Welcome, boys and ghouls, to your annual Halloween guide to all things creepy enough for a night in, a bowl of candy in one hand and a horror manga in the other. Oh, you were expecting television exclusively? Consider this your first trick, but I can assure you — they are all treats.
Start Halloween week off right by curling up with a good Japanese manga: Junji Ito’s horrific reimagining of Frankenstein. The latest release from the master Japanese horror author, Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection (Viz Media, $22.99) features Ito’s uniquely grotesque imagery, which sparks new life in the Mary Shelley classic. When you’re finished, hop on Crunchyroll (the anime streaming service) and check out Junji Ito Collection, a series of short adaptations of the author’s works in anime form, including “Tomie,” the tale of a woman who will love you to death.
Netflix is dropping some devilish exclusives this month, including the spooky reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, now known as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Grab your talking cat and a bowl of popcorn; you’ll want to binge it. Prefer something with a little more gore? Catch up on the Castlevania animated series in time for Season 2. Both are available on Oct. 26.
I’ve written many words on and spent many nights surviving nightmares induced by Syfy’s Channel Zero and will only use space enough to say: You do not want to miss the fourth season, Dream Door, which begins on Oct. 26, with an episode every night through Halloween.
Even H.P. Lovecraft, in all of his macabre imagining, could not have dreamt of the video game inspired by his lore. On Oct. 30, the horror legend’s masterpiece, Call of Cthulhu, gets the video game treatment, out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Windows. Players will investigate a grotesque murder and discover preparations being made for the revival of the Great Old One himself. Lock the windows and turn off the lights for this dreadful experience.
Alright, so your hand-eye coordination went out the window after the experiment — I get it. Relinquish your soul to Hulu and the streaming service will make all the choices for you with its new “Huluween” category. Select a horror movie or series ranging from “Scary as Hell” to “For the Family” and the program will select something spooky for you to watch. Perhaps The Body, about a hitman transporting a body on Halloween night, or any in a long line of horror-shorts. Halloween classics Nightmare Before Christmas, Hellraiser and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer could pop up at any moment, but so too could some creepy anime, a Curious George short or Alfred Hitchcock classic. That’s creepy, right, not knowing?
Halloween is one of those particular holidays wherein it’s perfectly legal to scare the bejesus out of yourself without fear of anyone questioning your sanity. Lower your defenses and open yourself up for a fright by using this guide to go haunt yourself. Hell, invite someone if you must — but have them sign a waiver first.
Out of the Box is a semi-regular column by VCReporter staff and contributors about television and streaming content.