I love fall more than any other season; I love October more than any other month; and I love Halloween more than any other holiday. I promised I would be back with a "Thrills & Chills" television lineup, and here it is! I've organized it by release date. Take notes people.
Release Date: Sept 15th
This will be the second season of Kindred Spirits, which follows ghost hunters Amy Bruni and Adam Berry as they help people overcome their fears and reclaim their homes. Essentially, it’s another ghostbusters series. The series is angling towards investigating some of the most notorious haunts in the US, and thus kicks off the premiere with Lizzie Borden’s house in Fall Rivers, Mass. I managed to catch the first couple episodes, and I have to admit, I felt the chills (and I love the personalities of Amy and Adam and how they vibe together). If the paranormal is what trips your trigger, this is worth checking out.
Release Date: Sept 15th
Evil Things is TLC’s new series, which tells the stories of those who have survived paranormal encounters through first person accounts. What’s unique about the series is that it focuses on objects (e.g., a locket being possessed or a video camera). Like Kindred Spirits, this show is going to appeal most to people who are interested in the paranormal. However, managing to catch the first couple episodes, I have to say I felt a little lukewarm about the series. Each episode features two stories, and for me, the stories were hit or miss. In episode one, the first gave me chills, but the second was a no-go. Honestly, I’d go for a creepy podcast over this.
Channel Zero: No End House
Release Date: September 20th
Syfy actually has a pretty legit lineup of spooky shows rolling out during this Fall. The first one is Channel Zero: No End House. This is the second Channel Zero series with the first series, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, premiering last year. Like AHS, each season follows a season-long anthology format, and the idea for the series was born out of adapting creepypastas, horror-legend stories that are circulated around the internet, into a television series. I was a bit lukewarm about Candle Cove because, while interesting, the production values and cinematography were just not good. But Syfy has definitely upped its game with No End House and, though still not spectacular, the production values and cinematography are markedly better, as is the action, with the series landing John Carroll Lynch. And, for those of you who love the literature as well, this season is definitely giving me House of Leaves vibes.
Release Date: October 1st
Ghosted is a new horror-comedy series that revolves around Max Jennifer (Adam Scott), a genius, and Leroy Wright (Craig Robinson), a skeptic. Max and Leroy are recruited by an underground organization (The Bureau Underground…totally original, I know) to investigate paranormal activity in Los Angeles. I love Adam Scott and Craig Robinson and cannot even fathom a better buddy cop duo at the moment; I fully expect them to be hilarious together. However, I’m a little concerned that the show will lean too heavily on Robinson and Scott. I sincerely hope they aren’t “it,” and that the show surprises us by bringing something else to the table. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask: Why couldn’t Robinson be the genius? The series definitely seems to be utilizing some outdated stereotypes to create humor. Didn’t we learn our lesson with the recent Ghostbusters? Or any of the other one million times Hollywood used this trope? I mean, Robinson is the cop in this series and Scott is the buddy (#RoleReversal), but like, the cop is a “mall cop,” which is definitely a demotion, and the buddy gets to be a genius, which is a serious promotion (#NotReallyRoleReversal). So, yeah. There’s that.
Release Date: October 4th
Raw received enthusiastic reviews, so I’m excited that Netflix scooped it up. Directed and written by Julia Ducournau (#WomenMakeMovies), the film follows Justine, a young woman who is going off to college to pursue a veterinarian degree and finds herself participating in a hazing ritual, a ritual that awakens a hunger she never knew she had. One of the greatest achievements of the film, is Ducournau’s ability to juxtapose beautiful and grotesque imagery, effectively amplifying the horror. Be sure to check out our previous review on Raw; this is one you’ll definitely want to see.
Release Date: Oct 5th
Ghost Wars is a new paranormal action series that focuses on Roman Mercer (Avan Jogia) who is tasked with saving a small town in Alaska from the paranormal despite their prejudice towards him. It’s clear from Syfy’s brief synopsis that the show is going to engage with the current political landscape though it may not be as explicit as AHS: Cult. While the trailer seems a bit fractured and confusing, I appreciate the meta homage to the genre of psychological horror, and there is a definite creep factor present. While I don’t think this show is going to keep you awake at night, it’s still going to be one to check out.
Rillington Place (2016)
Release Date: Oct 5th
Sundance Now recently acquired Rillington Place from the BBC, which premiered on the BBC last year (2016) under the title One Rillington Place. Based on a true story, Rillington Place is a three-part mini-series that looks at the life of John Christie, a serial killer, and the murders that took place at 10 Rillington Place during the 1940s and 1950s in London. Interestingly, the legal case and prosecution that followed these crimes ended up providing landmark evidence for the abolition of capital punishment in Britain. The series stars Tim Roth (Reg Christie), Nico Mirallegro (Timothy Evans), and Samantha Morton (Ethel Christie), and each episode is told from one of the three main characters’ point of view. Can you say binge-worthy?
Release Date: Oct 6th
So, we still don’t have a trailer for Superstition, despite its fast-approaching premiere, but the premise sounds interesting indeed. Superstition is set to revolve around the Hastings family who have owned a funeral parlor and cemetery in the town of La Rochelle for as long as anyone can remember and offer the unique service of “afterlife care,” a service offered to citizens of the town who have unexpectedly met their death at the hands of otherworldly entities. Syfy notes that, “The Hastings use arcane weaponry, incredible strength, mystical alchemy skills, and a deep knowledge of the occult and ancient lore from around the world to quell the evil within the shadows of the town.” Based on the available information, I’m getting a Supernatural meets Lost Girl vibe that is somewhat confirmed by Barry Gordon’s comment that the show is trying to tap into the audience base of shows like, “American Horror Story, Stranger Things, Supernatural, True Blood, [and] Six Feet Under.” The series was pitched to the network last December and ordered straight to series, and Netflix has already been lined up to handle the international broadcasting. The narrative sounds solid, and the fact that it was ordered straight to series, and that Netflix has picked up the international broadcasting rights are all positive signs. I’m pretty optimistic about this series.
Release Date: Oct 13th
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a million percent stoked for this premiere. Lore is a critically-acclaimed and award winning podcast that was started in 2015 by Aaron Mahnke. As expected, based on the show’s title, the podcast explores the true history behind horror myths, legends, and stories. It’s a folklore podcast (that I have loved) that has been adapted into a television series (excuse me while I nerd out). Amazon picked up the series last year, and Gale Anne Hurd was brought on as the EP with Glen Morgan named as the showrunner. Given the show's acclaim and the wildly talented creative minds brought on to produce it, I have some seriously high expectations for the series, and I don’t expect to be disappointed. If folklore is your thing, you may also be interested in the Myths and Legends podcast and The Folklore Podcast.
Release Date: October 13th
Serial killers abound this October, and David Fincher’s new series, Mindhunter, is expected to make a big splash. The series is an adaptation of the non-fiction book, Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, which was published by Mark Olshaker and John Douglas in 1996. Set in 1976, the series follows two agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), as they attempt to track down serial killers by getting inside their minds. John Douglas joined the FBI in 1970 and his first assignment was in Detroit, MI; he coined the term “serial killer,” and is generally considered to be one of the best criminal profilers in the world. I’d recommend checking out some of his books. David Fincher has some excellent material to work with, and this is going to be another one of October's binge-worthy series.
The Babysitter (2017)
Release Date: October 13th
The Babysitter is a horror-comedy film that was picked up by Netflix from New Line Cinema last October. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information about it available. Netflix literally only has a one-sentence description of the film, “When Cole stays up past his bedtime, he discovers that his hot babysitter is part of a satanic cult that will stop at nothing to keep him quiet.” I mean, based on the below image, I’m getting a little bit of an 80s revival vibe (which could be said about a number of reboots this year…and next). But, it’s not a lot to go on, and they’ve had some flops in the horror area. So, we’ll have to wait and see.
Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses (2015)
Release Date: October 15th
This is actually a New Zealand documentary that came out in 2015 (see IMDb ratings here) that Netflix has acquired the rights to. The documentary tells the story of a 22-year old Wainuiomata woman who was killed by drowning during a four-day exorcism that was performed by her family. The documentary explores both the events and the trial that took place after as a result of this tragic incident.
Slasher 2: Guilty Party
Release Date: October 17th
If you haven’t seen season one of Slasher, there’s still some time to catch up before season two premieres. Slasher is a Canadian season-long anthology produced by Super Channel (Canada) and Chiller (US). The first season focuses on the shadowy “Executioner” who is terrorizing Waterbury. While the first season was met with mixed reviews, the series was nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards. What’s most interesting about the series is Aaron Martin’s (EP) vision for the series. Last year, Martin said, “The series is a fusion of some of my favorite thriller genres – the classic slasher film, the contemporary murder mystery and the timeless works of my favorite crime writer, Agatha Christie.” Sounds pretty interesting right? And this year, Martin has said that a Faulkner quote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past” serves as the “core inspiration” for season two, which revolves around a group of friends and a secret they’ve kept hidden (I Know What You Did Last Summer , anyone?). Martin’s goals for the series are lofty—I mean, invoking Christie and Faulkner—seems like a recipe for disaster…unless you’re cinematic savant.
Release Date: October 20th
Stephen King is all the rage right now and following up his release of It with the release of 1922 via Netflix was like marketing genius (not that I expect anything else from the master of horror). The film is already getting rave reviews with GQ stating that it might be King’s “best adaptation of 2017” (yeah…that includes It people), The Verge suggesting that it’s “a reminder of what Stephen King does best,” Collider calling it a “Slow Burn” and proclaiming it to be “Stephen King done right,” and with Indiewire declaring it to be “The Shining meets The Tell-Tale Heart.” Get the popcorn people, it looks like we’re in for a Midwestern Gothic treat of epic proportion.
Release Date: Oct 27th
I don’t need to say much about Stranger Things…except maybe, “What Happened to Barb?” Mark your calendars, with less than a month until season two’s release; the countdown just hit the red zone.