You know that common Halloween and horror movie trope of “can you survive a night” in the haunted house or abandoned asylum. This is often where the mind and imagination are your worst enemies. Since we’re right in the middle of October, I’ll offer you another challenge: Can you get through any of these three unnerving web series without getting a weird, goose-fleshy attack of the heebie-jeebies?
Be prepared to be “weirded-out” in the least, or downright horrified at worst with some creepy series ready for Halloween party viewing.
I wouldn’t recommend watching any of these alone just before bed.
Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared
Back in 2011, budding British filmmakers Joseph Pelling and Becky Sloan created this six-episode web series that feels like you’re watching Sesame Street during a really, really bad acid trip. The live action puppets and weird animation mix for this surreal romp explores the concepts of seemingly harmless words like “creativity,” “time” and “dreams.”
They start out in the happily innocent sing-song world of what seems like children’s television, then veer off into some very, very warped and sinister directions.
The one that really got me was “Time,” but here’s a glimpse at perhaps the least creepy and first episode discussing “Creativity.”
The creators are bringing the series to British television soon, which means there may be more “creative” adventures flowing eerily through the web. You can catch all six original episodes on their website, at BeckyandJoes.com.
The Walten Files
The simplest, but not most thorough way to describe this, is a found-footage mystery meets Five Nights at Freddy’s. The beginning seemingly low budget training tape starts out pretty annoying with some performance by the “animatronics” of the now extinct Bunny Smiles Incorporated (BSI), the company behind the restaurant and kids entertainment center Bon’s Burgers. Through these low-budget training tapes, we learn something pretty unspeakable happened before the restaurants even opened in 1974, including the disappearance of one of its founders, Jack Walten. About six minutes into the first video, we jump into to the recordings of Facility Caretaker Brian Stells circa 1982. Don’t get too close to him.
These can be found on the YouTube channel of creator Martin Walls, who commented on his channel he was going for “a much more unsettling/disturbing/uncomfy direction rather than super scary. (I) always had this vision of making it feel much more like a fever dream than anything.”
It doesn’t have that “scary challenge” jump scare tactic, but the mystery and storyline will catch up with you and slowly grab your fear mechanisms when you least expect it. There are backward text recordings and flashes of creepy images to help figure things out. All I know is beware of that bunny…and make sure to turn on the closed captions. The Film Theorists Channel has a pretty good breakdown, if you’re confused afterwards.
It is currently three episodes in with a pair of “bonus tapes.” Here’s the first:
No Through Road
Here’s another found footage series that gives us the mystery of four teenage boys found dead near an abandoned farm.
This was so well done many viewers thought it was real. It even had a website for those who might have more information on the crime. Remember how Blair Witch Project did the same thing? Sometimes a captivating spooky story is better than high budget empty eye-candy.
The mystery started with this episode in 2009:
It took nearly two years for the next segment to hit, and another year for the final two. Fortunately, you can catch all four of them finished, so you can watch in one sweep. The entire thing is less than a half hour long, so I recommend the binge.
Dive into these on your own time…and at your own risk.
Just don’t forget “green is NOT a creative color.”