Netflix and chill: What to watch, what's new and what's everyone talking about this month — Halloween edition
Tagline: Real people, real stories, real horror.
Cast: People who have experienced paranormal activity, and a few who are being tormented by unknown forces — and trauma — till today.
Premise: Remember Channel 5's Incredible Tales that was hosted by Utt a few years back? Well, Haunted is Netflix's version, which means there's a bigger budget for bolder sets, better actors and much freakier stories. One thing that sets this half-hour docuseries apart from its predecessors is that rather than the typical confessional format where the individual narrates their story facing the camera, Haunted places the storyteller in a cosy living room set-up together with their loved ones to create a more conversational and intimate environment. Let the tears flow!
Trivia: Reddit forums have lit up with speculation about the authenticity of these 'true' stories, particularly the second episode. Titled 'Slaughterhouse', the episode features two sisters who recount a gruesome tale of their serial killer parents and the many bodies that remain undiscovered on their property. However, there seems to be no formal investigation, documentation or reportage that supports their story.
One-sentence review: Shit just got real.
Release date: 'Haunted' is currently available for streaming.
The Haunting of Hill House
Cast: Michiel Huisman who played Daenerys' love interest Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones seasons three to six makes a comeback.
Premise: A modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson's 1959 classic gothic horror novel of the same name, a family recounts the terror that they encountered in one of America's most haunted houses. Flashing between the past and present, the narrative revolves around the siblings who come together to discuss the ordeal after their youngest sister commits suicide.
Trivia: Creepy faces along the stairway, ghoulish hands underneath the piano, ghostly apparitions in the living room — there is a slew of spirits that lurk in the shadows throughout the show. While the characters are clearly oblivious to their presence, watch closely because nothing is as it seems.
One-sentence review: The show takes place in an old mansion, but it got me checking around corners, switching on lights and looking over my shoulder in my boring-ass HDB flat.
Release date: The Haunting of Hill House is currently available for streaming.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
Tagline: Muppets, pastries, and Halloween
Cast: For those wondering who Christine McConnell is, the Stepford wife look-alike rose to fame a few years back thanks to her macabre frosty confections on Instagram. She stars alongside some freakishly adorable furbies.
Premise: Domestic queen Nigella Lawson meets Tim Burton meets Hi-5 in this beautifully gothic cooking show. McConnell might cut a ravishing figure in prim and proper pastel get-ups but it is the gang of unruly and rowdy puppets that steal her thunder: a cheeky racoon, a mummified pussy-cat and a cuddly werewolf to name a few.
Trivia: Burlesque star Dita von Teese makes an appearance as a ghost.
One-sentence review: This is a feast for the eyes, if you like a side of freaky with your fries.
Release date: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell is currently available for streaming.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Cast: The witch in question is Kiernan Shipka who played Sally Draper on Mad Men (2005).
Premise: Hit sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch is back from the nineties. Instead of Melissa Joan Hart's all-American charm, this time around, Sabrina gets a little more down and dirty as a man-eating coven of bitchy witches attempts to drag her into hell to face Satan.
Trivia: The show is set in the same universe as Riverdale, another hit Netflix teen series.
One-sentence review: Being bad never looked this pretty.
Release date: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be available on 26 October 2018.
Tagline: Never lose sight of survival.
Cast: America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock puts on her best panicky face from Speed (1994) alongside American Horror Story's Sarah Paulson and the inimitable John Malkovich.
Premise: A mysterious force is annihilating the world's population. While its full form doesn't make an appearance on the trailer, it is believed to take on the appearance of one's worst fears, whatever that might be. Pushed to her very limits, Malorie — played by a jittery, on-edge Bullock — must take her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary. The catch: they'll have to go on the two-day journey blindfolded.
One-sentence review: The world might be going to hell, but Sandra Bullock gives me life.
Release date: Bird Box will be available on 21 December.