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horror series on tubi: Lovecraft Country
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Lovecraft Country (2020)

Are you using Tubi and wondering which of its horror series you would enjoy watching? I can recommend a few in this little listicle (actually half a list) about the six series I watched from Tubi’s current horror series catalog.

What I found on Tubi astonished me, there are dozens of horror series, and don’t get me started on horror documentaries! That’s subject for another article.

Why Just a Few Horror Series on This List?

If you didn’t notice it by now, I’m more of a horror movie than a horror series guy. Still, I made up my mind over the past half-decade that I will watch more horror series and less horror movies. I made some progress but it’s still an uphill battle for me. Thankfully, Tubi has quite a selection of horror series to watch.

This short list will give you a rundown on five horror, plus one gothic, series on Tubi that I either finished or I’m still watching.

Disclaimer: I know that the value for horror fans of the first and second entries of this listicle may be limited, or that they may be controversial choices. I’ll explain this in each entry.

#6 & #5: Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows The Beginning

Dark Shadows (1971)
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Dark Shadows (1971) | Source: Tubi

The gothic drama series Dark Shadows (plus the prequel) may have limited appeal to horror fans.

From my point of view, this is a must-watch for horror fans, but not so much for fans of strict horror formats.

It may lack the gore, action, or event entertainment value of other horror series since it’s not strictly horror, but you and I know that what it lacks in conventions is very satisfactorily balanced by its atmosphere, character development, looks, and overall campiness.

Nevertheless, think how many more different horror series (not just a single gothic drama) you could watch during the same time that it would take you to watch the whole Dark Shadows saga. That is why I think a watching (especially the first) of Dark Shadows should be a well-thought-out project.

I calculated three years, but that’s never going to work for me. I will be more realistic and say I’ll watch Dark Shadows from start to finish in from 7 to 10 years.

I already started (at episode 210, which is the first episode of Dark Shadows, episodes 1-209 being Dark Shadows: The Beginning), but I’m going to start again from episode 1 (I didn’t watch many of the later episodes, 7 or 8 only).

The bare facts about Dark Shadows (the whole prequel series + second series) are that it originally ran for five years (from 1966 to 1971) and it’s 1225 episodes long, at an average of 20 minutes per episode it would take approximately 408 or so hours to watch.

Consider that during the same time, you could watch more than 200 feature-length horror movies, or god knows how many horror series and miniseries from start to finish.

Still, if you are ready to stick with it (like I am) I think this gothic series makes for a great pass-time. The important point to remember is, that Dark Shadows is not the type of series you sit to watch and can binge to completion in a week or two.

#4: Death Note

Death Note
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Death Note | Source: Tubi

This animated series is also something that I think may not be a big deal to watch for fans of horror series. It has horror visuals, but for moments this series departs from the horror genre considerably.

Death Note was originally a manga that ran from 2003 to 2006 and it is one of the best-selling manga series of all time.

What Tubi has is the anime version of 37 episodes. I say that’s controversial because it’s not actual horror but more of a mystery story and also both a psychological and supernatural thriller.

I watched this series almost a decade ago and I loved, and I mean LOVED IT, with capital letters. Death Note makes no crumbs about death, especially of characters of the series you’ll never guess beforehand that they’ll be demised.

There is horror imagery aplenty in this series, but again, is more of a mystery yarn.

I’d also say that once you finish watching it you realize it’s also a drama, but the tension it maintains from start to finish may not allow you to see Death Note as such.

What is plain to see is that it is a supernatural thriller and that with its premise (to be given a magical notebook by a ‘God of Death’ that allows you to kill people simply by writing their names in it) freaky things can and will happen.

Now, what I’m going to tell you might be bad advice, but here it goes anyhow. If you have access to a VoD service that is streaming any of the live-action Death Note movies (I think they’re 5 or 6 IIRC), and if you don’t know if you’ll like the story, then you could watch one of the live-action movies and then decide, but be warned:

  • Watching one of the movies will spoil the mystery parts of the story
  • They needed half a dozen movies to try to put such a story inside a feature film-length
  • There are many more limitations in what can be done in live-action versus manga and anime
  • The Death Note movies I watched (I think the first two) rely heavily on CGI and if you focus too much on the (sometimes unnatural-looking) CGI it’s going to break your suspension of disbelief.

#3: Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country
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Lovecraft Country | Source: Tubi

That Lovecraft Country may have disappointed fans of H. P. Lovecraft doesn’t mean that it’s not an entertaining story with its interesting horror moments.

It may have been less beneficial for the series to call itself anything else, but I’m happy that I ended up watching it attracted by its name aspect.

I think that the series pays its dues to Lovecraft for using his name, but only in the beginning, and very cursorily at that; and decidedly not in a way that HPL fans would appreciate.

I enjoyed the story, which I think has virtually nothing to do with Lovecraft’s mythopoetic cosmic horror universe. The series just borrows a few Lovecraftian elements here and there.

If you like a retro-horror now and then, and if you can subdue your expectations Lovecraft Country may surprise you.

I know that generally, the reception of this series was not good, but I thought of it more positively and felt it differently.

It was last summer, when I was in a H. P. Lovecraft phase, reading T. S. Joshi’s biography of HPL, and playing HPL-inspired video games. By then I had watched only episode one of Lovecraft Country (like one year before then, I think) and after episode 2 I realized that the series wasn’t going to be about HPL or his mythos, but I stuck with it anyway.

Plus those days of last summer were heavy (it was the heaviest summer I lived my entire life, climate-wise) and my stress (due to the relocation) was through the roof. Watching Lovecraft Country soothed me and relaxed me. One of the highlights for me was how atmospheric it felt.

As I wrote, if you are like me that love both horror and retro aesthetics you should watch this series.

#2: Masters of Horror

Masters of Horror
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Masters of Horror | Source: Tubi

Mick Garris’ Masters of Horror is a great idea: a horror series of standalone episodes each one directed by a different director. All the directors in the series are recognized horror entertainment household names.

Some of Masters of Horror episodes’ directors (three of my favorites) :

  • John Carpenter
  • Don Coscarelli
  • Tobe Hooper

I watched from start to finish this unitary episode horror series from a long time ago. I think it must have been one of the first horror series I watched thanks to the internet. Because of that, it holds a special place in my heart. I think it was the first horror series I watched in a digital format, ever.

Like most unitary horror series, Masters of Horror doesn’t have the binge-worthy addictive potential of a series with a regular cast of characters.

When you finish one of its episodes is more likely you may want to think about it and let it decant, instead of watching the following one right away.

Yet, I think that if you are a not-very-demanding horror series fan you will enjoy each minute of it and get hooked (and probably bingy) on it.

Masters of Horror has something for everyone. I loved, among a few other episodes, the adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Dreams in The Witch House, which was somewhat satisfactorily converted to a one-hour horror mini-movie. Be warned that this episode is a textbook case of artistic liberty and the story is way different from the story by Lovecraft.

Maybe that Lovecraft tale was apt to spawn a feature-length movie, and I think it would have been much more faithful to the original that way, but I liked it anyway, even if the story feels a little bit rushed.

My take is that Masters of Horror is certainly a series to binge on. But maybe the second time you watch it, not the first.

I guess that the sadness I felt when I watched it (one episode after another, enjoying each one like crazy) was because I knew I was running out of episodes to watch.

That was something that maybe was normal for 2006 when I didn’t have access to more horror series, but today’s watchers will not experience anything like this, given Tubi’s (and other streamers’) staggering offer of horror TV series.

#1: Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove
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Hemlock Grove | Source: Tubi

I watched the whole season one of Hemlock Grove on Netflix when it was available there. Now I can finish watching it on Tubi since the series left Netflix some time ago.

Hemlock Grove is a quite dark horror werewolf tale. I went into Hemlock Grove not believing I was going to love it. I thought maybe I was going to enjoy it, but not that I would end up liking it as I do now.

Maybe that Hemlock Grove is an adaptation of a horror novel has something to do with the quality I perceive from this series.

What I mean is that I never would have known that a tale could make the werewolves’ lore as dark or even darker (for moments) as what a (for the sake of comparison) contemporary vampire saga would be.

I went into this series with a very polarized and pigeonholed concept of how a werewolf’s tale should look and even how it should play out.

But I was thrilled to know how they would fit the werewolf tale in a modern background, and it was nothing like I imagined it would be. It was better.

It’s weird when I see other horror series, mostly VoD originals, (and maybe several movies too) with a similar structure of a small creepy town where weird stuff happens, with an industrial, scientific, or military facility nearby where the creep factor gets amplified.

I say it’s weird because Hemlock Grove (considering its novel source material) maybe was the pattern that other recent horror properties on VoDs copy.

Whatever the case, this series showed me that a werewolf’s tale doesn’t need to fit into starchy patterns that previous movies have set. Maybe the shock and addiction this series produces in me is due to personally not having much knowledge of entertainment-level lycanthropy.

If I would be asked to be a horror and occult lore nazi at the same time I’d say that horror audiovisual media about werewolves should be valued as the older the time frame of the story, the higher the value.

But that is opening a can of worms that worries about the accuracy of the psychic implications of lycanthropy and that has no meaning in the world of horror entertainment, since the horror entertainment world is not about painting an accurate reflection of the sinister and hidden sides of existence but is more concerned with the what-ifs of the topics it develops.

Hemlock Grove champions that truth about horror entertainment. It’s werewolves in a contemporary and technocratic environment.

This series, with all its creepiness and dark settings, manages to provide a believable dose of anywhere-USA Americana, if you like that type of thing. Something I think is not that easy to do when the settings are extremely spooky like in this case.

Media Attributions: Tubi

© Bholenath Valsan 2023 — Best Horror Series


I curate horror things for horror fans to discover them without hassle

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