Ideal for shivering with friends or alone in the dark, these 5 horrific series available on the Salto platform will make you spend a most delicious Halloween, from “Chucky” to “Evil”, via “Monsterland”.
After seven feature films and a reboot released in cinemas in 2019, Chucky, the famous killer doll imagined in the late 80s by Don Mancini, made its big comeback last year in the form of a TV series.
Somewhere between the sequel (it is partly a continuation of Return of Chucky) and the reboot, this series carried by young actors Zackary Arthur, Björgvin Arnarson, and Alyvia Alyn Lind transports us to the small town of Hackensack, where 14-year-old Jake sees his life turned upside down the day he buys a vintage doll that soon turns out to be possessed by the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray.
Composed of two seasons to date – the second is currently offered in US+24 on Salto – Chucky the series allows the saga to reinvent itself by offering a show that is both funny and bloody, which seizes new meta and queer (the hero is gay) welcome.
Result: no character is immune, the murders committed by the killer doll are more enjoyable and unbridled than ever, and you never get bored. With, icing on the cake, the return of many faces well known to fans of previous films, including Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent. To the delight of die-hard fans. Even if the scenario sometimes turns a bit to the big nonsense.
Created by Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife, The Good Fight), Evil is certainly one of the best series of the moment. Halfway between The X-Files and The Exorcist series, it tells the story of Kristen Bouchard, a clinical psychologist who finds herself teaming up with David Acosta, a priest in training, and Ben Shakir, an entrepreneur and technician. Acosta’s loyal sidekick, investigating potentially supernatural events.
This trio like no other then having the task of determining if the facts presented to them episode after episode have a scientific and rational explanation, or if they are confronted with cases of possessions by demonic forces.
A mystery to which the series has the intelligence to never really answer clearly, leaving us the care of shivering in front of each of these sinister affairs during which the heroes are notably confronted with a demon who emerges from the darkness to come and disturb the nights. from Kristen, to a disturbing little girl who haunts a video game in virtual reality, or to a satanic goat.
A figure inherent in the horror genre and demonic tales who seems linked to the mysterious character of Leland Townsend, the big bad of the series who could just as easily be a terrible psychopath as an emissary of the devil.
Worn by actors in tune, such as Katja Herbers (Westworld), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Aasif Mandvi (This Way Up) and Michael Emerson (Lost), Evil is both intelligent and chilling. Metaphor of today’s America, and more generally of today’s society as a whole and the excesses of new technologies.
A nugget not to be missed and to catch up before the upcoming arrival of season 3 on Salto.
If anthology series in the vein of The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt or Creepshow (also available in full on Salto for a few days) are your cup of tea, then you might want to take a look at Monsterland, which adopts a more social and political approach to horror and the monsters that inhabit our world and our imagination.
Starting from a spine-chilling truth that has been prevalent in film and horror literature for decades – that real monsters don’t hide under the bed or in our nightmares, but in everyone’s us -, showrunner Mary Laws paints a portrait of a contemporary America in perdition.
Each of the eight episodes enjoys a grim atmosphere and depicts lonely and desperate characters, whom often terrible decisions will tip over into horror.
And if the protagonists, camped by Mike Colter, Taylor Schilling, Kaitlyn Dever, Charlie Tahan, Nicole Beharie, or even Kelly Marie Tran come across a multitude of monsters during their respective chapters – mermaid, zombie, angel, sadistic killer who can literally change of skin, demonic trumpeter with sharp teeth – these creatures are in truth only the extension and the mirror of the fear, the regrets, or the guilt which inhabit them.
An ultimately quite real vision of horror which, despite sometimes a little uneven episodes, offers nice moments of tension and echoes Trump’s America more than ever, as much in its decadence as in the social and racial divisions that she was able to arouse.
Young adult series coming straight from Sweden, Cryptid tells the story of Niklas (Julius Fleischanderl), a high school student with a complicated family history who sees his life rocked even more the day his best friend, Sebastian (Oscar Zia) , literally explodes in front of him. Coating the walls of their high school with his blood.
This violent death, bizarrely classified as a suicide, marks the beginning of trouble for Niklas who, while trying to discover what caused the death of his comrade, must deal with the strange visions that haunt him and with the return to town of his sister, determined to understand what really happened the day their mother lost her life. Years ago, near a lake that will soon be the scene of other strange events.
A sort of Skam reviewed and corrected with fantastic sauce, Cryptid is cut to please fans of Teen Wolf, Ragnarok, or the Netflix series Curon, from whom it seems to have borrowed its disturbing lake. Oscillating between dream, fantasy, and reality, this horrific drama in 10 20-minute episodes, perfect for an evening binge-watching, enjoys a real atmosphere that is reminiscent of David Robert Mitchell’s film It Follows.
And if its pace is quite slow and its characters a little too stereotypical, Cryptid manages to stand out thanks to its rather original central mystery, which is based on a largely suggested horror and takes us little by little into the terrain of legendary creatures.
After Hannibal, played on the small screen by Mads Mikkelsen, Clarice Sterling also had the honors of her own series last year, simply titled Clarice and worn by Rebecca Breeds (The Originals) in the role of the young rookie of the FBI allowing the arrest of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.
Developed by Jenny Lumet (Rachel Gets Married) and Alex Kurtzman (Fringe) based on characters from the Thomas Harris novel, Clarice is set a year after the events of the film starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, and takes us into the weakened, even damaged, spirit of Agent Starling, who struggles to overcome the trauma of his confrontation with Buffalo Bill, as well as the media surge that followed. And joins an FBI team charged with investigating the most sordid serial crimes.
Alternating between procedural, with business closed in most episodes, and a more serial plot that gives pride of place to the trauma of its heroine, Clarice is obviously nothing horrific. But its particular aesthetic, rare in the world of network series (it was broadcast on CBS), and its very creepy, sticky, and completely assumed anxiety-provoking side make it a fairly stressful and disturbing detective series, which should easily have pleased the fans of Criminal Minds and Thomas Harris novels.
Canceled after a single season of 13 episodes, Clarice is still waiting on TF1, which bought the rights. But it is now devoured on Salto.
And if these 5 series recommendations aren’t enough for you, listen to our special AlloWeen podcast devoted to three hand-picked horror subgenres: slasher, body horror and found footage:
Chucky, Evil, Monsterland, Cryptid, and Clarice are all available exclusively on the Salto streaming platform.