In honor of the upcoming holiday (Halloween, obviously) these web series fall into the creepy category — some more so than others. For shows meant to scare, they’re all surprisingly innovative, when they could simply get away with blood and gore as the simple freak-out tactic. I guess low budget fake blood just doesn’t quite cut it — these creators needed plot points, as well.
From an Instagram series that centers around a night of hard partying to a collection of unsettling tales, these web series should satisfy your need to pay digital homage to Halloween. As always, if you know of any other web series worth watching, send them over to us at [email protected].
“Take Care of Me”
This Instagram series is both chilling and inventive. The title alone has the ability to give you goose bumps before you even hear it uttered by one of the super-short series’ only four characters. All the cuts need to make a crucial impact on the story (which they accomplish), considering that the creators only had 15 seconds to work with per episode. Go ahead and watch it all at once when you get the chance (it’s very easy to), but imagine the suspense you’d experience by watching it in bite-sized installments. For now, here’s look at the trailer:
Longer episodes (roughly 18 minutes) mark this series…as does the hallmark, ambient horror soundtrack. The audio is probably a big part of what should leave you clenching your fists as you watch, but the characters’ personality traits certainly help. Episode one will make you highly uncomfortable until it gets so ridiculous as to make you snicker. Overall, the cinematography is good, and the writers know how to captivate an audience. Each story stands by itself, connected by the arc of a radio announcer who introduces each episode in a sinister cadence.
This is a smart, enticing series that follows in the “found footage” model of “The Blair Witch Project” and “Cloverfield” (yes, I mentioned “Cloverfield”). The footage is split up into “entries” numbered one through 87 (!). The plot moves slowly, but the mysterious snippets provided should be enough to keep you intrigued. Subtlety and artfulness seem to align in “Marble Hornets,” and you get to feel like you’re solving a mystery with the person who “found the footage.”
“I Am Tim” adds some much needed humor to this week’s web series roundup. Starring an incompetent, British “monster hunter” (because he happens to be related to the legendary Van Helsing), this “documentary” style web series uses tacky costumes and various horror genre stereotypes to elicit laughs. Tim Helsing explains that his calling came from an old man who sat down next to him on a bus and took his sandwich, so that’s the kind of humor you can expect, which is almost unfailingly funnier in a British accent.
This series chose to take on the challenge encountered by shooting video for Instagram without naturally having such time confines. “31” gets its name because each episode lasts for 31 seconds. Like “Take Care of Me” and “Marbe Hornets,” it pulls you in because it’s smart (and for some reason, extremely short-form content does wonders for the horror/suspense genre). The series begins with a character stuck in some kind of a box. You get to follow her adventure (though that makes it sound…fun) in 31-second installments as she has to come to grips with where she has and what kind of foe she has to take on in order to escape.