Telly Terrors

With only a week to go until Halloween, it’s time to sit in a dark room with some popcorn and get suitably terrified. Only, with the glut of premier TV horror available to fans of guts ‘n’ gore, that dark room doesn’t necessarily have to be a cinema anymore.

Sure, with ‘The Babadook’ and Joe Hill adap ‘Horns’ treating scary movie fans in the run-up to All Hallows’ Eve, the state of horror cinema isn’t looking too shabby – this week anyway. But with UK fans having been treated to the first outing to ‘American Horror Story’s suitably freaky ‘Freak Show’ this week, there’s as much chance – if not more – of being wigged out by the terrors in the tellybox.

american horror story

^ That guy is obviously nightmare-worthy, and will haunt the dreams of any sensible adult – let alone any unfortunate kiddies who tune in after bedtime, in a similar way Pennywise all but ruined my formative years after I stayed up too late one Sunday night in the ’90s.

Even so, if you haven’t caught the awesomely alarming anthology antics of Jessica Lange and co. (and Lange’s singing is sure to give you night terrors even if the homicidal clown doesn’t), you’ll be able to find some top quality horror without leaving the house thanks to TV’s recent embrace of entrails and entropy.

tv terror

‘The Walking Dead’ may be one of the biggest shows of the moment (and rightly so) but there is plenty more gore for TV fans to gorge on. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ adds a fantastical spin, ‘Bates Motel’ riffs on Hitchcock for a noir-ish serial killer origin story, while Bryan Fuller’s deliciously stylish ‘Hannibal’ is an all-the-trimmings feast for Lecter fans.

The genre has even carved a bloody niche on Netflix, with ‘Hostel’ man Eli Roth guaranteed a final third season for his hit-and-miss ‘Hemlock Grove’. Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro’s vampire saga ‘The Strain’ is already proving infectious, whilst Eva Green lent a magnetic malevolence to Sky’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ which will hopefully deliver on its promise second time around. Even this year’s critical darling ‘True Detective’s crime saga was spun with Southern gothic, its denouement a descent into Hell itself.

Why all the post-watershed horror, why now? I don’t care, basically. Not since ‘The X Files’ followed in ‘The Twilight Zone’s bloody footsteps 20 years ago, keeping us up all night with classic episodes like ‘Squeeze’ and ‘Home’, has TV been in such a fantastically frightening state.

Halloween countdown starts here!

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Trailer Tuesday: Dead is Alive

One of the copious Comic-Con treats to emerge from last weekend’s annual San Diego geek get-together was this: the continuation of AMC/Fox’s zombie survival saga, based on Robert Kirkman’s original graphic novel series, ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 looks set to plunge us further into the grim post-apocalyptic world of Rick and his rag-tag bunch of no-hopers.

October isn’t that far away, but if you can’t wait then get your brain-gobbling gnashers around the extended promo clip below. It’s better than brains!

Zombies Vs Spoilers

the walking dead season 4

Just in time for Halloween, when a number of its fans will be grossing up to dress as zombies, ‘The Walking Dead’ returns to screens for its fourth season. Thanks to Sky wising up to the American schedules, us Brits get the season opener just days after the States this Friday on Fox.

However, even with that short gap between its US airing and the UK debut, the fact we don’t live in an apocalyptic world where the Net has been replaced by brain-munching walkers means you’re likely to be as freaked out by spoilers as anything that you see in the opening episode. Avoid Twitter and streaming UK zombie addicts at all costs if you don’t want to find out who lives and who dies (unless it’s one of the show’s famed slow burns where nothing happens until 5 mins before the end credits), otherwise you might get zombie rage that does indeed bring about our own world’s destruction.

Can’t wait a few more days? Just think, the Fox-free folk who rely on Channel 5 or DVD boxsets have to avoid hashtags including #TheWalkingDead and #DidTheyJustKillRick?! until at least 2014. Here’s a taster anyway – mmmmm, brains…