It’s October! Trick-or-treating may not be a big thing in Australia, but this Halloween season is the perfect excuse to invite some mates round, microwave some popcorn and get stuck into some strange and spooky television. With Netflix and Stan being two of the most popular TV and movie streaming subscription services in Australia, we took the liberty of digging through their libraries to find some choice television shows that you might enjoy.
If you’re a fan of stories featuring monsters, murderers, ghosts, witches or other things that go bump in the night, you’ll want to add some of these to your playlist. If you don’t have a Stan or Netflix subscription, it’s worth checking out their websites as they typically have a free trial available if you’ve never subscribed before.
Stranger Things – Netflix
One of the most talked-about Netflix Original series since Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things is one of the most accessible sci-fi/thrillers I’ve encountered in a long time. If you’ve ever thought that these kind of shows would be “too scary” for you or if you find a lot of sci-fi goes right over your head, I strongly encourage you to give Stranger Things a try. It’s already been confirmed that a second season will be produced.
Set in the 1980s with a glorious soundtrack to suit, the show is all about the strange events happening in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana which culminates in the mysterious disappearance of local boy, Will Byers. As his friends and mother refuse to give up in the search and a mysterious girl known only as Eleven shows up in the town with government agents hot on her tail, they soon learn that there’s a much stranger world out there, just on the other side of their own.
Wolf Creek – Stan
Wolf Creek (the 2005 film) is an iconic Australian horror film and fans may be excited to hear that over ten years later, Stan has released an original six-part series spinning off from the events of the original movie and its sequel, Wolf Creek 2. While sequels and spin-offs to horror movies can sometimes be hit or miss, Stan’s Wolf Creek is actually an engrossing short series full of tension with a more elaborate plot than the films.
The series focuses on a young American woman named Eve, who is holidaying in the Northern territory with her family when they encounter the brutal serial killer Mick Taylor (who is still, fabulously, played by John Jarratt from the films). Following the brutal murder of her family, Eve is a young athlete on the warpath for revenge and this time Mick may have just met his match in a grueling cat and mouse game.
Residue – Netflix
There’s been mixed reviews online about this three-part paranormal series but overall it’s an enjoyable show which feels strongly reminiscent of video games such as Resident Evil 2. If you enjoyed the creepiness of Black Mirror or the high stakes with grisly consequences in Game of Thrones, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give Residue a watch.
Jennifer Preston is a photographer and journalist who suddenly finds herself at odds with a government conspiracy after a chunk of the city is quarantined following a huge explosion in a night club. The reasons for the quarantine is cited as a contamination from a bioweapon but the ghostly apparitions showing up in Jennifer’s photographs beg to differ. It turns out the truth will be quite haunting.
The Returned – Stan
While your typical eerie movie might centre around a monster or a serial killer, a French series called The Returned explores a different kind of unexplained phenomenon that sees your average town put face to face with their friends and family whom they had already laid to rest. True to the name of the series, these people have suddenly returned into existence with no memory of anything happening to them after they died.
The Returned is a refreshing change of content to the usual tropes of sci fi and horror, arguably with even more tension and drama as deeply personal relationships are put to the test while the townspeople try to get to the bottom of the mystery.
It’s worth noting that Netflix has an American version of this title which may be good if you have trouble with subtitles. Unfortunately, however, the American version only has one season (before it got cancelled) while the French version has two.
Little Witch Academia – Netflix
Here’s one that you can actually watch with the kids (if you have any) and still enjoy yourself – Little Witch Academia is a beautiful piece of Japanese animation that was originally created as a single, half-hour short film. Following an immensely successful reception and over $625,000 of funding raised through a Kickstarter campaign, Studio TRIGGER released a feature-length sequel a few years later: Little Witch Academia – The Enchanted Parade. Both are available to watch on Netflix.
The first Little Witch Academia is all about Akko Kagari, a young witch who may not be the best at magic, but she’s been enchanted by celebrity witch Shiny Chariot all her life and can’t wait to get started at Luna Nova Magical Academy. Making fast friends with a pair of misfits – studious Lotte and devious potion enthusiast Sucy – Akko will have to prove herself worthy of studying magic in a test that’s a lot more exciting than your average school quiz.
What’s your favourite spooky show or scary movie? Let us know in the comments.