class warfare. —Jacob Oller

12. Castlevania: Nocturne

castlevania nocturne

Created by: Clive Bradley
Stars: Edward Bluemel, Pixie Davies, Thuso Mbedu, Nastassja Kinski
Original Network: Netflix

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It’s been a few years since Netflix’s solid spin on Castlevania came to a close, a series that combined the campy gothic setting of its source material with a generally well-rendered cast, but lost much of its punch in later seasons after it wrapped up the conflict with its irreplaceable big bad. Castlevania: Nocturne, a spinoff set during the French Revolution, not only meets the lineage of its predecessor but surpasses it. While it’s just as profanity-laden, gore-soaked, and full of vampiric foes as what came before, it also offers a surprisingly thoughtful take on this subject matter. Through its complex cast and scorching cuts of animation, it delivers an affecting story about exercising the monsters of the past to fight for a brighter future. —Elijah Gonzalez

11. Santa Clarita Diet

Created by: Victor Fresco
**Stars:** Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, Skyler Gisondo
Original Network: Netflix

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Netflix’s horror-comedy follows normal couple Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant), a real estate duo attempting to raise their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) right. The neighborhood is good, problems are at a minimum, and the middle-class living is all the American Dream promised. Until Sheila hacks up a mysterious orb and starts hungering for human flesh, that is. Freckly neighbor kid Eric (Skyler Gisondo) has been roped into the scheme, too. Together, they put the “dead” in “deadpan.” Sheila’s fundead chipperness recalls Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s method of surrounding its dark, psychologically or physically-upsetting narrative turns with hyper-sunny aesthetics, saturating each shot with catalogue color even when the gore flies. It’s as if the traffic-discussing members of the Saturday Night Live skit “The Californians” were in a Saw movie. —Jacob Oller

10. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Review: "Consumed"

Created by: Frank Darabont
**Stars:** Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden
Original Network: AMC

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I remember excitedly watching the Frank Darabont-directed premiere of The Walking Dead on Halloween of 2010, thinking, “This is so cool, but it’ll never be popular. An hour-long zombie drama? No one’s going to watch that but me!” Well, obviously I couldn’t have been more wrong. Flying in the face of expectations, The Walking Dead somehow became cable’s highest-rated show, even besting Sunday Night Football on occasion. Stop for a moment and consider the implications: We live in a country that has become so geeky, on average, that an hour-long zombie drama is capable of getting more viewership than Sunday Night Football. In terms of quality, the quest of the Grimes Gang to survive has been up and down, but the production values have always been impeccable. Although the story has occasionally bogged down in places or been stretched too thin, the show always seems to rebound with a moment of incredible pathos, even for iconic villains such as David Morrissey’s Governor. Whether you like recent seasons with Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan or not, the show’s success to date has already been massive for the marketability of horror on the small screen. —Jim Vorel

9. Stranger Things

Created by: The Duffer Brothers
**Stars:** Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine
Original Network: Netflix

Watch on Netflix

Say what you will about the finer points of its storytelling, Stranger Things continues to be an unabashed celebration of the 1980s, from its own filmic references regarding style and story to a cavalcade of literal references from the era. Its plucky set of kid and teen characters battle monsters (real or within themselves) and go to the mall. It’s a nostalgic dream and a creepfest nightmare. But whether it’s set during Halloween or in the throes of a mid-80s summer, the show’s carefully crafted aesthetics always serve to augment the joyful nature of the series’ non-monster moments. And that, really, is where Stranger Things shines. The creep factor is important (and occasionally actually scary or super gory), but it acts as an almost funny juxtaposition to the otherwise happy-go-lucky look at suburban life. Mainly, though, it’s the friendships and coming-of-age stories, the relationships and family bonding, that really make Stranger Things great. For better or worse, the Netflix horror series is as tasty, messy, and fleeting as an ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day. Ahoy!—Allison Keene

8. Castlevania

Animated Castlevania Netflix Series' Voice Talents Revealed

Created by: Kevin Kolde, Warren Ellis
Stars: Richard Armitage, James Callis, Graham McTavish, Alejandra Reynoso, Tony Amendola, Matt Frewer, Emily Swallow
Original Network: Netflix

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Comic legend Warren Ellis, despite apparently having no familiarity with the Castlevania videogame series, somehow managed to take one look at its imagery and turn it into gold for Netflix in the frustratingly short first season of this series (a mere four episodes—about a feature film in length). Impeccably cast, and reuniting multiple dwarves of The Hobbit series (Richard Armitage as Trevor Belmont, Graham McTavish as Dracula), those four episodes are a sumptuous gothic feast of bloodletting and dizzying anime action sequences. Gory and unrelenting, it also perfectly captures the dark, princely gravitas that has always been infused into Castlevania, and characters such as Dracula and his son Alucard. The first episode, in which a semi-benevolent Dracula loses the love of his life to a mob of luddite priests and prejudiced townfolk who burn her at the stake as a witch, is mouth-dropping in its scenes of grandiose, righteous vengeance. He descends on those poor, helpless fools as a pillar of flame, godlike, obliterating everything in his path and establishing himself as a insurmountable force of nature. Even after seeing the team of heroes assembled to take him down, it’s hard to imagine how they’ll possibly be up for the challenge. —Jim Vorel

7. Black Mirror

black mirror on netflix

Created by: Charlie Brooker
Stars: Various, anthology
Original Network: Netflix/Channel 4 (UK)

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There are probably times in most of our lives when we see our technological world as more of a dystopia than a utopia. The way it curbs our freedom, diminishes our privacy, and subjects us to anonymous attacks can feel like an unforgivable violation. But the worst part is, we’re complicit—we’ve accepted the intrusion, and in some cases, or even most cases, we’ve become addicted. The ubiquity of technology is a reality that we can’t fight against, and to maintain our sanity, we have to accept it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth questioning, which is exactly what Black Mirror is all about. The title is nearly perfect, as explained by creator Charlie Brooker: “The black mirror of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.” The job of this show is to reflect our society in an unflattering light, and they do it with a new cast and a new story in each episode. This is not fun watching—it’s mostly horrifying—but even if our brave new world is inescapable, the show represents a kind of protest that feels more necessary than ever. —Shane Ryan

6. Alias Grace

Watch the First Trailer for Netflix's Intriguing New Margaret Atwood Adaptation

Created by: Sarah Polley, Mary Harron
Stars: Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Zachary Levi, Kerr Logan, David Cronenberg, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin
Original Network: CBC/Netflix

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Adapted by Sarah Polley from Margaret Atwood’s historical novel, and directed by Mary Harron with forthright shudders of psychological horror, this sterling Canadian limited series is a tightly constructed marvel. In Canada in 1859, “celebrated murderess” Grace Marks (the brilliant Sarah Gadon) submits to an interview with Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), and their ongoing conversation unearths a pattern of violence and trauma, which Alias Grace spins into a scintillating mystery, an intricate biographical portrait, a lushly appointed period drama, and a ferocious treatment of the distance between what “the world at large” deigns to call harm and the countless ways men cause it. —Matt Brennan

5. Cabinet of Curiosities

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities Is a Gorgeously Executed Showcase for Top-Tier Horror Talent

Created by: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Lincoln, Essie Davis, F. Murray Abraham, others
Original Network: Netflix

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In first approaching Netflix’s new Cabinet of Curiosities, it’s natural to wonder how much of a Guillermo del Toro project this really is. The horror anthology series is volunteered by the streaming service as “a collection of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s personally curated stories, described as both equally sophisticated and horrific,” and del Toro steps into the host role himself, pulling forth trinkets from the titular cabinet to introduce each tale. But can the actual segments stand up to their association with a beloved director? Are the two episodes that GDT had a hand in writing enough to put his stamp on the series? And can the artistry of those other episodes reflect a similar level of virtuosity?

To get right to the point: I needn’t have worried. Cabinet of Curiosities is a genuinely gorgeous collection of tales, featuring some of the most impressive visuals, production design and general cinematic craftsmanship that has been seen in the streaming world in recent memory. Its tales are often on the somewhat conventional side, but they succeed through sheer filmmaking talent and professionalism, guided by the hands of some of the genre’s very best talents. This is the rare case where an anthology series can tell me that the luminary of a host/producer personally approved of the output of all of these filmmakers, and I truly believe it. Watching these episodes, I can imagine del Toro smiling in approval. —Jim Vorel

4. Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass Wants to Transubstantiate Your Fear

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Zach Gilford, Kate Siegel, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Henry Thomas, Hamish Linklater
Original Network: Netflix

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On Midnight Mass’ Crockett Island, every islander feels rife with misfortune. The recent oil spill nearly annihilated the fish supply, tanking the island’s local fishing economy. Their homes splinter and peel in neglect to the ocean’s elements. The majority of residents have fled the island for lack of opportunity, leaving a paltry few behind. Only two ferries can take them to the mainland. Hope runs in short supply—and a major storm brews on the horizon.

Everything beyond that for this seven-episode series is a true spoiler, but what can be said is that even with its dabblings in the supernatural, Midnight Mass (created by The Haunting’s Mike Flanagan, in his most recent collaboration with Netflix), is a show that burrows inwards instead of outwards. With both the physical claustrophobia of Crockett’s setting and the internal suffering of characters placed in center stage, Midnight Mass concerns itself with horrors within: addictive tendencies, secret histories, and questions of forgiveness and belief. At one glance, it’s a series that’s mined Catholic guilt for gold. In another, it’s a measured, yet spooky take on group psychology, the need for faith in sorrow, and the ethics of leadership with such vulnerable followers, weighing whether these impulses represent human goodness, evil, or simply nothing at all.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Midnight Mass offers a chance for anyone to be doubting Thomas or true believer. What difference is a miracle from a supernatural event, anyway? —Katherine Smith

3. Mindhunter

It Still Stings: Mindhunter's Sidelining Robbed Us of a Killer Conclusion

Created by: Joe Penhall
Stars: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Anna Torv, Cotter Smith and Cameron Britton
Original Network: Netflix

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The name and the description may have you assuming that this is a typical network procedural: FBI agents interview psychopaths in order to catch murderers. But Mindhunter is as much Mad Men as it is Law & Order. Produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, the story follows two real-life agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff, from HBO’s Looking as well as the original King George III in Hamilton on Broadway) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with consulting psychologist Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) in the FBI’s nascent Behavioral Science Unit. Joe Penhall’s series is based on a similarly titled true crime book. Interviewing and cataloguing convicted serial killers (a phrase the trio invents) leads to them helping on active cases, but it also affects each of their personal lives in different ways. Cameron Britton is particularly unforgettable as notorious murderer and necrophiliac Edmund Kemper. —Josh Jackson

2. The Fall of the House of Usher

mike flanagan the fall of the house of usher

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Mary McDonnell, Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Zach Gilford, Carl Lumbly, Mark Hamill
Original Network: Netflix

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No one else in this space is doing what Mike Flanagan does, mining our deepest emotional fears and unspoken desires for the sort of real-life nightmare fuel that’s much, much scarier than any monster under the bed. Through stories that wrestle with everything from questions of faith and belief to falling in love and what it means to truly die, Flanagan’s deeply human horror universe is truly something beautiful to behold.

Though The Fall of the House of Usher is primarily grounded in Edgar Allan Poe’s titular short story of the Usher siblings, Flanagan deftly mixes in elements from many of the author’s other famous works, including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Black Cat,” and more. Episodes are freely littered with Poe references large and small, from character names to full-on poetry recitations, and the series’ larger story reflects the author’s lifelong fascination with themes of guilt, death, paranoia, obsession, and delusion. One part horror-tinged Succession knockoff and one part modern day morality play, The Fall of the House of Usher is both a darkly comedic excoriation of the uber-rich and a slow-moving emotional car crash that explores the dysfunction at the heart of a family that’s losing its members one by one. —Lacy Baugher Milas

1. The Haunting of Hill House

Check Out This First Look at Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Stars: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Timothy Hutton
Original Network: Netflix

Watch on Netflix

The aesthetic of The Haunting of Hill House makes it work not only as horror TV, but also as a deft adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel. The monsters, ghosts and things that go bump on the wall are off-screen, barely shown or obscured by shadow. The series even goes back to some of the first film adaptation’s decisions, in terms of camera movement and shot design, in order to develop uneasiness and inconsistency. Well, maybe “inconsistency” is the wrong word. The only thing that feels truly inconsistent while watching it is your mind: You’re constantly wary of being tricked, but the construction of its scenes often gets you anyway. By embracing the squirm—and the time necessary to get us to squirm rather than jump—The Haunting of Hill House is great at creating troubling scenarios, and even better about letting us marinate in them. (For slightly less scares and a great gothic romance, watch the follow-up The Haunting of Bly Manor, which you can also start with) —Jacob Oller

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