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Six horror series beyond Halloween

From ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ to the latest shenanigans of the diabolical doll, these are our suggestions for fans of scary stories

Halloween
Carla Gugino as Verna in the second episode of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX
Natalia Marcos

The night is dark and full of terrors, as Melisandre said in Game of Thrones. And this time of year, before and after Halloween, no channel or platform can resist the temptation of programming contents that will fill your night with such chills and frights. In recent days, and in the coming weeks, some interesting series related to horror and fantasy have been and will be released; our selection also includes some series that have been out for a few months (but are perfect for the season), as well as some spooky comedies.‌

The Fall of the House of Usher

Mike Flanagan dazzled in 2018 with The Haunting of Hill House (if you haven’t seen it, leave this list for later and watch that first), where he presented his version of Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name. For The Haunting of Bly Manor, his inspiration was The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James. Now he turns to Edgar Allan Poe to create a narrative that combines horror and family drama. The heirs of the Usher dynasty, the family at the head of Fortunato Pharmaceutical, die one by one at the hands of a mysterious woman linked to the past of the father of the family and his sister. Each death is related to a Poe story. Good performances (watch out for Carla Gugino) and good entertainment. On Netflix.

Goosebumps

Zack Morris, Ana Yi Puig, Miles McKenna, Will Price and Isa Briones in ‘Goosebumps.’
Zack Morris, Ana Yi Puig, Miles McKenna, Will Price and Isa Briones in ‘Goosebumps.’

Those who were teenagers in the 1990s will remember the Goosebumps book series by RL Stine, as well as the series from that same decade, the one that began with a mysterious man with a briefcase and a dog with yellow eyes. The new adaptation puts a more contemporary spin on those stories. A group of high school students decide to throw a Halloween party in an abandoned house where a boy died 30 years earlier. After the party, they will begin to experience strange situations. With a background plot that links all the episodes (the investigation of what happened in the past, and what their parents have to do with it), each installment focuses on one of the students, adapting a story from the books. More entertaining than expected; more adult, too. On Disney+ (weekly episodes).

30 Coins

Three years after its first season, this Spanish series returns. The chaos in which the village of Pedraza was plunged attracts curious people interested in strange cases, while the police are still trying to understand what happened. Meanwhile, the fight to get hold of the 30 coins for which Judas sold Jesus Christ gets more virulent. The new episodes make no concessions and start from chaos to generate even more chaos. The excessiveness that characterizes the work of creator Alex De la Iglesia is taken to the next level. On Max (weekly episodes).

Chucky

This series based on the film saga of the diabolical doll was released in 2021. Don Mancini, the character’s creator, is at the helm of the production, which has received critical acclaim. The third season continues to garner applause; some even say that it is better than the previous installments. The essential ingredients are there: murders with a deranged touch and its trademark black humor. This time the action moves to Washington, where Chucky has managed to reach the White House itself. On Peacock (weekly episodes).

Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre

Japanese Junji Ito is considered one of the masters of horror manga; this anime adapts some of his stories. They are short tales (some so brief that two can fit in a single 25-minute episode) that bring the images and plots of the comics to life, some achieving very disturbing scenes. Terrifying? That is for the viewer to decide. To its disadvantage, it doesn’t exactly start with the best story. Interesting for those looking for something different, although it is probably a better idea to go directly to the manga. On Netflix.

Wreck

A slasher with a killer named Quacky? You have our attention. The action of this British mystery story that combines classic horror and black comedy, which premiered last year, takes place aboard a luxury cruise ship whose crew wants nothing more than to party. Among them travels a twenty-something who tries to find out the truth about his sister’s suicide on the ship’s last voyage. Meanwhile, a secret organization runs a macabre game in which passengers fight to avoid falling into the hands of a villain dressed as a duck in a yellow raincoat. As absurd as it sounds, the British critics liked it. On Hulu.

A scene from ‘Wreck.’
A scene from ‘Wreck.’Peter Marley (BBC/Euston Films)

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