Halloween is fast approaching, and now is the perfect time to start binge-watching some spooky shows or at least spooky-adjacent fare to get in the mood.
Naturally you may have already noticed that vampires have had a resurgence (a resurrection!) with the adaptations of Anne Rice’s gothic-tinged “Interview with the Vampire” on AMC and Showtime’s version of “Let the Right One In,” based on the 2004 vampire novel and the 2008 Swedish-language film of the same name. Of course, we wouldn’t fault you for returning to favorite series like “Stranger Things,” “True Blood” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (if you can get over the Joss Whedon of it all).
But what if you want something different from those more obvious offerings or the latest Netflix haunted house on a hill series? With the multitude of networks, streaming services and other random channels you can’t figure out is one or the other, there are more shows than you can keep up with. It’s very likely you’ve missed some gems along the way.
Salon is here to sift through the most recent shows in the last few years to highlight those shows that may have slipped through the cracks. Here are eight of those underrated shows to check out now:
Based on a Naver webtoon of the same name, Netflix’s k-drama follows a group of high school students in South Korea as they fight to survive a zombie apocalypse caused by a botched science experiment. In addition to the extreme bloodshed and brilliant cinematography, the Korean-language series has been praised for its poignant mix of characters. As Aaron Jones of Grimdark Magazine wrote in their review, “‘All of Us Are Dead’ focuses on these relationships so that when the inevitable virus spreads, the loss is felt that much more.”
The 12-episode season is easily bingeable, and the series has already been renewed for a second season.
Keep in mind, “All of Us Are Dead” does not shy away from zombie action or gore, making it not an ideal watch for the faint of heart. Be prepared to laugh, cry and shudder in disbelief.
As one might expect from the title, this anthology series features stand-alone horror shorts that run from 2-1/2 to 8 minutes long (take that Quibi!). With 68 episodes over three seasons, the stories range from the grotesque to bizarre and campy – basically anything to suit your mood, and if you’re not interested, you can easily skip to the next one.
A few of the wackiest episodes concern a devilish robot vacuum cleaner, a wicked optometrist, a demon child named Kageboshi and an extraterrestrial bestie. This most recent season – which highlights BIPOC creators and storylines – includes LGBTQ themes, a story about a Chinese demon, another from a half-Nigerian filmmaker and even one featuring “She-Hulk” star Tatiana Maslany and her real-life husband.
This Korean-language series stars Lee Ji-eun as Jang Man-wol, the owner of Hotel del Luna, a supernatural establishment located in Myeong-dong, Seoul, that accommodates and houses ghosts. Her soul is bound to the hotel due to a major sin she committed more than a millennium ago. But then she meets with Gu Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo) a Harvard MBA graduate who is forced to become the hotel’s new general manager after a deal his father made with Man-wol 21 years prior. Most of the staff and guests at Hotel del Luna are ghosts — except for Chan-sung — who have not left for decades, even centuries, due to unfinished business from the past that they must accept before going off to the afterlife.
This Spanish-language, queer-centric comedy series follows “a group of friends who turn their love for horror into a peculiar business, providing horror to those who need it, in a dreamy Latin American country where the strange and eerie are just part of daily life.” The business, called Los Espookys, includes Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco), a horror and gore enthusiast who is the ringleader of the group, along with his friends Andrés Valdez (Julio Torres), Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) and Tati (Ana Fabrega). The series also stars Fred Armisen as Tico, Renaldo’s supportive uncle who happily works for a valet parking company.
“Los Espookys” is created by Torres, Fabrega, and Armisen and executive produced by Lorne Michaels and Armisen, along with Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer and Alice Mathias.
Although it has been compared to Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” many fans of “Paper Girls” say it’s “even better” than the Duffer Brothers’ series. The Prime Video sci-fi drama is based on a comic written by Brian K. Vaughan and follows four 12-year-old girls who are catapulted into the future while they are out delivering papers after Halloween in 1988. The girls – Tiffany Quilkin, Erin Tieng, Mac Coyle and KJ Brandman – are unintentionally involved in a time war between warring factions of time-travelers. As they travel between time periods, the group also encounters and interacts with their older selves.
Camryn Jones, Riley Lai Nelet, Sofia Rosinsky and Fina Strazza all star as members of the young quartet. Stand-up comedian Ali Wong also stars as adult Erin while Sekai Abenì plays an adult Tiff.
Although the show was canceled after just one season, critical outcry and dedicated fans are hoping the show will be shopped elsewhere.
This British horror-comedy limited series centers on Natasha Willams (Michelle de Swarte), a childless millennial chef who unexpectedly finds herself with a baby — well, more like a demon child. As a result, Natasha’s life is transformed into a living hell as this newfound, creepy infant torments her with his violent and unsettling powers.
Alongside de Swarte, Amira Ghazalla stars as the mysterious Mrs. Eaves and Amber Grappy stars as Bobbi Willams, Natasha’s younger sister who is keen on becoming a mother soon. Albie Hills and Arthur Hills also star as the titular creepy baby.
The first season of Dana Terrace’s cheerful animated series follows Luz Noceda, a Dominican-American teen girl who accidentally discovers a portal to the Demon Realm that is an alternate dimension filled with spooky creatures and monsters. There, she pursues her dream of becoming a witch with help from her new friends Eda Clawthorne, a witch known as “The Owl Lady,” and Eda’s sidekick King, an adorable canine-like creature.
In the show’s second season, Luz and her squad work together to help the former leave the Boiling Isles and return to the Human Realm. They also help Eda get rid of her curse, which was placed by her older sister, Lilith, and help King uncover the truth about his lineage. All the while, tension slowly rises as the evil Emperor Belos attempts to crossover into the Human Realm. In the third and final season, Luz and her friends band together to save the Boiling Isles from Emperor Belos and The Collector, the emperor’s former ally.
“The Owl House” has received positive ratings from critics and fans alike. It also made history as the first Disney production to showcase a same-sex couple in leading roles, a same-sex kiss between two lead characters, a bisexual lead character and additional non-binary characters.
The streaming comedy-drama series stars Josh Gad as Gary, a single father of one, and Isla Fisher as Mary, a reclusive advice columnist. Gary and his 11-year-old daughter Emma are still mourning the death of Emma’s mother, Lisa, when Mary suddenly enters their lives. Fate brought them all together but unbeknownst to Gary and Lisa, Mary is more dangerous than she seems.
We’re all pretty smart here, and with a title like “Wolf Like Me,” it doesn’t take a full moon to shine a light on the hairy secret that Mary is hiding . . .
With only six episodes, the first season is a breeze to binge, with a second season on the way.
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