'AMC's re-adaptation of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles novels, however, hits the spot'ALFONSO BRESCIANI ON BBC PICTURES WITH PERMISSION FOR VARSITY

Spooky season is upon us. Now that the weather has (finally) gotten colder, and the leaves on trees have abandoned their summer green for vermillion, it’s time to retreat into our dark rooms and seek solace in some great TV...

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

With horror favourites Hush and Before I Wake under his belt, as well as Netflix’s successful The Haunting of Hill House series, it seems strange that what may well be Mike Flanagan’s most accomplished creation yet has slipped, for so many, under the radar. Inspired by the director’s Catholic upbringing, Midnight Mass is the story of a young man’s return to his island hometown in the wake of a lengthy prison sentence; at the same time, a mysterious new priest has arrived, with plans to rejuvenate the church that was once at the heart of the community. Soon, miracles start to occur – an ailing elderly woman regains her youth, a paraplegic girl stands up to accept the Eucharist – if at a price. Sure to become a modern classic, Midnight Mass is an introspective take on the classic vampire tale. What does it mean to have faith? Better yet – what does it take to question it? Just beware… the finale may destroy you.

“An entrecôte steak served bloody for your eyes to feast upon”

Interview with the Vampire (BBC iPlayer)

A confession: I was never a big fan of the 1994 film version of Interview with the Vampire. The commendable baroque set pieces simply couldn’t redeem its overambitious pacing… or Brad Pitt’s lacklustre performance. AMC’s re-adaptation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels, however, hits the spot. We begin with Daniel, an aging journalist, who is invited to Dubai to re-encounter the immortal Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson’s Emmy snub in this role was unforgivable). Thus begins our interview, transporting us to the seedy brothels and alleyways of 1910’s New Orleans, wherein an encounter with a mysterious Frenchman is set to spell havoc. Unlike its predecessor, AMC’s version strays from the orthodoxy of its source material, changing Louis from an 18th century dandy into a troubled plantation heir of African-American heritage, offering a much more complex look at the issues of race, class, and sexuality than the original ever dared.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (Netflix)

Guillermo del Toro is a modern-day master of horror. From mutant fish people to blood-sucking grandpas, the Mexican filmmaker has sketched out worlds beyond even the most freakish of mortal imaginations, led always by deeply felt critiques of human cruelty and the perils of authoritarianism. It’s no surprise, then, that his latest television effort (produced and partly written by del Toro, though boasting a whole host of creative talent, including A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’s Ana Lily Amirpour and Jennifer Kent of The Babadook fame) will make the hairs on your neck stand on end. From tentacle demons to alien parasites, rodent hordes to Lovecraftian cosmic horrors, terrible fates await del Toro’s unfortunate souls, whether they deserve it or not. Perfect for fans of goosebumps, excruciating body horror, and the monsters that hide under your bed…

“Worlds beyond even the most freakish of mortal imaginations”

Hannibal (Netflix)

Every Tumblr girl’s favourite, the crushed dream of a final fourth season will never cease to cause a stabbing pain in the bellies of this show’s legion of dedicated, if slightly disturbed, fans. When former-FBI profiler Will Graham is roped back into the field to catch a serial killer, he begins to develop an unsettling relationship with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, leading to gruesome consequences. Every episode greets the viewer with another beautifully macabre murder scene (where else can you watch a man sew his social worker inside of a horse?), as every detail – from Lynchian soundscapes to spine-chilling cinematography – is curated to absolute perfection. It’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula meets Saw, an entrecôte steak served bloody for your eyes to feast upon (just as long as you can stomach the cannibal puns). Hannibal might just have you turning vegetarian in no time. Or not, if you’re into that...

Over the Garden Wall (Amazon)


Mountain View

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Ending on a note that’s not so much outwardly ‘horror’ as “an immensely philosophical exploration of life and death encapsulated for a children’s audience”, Over the Garden Wall is a testament to what kids’ TV can do when it’s given space to breathe. The show follows brothers, Wirt and Greg, who have become lost in the woods: their journey home is thwarted at every turn, as they meet a melee of peculiar characters (an ominous woodcutter, a crazed tea baron, a township of pumpkins performing a seemingly sinister ritual) who send them every which way through the supernatural forest. Not to forget that, hot on their heels, comes a shadowy entity known only as ‘The Beast’. Cartoon Network’s masterpiece battles between the uncanny and the heart-warming, the disturbed and the feel-good, as the poignant wider machinations of the brothers’ journey are slowly revealed. Perfect for the solemn autumn evenings that lie ahead.