Halloween is a season, not a day. That’s my philosophy and I stick to it by watching horror movies, shows, and all-around spooky specials all month-long. I even curated our 31 Days of Horror schedule for the site. Over the weekend I needed something bingeable, with at least one season, and creepy and by chance, I stumbled onto Creeped Out.
Creeped Out is a British-Canadian anthology series in the vein of Are You Afraid of the Dark. This horror-fantasy series is geared towards a young adult audience and balances moral lessons with horror in an urban legend storytelling format. Each spooky episode has a narrator leading into the story — similar to the Midnight Society lead-ins — and they each end with a takeaway, a moral to be learned just like R.L. Stein’s series.
The show is able to use horror in the way it has always been utilized: teaching lessons through every day fears. The stories are each set up through a cold-open involving a character named The Curious, a collector of stories and an urban legend to the viewer described by the female narrator. This figure appears at the beginning and end of every episode, whistling an eerie tune to indicate a tale is about to begin. It seems like The Curious is played by different actors each time they appear but it’s hard to tell given the large mask with a blank expression they wear and loose unisex clothing, all obscuring distinguishable features.
The stories range from creepy puppets, bad babysitters, time-stopping travelers, time-travel, zombie girl scouts, Koekoeken, aliens, and so much more. The stories are well-crafted with twists and turns that a horror veteran will see coming but still appreciate upon reveal.
One episode in particular, “Shed No Fear” is a childhood adventure against a monster that will leave fans of Netflix’s original show Stranger Things satisfied. This adventure of an episode is simply creepy but there are some pretty scary stories in the mix as well.
The crowning achievement of the show lies in the storytelling, weaving classic horror tropes into fresh tales that span time and county. The anthology’s ability to tackle real-life young adult issues reflects the greatness of horror as a narrative genre. Horror works because it scares us, and it does this by tapping into cultural fears. This is the reason some remakes don’t transfer as well even if the originals succeeded in other countries. Being angry with your parents, feeling different from everyone around you, being consumed by social media or even by internet trolling, all of these are problems that young people can identify within their own ways.
When it comes to narrative, series one’s closing two-part episode seals the deal on the capability of the writers, keeping their twist for the story of a boy trapped in a circus hidden until the last moment. It builds tension between characters and offers some supernatural and truly scary elements that solidify this show as a good watch for an adult.
Utilizing the building blocks of horror and living in the uncanny valley it succeeds as a gateway horror show a new generation. It is also a great watch for adults who like spooky but draw the line at sheer terror found in James Wan movies. It’s a holiday treat that is extremely bingable with 13 episodes at 25-minutes apiece. Series one is currently on Netflix with series two premiering later this month in the UK and Canada (CBBC and the Family Channel respectively). As a lover of horror, fantasy, and the macabre I was definitely Creeped Out.
Utilizing the building blocks of horror and living in the uncanny valley it succeeds as a gateway horror show a new generation. It is also a great watch for adults who like spooky but draw the line at sheer terror found in James Wan movies…As a lover of horror, fantasy, and the macabre I was definitely Creeped Out.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.