Witches, demons, angels, time travel and forces of nature
This monkey would be creepy even if it wasn't going on about eating babies.
Marianne is a French series, created for Netflix, about a young writer named Emma who discovers to her horror that the events she describes in her novels happen in the real world.
I was a bit lukewarm about this one at first, but it really grew on me as the series went on. There is a lot of great backstory, some interesting characters and a satisfying ending, though it does leave the door open in case the creators want to make another season.
Content warning- This series might be upsetting to pregnant women and parents of young children.
Haunted is an anthology series in which people tell their supposedly true stories about paranormal experiences. The show's creators insist that the stories are true but fortunately, this seems highly unlikely. In particular, the second episode, The Slaughterhouse, strains the show's credibility. In it, two adult sisters claim to have grown up with a father who was a serial killer and a mother who aided and abetted him in his crimes. This raises a lot of questions, such as why, if it was true, did the show's producers not take all the information they had to the police? Why did the adult grandson of the killer move into 'the slaughterhouse', throw away the "more than 100 trophies" from his grandfather's kills and openly say that he suspects that he knows where some of the bodies are buried and "won't dig" there?
Regardless of its authenticity, Haunted can be fun to watch if you're into spooky stories. Some of the effects are decent, but the B-grade acting tends to make the dramatic re-enactments more funny than frightening. The second season began screening on Netflix in October 2019, in time for Halloween.
3. The Mist
The Mist was based on a novella of the same name by Stephen King. It's the story of a town in Maine which becomes surrounded by a thick mist, making it almost impossible to see while outdoors. Several groups of people become trapped in different buildings while waiting for it to clear, including a shopping center and a church. It soon becomes apparent that the mist is more than just a natural phenomenon, as people who are exposed to it are killed, injured or driven to harm themselves or others.
I'm not a Stephen King fan, so I probably would have skipped watching this one if I'd realised it was based on one of his books, but once I'd started watching I kept going right to the end. The Mist has an interesting premise and is quite scary at least in the first few episodes. Frances Conroy (of American Horror Story and Six Feet Under) shines as the nature worshipping Nathalie Raven.
Content warning- There is a story line about date rape. Also, for animal lovers, don't get attached to the dog.
Dark is a German series which first aired on Netflix in 2017. There are two seasons available and a third has been commissioned.
In the town of Winden in Germany, children have been going missing, which for the locals brings back terrible memories of similar events 33 years earlier. Teenager Jonas Kahnwald is struggling to cope after his father, Michael dies by suicide. Local police officer, Ulrich Nielsen, whose brother, Mads, disappeared decades ago, now finds his son Mikkel has gone missing as well. Jonas joins in the search for the boy. The characters learn that there is a conspiracy that stretches across three generations of Winden's residents, and may lead to the end of the world as they know it.
Dark can be quite tricky to follow, with a large cast of characters to keep track of across three different time periods, further complicated by some of the characters travelling back and forth in time. However, it's worth sticking with it to eventually work out what is going on.
Requiem is a British series written by Kris Mrksa and Mahalia Belo. There are 6 episodes. It is a co-production by Netflix and the BBC,and is visually stunning. It stars Lydia Wilson (Misfits, Never Let Me Go), as the concert cellist Matilda Grey, who is forced to reevaluate everything she knows about her own life and family after her mother's tragic death.
The Welsh countryside is the backdrop for this strange tale.
Without wishing to spoil anything, I wasn't expecting the story to unfold the way it did. There are twists and turns, with plenty of hints early on. The performances are terrific, and the cinematography is sumptuous.