Television is the perfect format for telling horror stories. TV provides horror writers and directors with the best of both worlds–long-form storytelling over many episodes (and seasons), and short sharp bursts of terror in an anthology format. With the rise of streaming services and the constant need for content, studios and companies have quickly realised that scary TV is a popular and often economical way to pull in viewers.
Anthology horror has long been one of the most successful ways to present small-screen terror. The classic show The Twilight Zone revolutionised the way scary stories were told on screen, and the following years have seen a host of shows delivering short-form frights. While horror can be as multi-layered and intricately plotted as any genre, there is something about building to a well-timed twist or shock over a limited, tightly-focused running time that has made the format so successful.
On the other hand, TV can also provide the perfect format for epic, sweeping scary stories that span generations. Last year’s Netflix hit The Haunting of Hill House showed how a brilliant 10-hour horror drama could be adapted from a modest novel in a way that would be impossible for a movie to do.There are also those shows that are spin-offs from already successful movies that allow us to watch the stories that there was no room for, and find out more about these iconic horror heroes and villains.
With so many streaming services to choose from, there is a wealth of great horror TV out there. Unsurprisingly Netflix has a lot, but AMC’s specialist streaming service Shudder has been picking up some great shows over the last few years. Similarly, Hulu, Amazon, and CBS All-Access have all brought some a number of great, scary shows to audiences. So to help you pick through the horror TV out there, here’s our pick of the best shows currently available to stream…