This year Halloween falls on a weekend and much of the world has had the fun sucked out of the occasion by the necessary restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. Whilst in many places in the UK it is not against the rules to go out trick or treating, it’s certainly being discouraged by lots of local governments, and then there’s the issue of parties when you can only meet in groups of 6 or less. Halloween is going to be a strange one this year and honestly, it doesn’t feel like Halloween for the first time in years for me as I usually organize a huge charity fright night which caters for 1,500+ people… Not this year sadly!
So what am I going to do?
Binge watch some horror I guess! If you don’t want to watch the same movies as you watch every year, why not settle in over the 3 nights of the weekend, make Halloween the center of a binge watching frenzy and choose one or more of these spooky shows?
The Walking Dead and / or Fear the Walking Dead
I need to put these in to the list, because even though many people are getting disenfranchised with the show, it is still by far one of my favorite shows and I really do still love the Walking Dead. I’d like to see them crank up the gore and violence a bit again if I’m going to be quite honest, but it truly was a ground breaking show. It brought zombie horror to the masses in a way which no movie has ever done before and I thank them for that.
If you haven’t seen the Walking Dead before, where have you been? It is a modern day classic of the TV screen. I will say that with this show, and it’s even more so the case with the first spin-off which the show had, that you do need to sort of grit your teeth and get through the first series… Trust me, it’s worth it for what comes after. I think the acting and story don’t start great in those 2 first series, but after that, whilst a bit repetitive, the story and format works!
Plus Greg Nicotero (and this is totally off topic but my spell checker just suggested that Nicotero should really be erotic) makes some bad ass zombies!
I would say that as the 2 series progressed that Fear the Walking Dead actually may have gotten a bit better than the original, and is certainly better than it’s often given credit for.
If you love creature horror, jump scares, suspense and above all 80’s nostalgia… SO MUCH 80’s nostalgia! Then this show is for you! What makes it even easier to binge than the Walking Dead is that there are only a few series so you can at a push actually get through it over an extended weekend!
Set in the town of Hawkins and the alternative dimension of the upside down, this has so many levels of creepy and awesome ranging from the ridiculous awkwardness that is teen romance through to the terror of trying to trap a trans dimensional hell hound! It really does have it all… and did I mention all the 80’s nostalgia? If you’re an 80’s kid this is going to take you back to wanting to watch all of your favorite cheesy fantasy movies, grow a mullet, wear double denim, listen to the Clash and go down to your nearest arcade!
American Horror Story
You’re not going to want to binge the whole thing, it’ll take you for ever, but to help you choose which one best fits your horror needs, the 9 season so far are:
- Murder house (the one with the house where everything which can go wrong… and I mean, really wrong, does go wrong for a nice young family)
- Asylum (the one where the inhabitants of an asylum for the criminally insane and apparently just general misfits and outcasts are essentially just tortured)
- Coven (the one with the witches and voodoo queens of New Orleans)
- Freak show (the one which highlights how society has in the past, and arguably still now treated people who are simply different)
- Hotel (the one clearly about the famous murder house of the worlds fair and the associated murders – and where lady gaga steals the show)
- Roanoke (the one which is sort of about a reality tv show and equally about racists and inbreds, but in reality is best forgotten about)
- Cult (the one where they deal with religion and more importantly politics)
- Apocalypse (the one where they seem to just mash up all their previous shows in to one)
- 1984 (the one where they try to play homage to the slasher horror genre of the 80’s but missed the target a bit)
You can watch pretty much all of them in isolation, although there are often Easter eggs eluding to other series, sometimes more subtle than others, with the exception of Apocalypse – I’d recommend watching this once you have at least Murder House and Coven under your belt.
I would have to say that if you only have time for one, then make it Hotel. Lady Gaga was absolutely incredible in this series and I wish they’d done more with her in the later seasons as she was perfect for the show. It is loosely based on the murder of the world’s fair in the murder castle which just adds to the creepiness, but of course it also has the usual AHS twists and curve balls to throw in your face.
The first season of this show was good in that it took the concept and basically made a really long Purge movie… I really do wish that they had amped up the violence and gore a little bit. it really was a TV friendly Purge marathon, but never the less it had all the fun you’d expect from the Purge movies.
As for the second series, what it improved upon from the low production values and lack of graphic violence from the first series, it lacked the inventiveness of the kills and really lacked the fun! This season turned in to a political show. We don’t want to have a full season of subtle social and political commentary. We want it as bold and in your face as the movies so that they can get it out of the way and just focus on how many different ways they can find to maim people.
Ash Vs Evil Dead
If I’d recommend one series this year… If you can only fit in one show… Go for Ash vs Evil Dead. Each season is 10 episodes which are just half an hour long each, so over an extended weekend a season or even 2 are perfectly doable… Even the full 3 seasons wouldn’t be unachievable! It really does carry the spirit of Halloween and horror in a way which makes it perfect for binge watching.
You have a fun and eclectic cast (with the one and only Bruce “the Chin” Campbell at the helm) delivering everything you want from Evil Dead… One liners, comedy, gore, weird monsters, funky camera angles, suspense and just absolute carnage which comes out of no where. I am sure that they must have broken some records when it comes to fake blood with these things… They’re not shy about getting red!
If want your Halloween to be an absolute hoot, sink your teeth in to this baby!