The first season of Mike Flanagan’s Haunting of anthology series, The Haunting of Hill House showed us that ghosts are real but they are linked to the living in unexpected ways, namely family guilt and trauma. The Haunting of Bly Manor explores the supernatural and its relationship with another very natural human emotion; love. Once again we are brought into a tense and mysterious story with surprisingly relatable and flawed characters, for the horror genre, and that just makes the horror itself so much more heightened. Bly Manor is not as scary as its first season but it does make up for it in genuine mystery and strong character work.

Scare Me is directed by Josh Ruben (best known for his work on CollegeHumor). He also plays Fred, an aspiring novelist who goes to a cabin to focus on writing his book. He meets Fanny (Aya Cash), a bestselling horror author also working on her next novel. When the power goes out, Fanny makes her way over to Fred’s cabin and they enter a competition to tell the best scary story. 

When I had the chance to write a retrospective look-back on this film, I was beyond thrilled. Not only is today the 25th anniversary of it’s release (which also happens to be my birthday), but it’s one of my favourite films from one of my favourite directors, David Fincher. Films like Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network and Gone Girl never fail to rope me in with their superb writing, twisty plots and dark character drama (no matter how many times I’ve watched them). But before all those, there was one film that truly established Fincher’s style, and practically changed the game for the psychological-thriller genre. That film was Se7en.

From a young age, the horror genre has always stood out to me. It was the ultimate escape from reality and the pure adrenaline from being scared shitless was my go to for a good time. The more I got into film, I realized that a large part of why I enjoyed certain films came from whether or not I liked or could relate to the characters. I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) is quite literally why it’s one of my favorite movies. But the older I got and the more I began to understand who I was, I started to notice that I wasn’t necessarily seeing someone like me in horror. There was never the gay friend in a slasher movie, the queer kid who’s part of a family living in a haunted house, or even a gay couple in a home invasion, etc. Thankfully that’s finally changing.

The big question for this highly anticipated new season has been, will it live up to its exhilarating and remarkable season two? Well, it does and it doesn’t. Chilling Adventures continues to stun us with its haunting and gorgeous imagery along with its beloved and thoroughly fleshed out characters that we continue to enjoy and relate to. The campiness factor remains intact this season all the while taking itself more seriously than the previous two. But the whole time, I couldn’t help but think something seems off. Before I jump into my thoughts, there will be some brief spoilers regarding season two and some talk of storylines set up by episode one so if you haven’t seen the previous season yet I recommend watching it before reading this review.