3rd: American Horror Story (2011 – present, FX)
Created by Ryan Murphy, American Horror Story is a horror anthology of 4 seasons so far, with one more and two spin-offs (American Crime Story, Scream Queens) to come this autumn. With each season having its own plot and setting – the show goes from the 21st century to the 50s and 60s in different areas of the United States, the only thing in common they have is the cast. Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Lily Rabe have portrayed various characters since 2011 – deranged killers, wicked nuns, angels of death, freaks, ghosts and many others.
The Horror Stories
With such a name, it is obvious that the show is full of pure horror and some is really good. The first season’s best horror scenes would probably go to the reveal of Infantata, the resemble body of Thaddeus Montgomery who was butchered as a child, along with Tate’s (Evan Peters) school shooting and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) discovering her own rooting corpse.
The second season reached a new level when the asylum patient Shelley (Chloe Sevigny) got in the hands of the Nazi doctor Arden; she ended up mutilated, amputated and the victim of gruesome experiments. When her new self was finally revealed to the audience and some kids playing on a playground, well… let’s say it is a memorable scene in the horror genre.
Another moment is the zombie assault from the third season. Sick and tired of the other witches protecting Madame Marie Delphine Lalaurie (Kathy Bates), the voodoo queen Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) does her thing and sends an entire army of zombie after the girls from Miss Robichaux’ Academy, including the deceased daughters of Lalaurie.
The entire scene is memorable and better than any zombie movie. In what concerns the most recent season, we have chosen Dandy Mott’s (Finn Wittrock) own version of the conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) made out of his mother’s corpse to which he added another woman’s head.
In only 4 years, American Horror Story has won 39 awards and has had over 100 nominations and it sure deserves them all and much more. With this show, one can never predict where the story is going. Fascinating and occasionally funny, American Horror Story is scary and disturbing all the time. Although not the scariest series ever, at least AHS discusses current terrifying social issues such as racism, homophobia and sexism.
2nd: Penny Dreadful (2014 – present, Showtime)
Penny Dreadful is a British-American production created by John Logan. With the title referring to cheap sensational British publications from the 19th century, the series itself is set in those times and has characters borrowed from traditional fiction, such as Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Mina Murray-Harker (Olivia Llewellyn), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and his monster (Rory Kinnear). Their lives are intertwined through the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) who looks for allies for her and Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) to find his abducted daughter Mina.
Shameless Gore Orgy
This is what you find in this show. With the advantage of being set in the dark and gloomy Victorian Gothic age, Penny Dreadful brings the scary back. Right from its opening credits sequence, the show’s montage shows artistic images of blood, snakes, spiders, bats while a creepy cello is playing.
On terms of shocking scenes, there are Vanessa Ives’ struggles with her inner demons (both psychological and underworld demons) and her traumatic past – not only she is locked in a mental institution, she is also possessed later; but not only Vanessa has a dark side.
The American Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) is often on the run from the murders his alter werewolf ego does and Dr. Victor Frankenstein is addicted to knowledge and experiments, who manage to both succeed and fail at the same time. But they are not the worst in this show. An army of vampires is roaming through London and is causing havoc. And they are not beautiful vampires, not even average. They are a bunch of grotesque zombie-alien monsters meant to haunt your nightmares.
Complexity and chemistry
Bringing something old as new and different is not easy within the horror genre. But Penny Dreadful is intelligent, macabre and marvellous. It uncovers the human darkness and it exploits its characters in a delightful way.
About using a more than different main female character declared creator John Logan to The Huffington Post that “I purposely wanted a female protagonist – that was the important thing, that my hero was going to be a woman, and a complicated woman. And she wasn’t going to be my hero by masculinizing her, by giving her a gun. She was going to be a woman and a woman in her era, yet be the hero of this piece. She’s the strong guiding light around which all the moths gather.“
1st: Supernatural (2005 – present, The WB | The CW)
Originally produce by Eric Kripke, Supernatural is one of the longest running horror TV series. Centred on the adventures of two ghost hunters Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) and their allies Jo (Alona Tal) and Ellen (Samantha Ferris) Harvelle, the angel Castiel (Misha Collins), Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) and the prophet Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) as they chase ghosts, exterminate monsters and fight demons.
Equipped with daggers, guns, riffles, wooden and silver bullets, salt, holy water and classic rock music, the brothers travel across the United States, and sometimes between worlds, to save the humans.
Where and when do we start?
With so many seasons (and hopefully many others to come) and episodes, Supernatural covers more genres, at times being a drama and often a comedy, but it generally remains faithful to its roots. Of course, the first episode to make us jump like Scooby Doo in Shaggy’s arms was the Pilot.
In the Pilot we get a lady in white gets revenge on men because of her own mistakes and the tragic death of Mary Winchester and Sam’s girlfriend Jessica. Later, when Jo becomes the victim of the ghost of America’s first serial killer, H. H. Holmes, the audience got a claustrophobic episode with the poor Jo walking through dark tight spaces within the walls of Holmes’ murder castle.
Also, Bloody Mary has always been a petrifying character and with a show like this one, you can imagine how brutally horrifying was portrayed. And let’s not forget about the clowns. You either love them or hate them. Supernatural manages to catch the essence of a really scary clown who used kids to get inside their homes and eat their parents. Scarecrows, poltergeists, bugs, witches and so on. But we are going to stop here and let you watch the show.
Covering different legends and myths, Supernatural is unlike any other show, different from the classic ghost stories. It has a grim tone and is spooky and it is always ready to startle you. The actors Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins are funny and their characters are compelling and make you go through all sorts of emotions.
The villains are complex and they make you love them as much as you hate them. You won’t help it feel confused whether to be excited or cry when the Winchesters finally put an end to their wicked lives. It is no doubt that Supernatural has the magic to make you addicted after only a couple of minutes and that makes it the best horror TV series of our list.