Netflix & Chills: 5 Sexy, Scary Shows for Fall
There is a thin line between sexy and scary. Both drive us to act in unusual ways. Both stem from primal emotions embedded deeply within us to help us stay alive. Perhaps that explains the myriad of ways to make Halloween costumes more revealing or maybe we just like egging on the likes of Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees. Whichever way you slice it, the fall season brings with it lots of horrifying media that intertwine themes of death, torture, and the supernatural with burgeoning sexuality and taboo lust.
As you prepare to cozy up with that pumpkin spice latte and queue up your Halloween favorites, we’ve got a few shows to add to your binge list. Check out our top shows bringing the chills & thrills to your Netflix & chill.
Before Twitter thirsted over real-life murderer Ted Bundy on the heels of “The Ted Bundy Tapes” and Netflix cast Zac Efron to play him in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” there was another, less-real murderer giving us butterflies in more ways than one.
The “Dexter” pilot makes it clear from the start that the titular character is not your everyday, creepy-guy-on-the-bus kind of criminal. In the first 10 minutes of the episode, we see Dexter shirtless and realize he is not merely a geeky blood-spatter analyst. His broad shoulders and toned torso show that years of hunting and strangling “bad guys” is a wonderful stand-in for upper body day at the gym. His costume designer knows this – dressing him in a tight, navy-green Henley any time he’s tracking his prey.
To take things further, Dexter’s narration of the series helps elevate feelings of unease and lust simultaneously. He justifies his murderous tendencies with a clinical cool, his gravelly voice driving each episode toward its climax. In the show, the very act of killing is quite intimate. The title sequence helps realize this vision, drawing clear parallels between Dexter’s deliberate, sensual morning routine and the closeness with which he apprehends his victims.
One thing is clear: handsome murderers are ingrained in our culture. But if we must choose, we’ll take Michael C. Hall’s Dexter over a real-life villain any day.
“American Horror Story: Murder House”
When it comes to the horror genre, one of the most consistently scary shows out there is “American Horror Story.” This anthology series puts a new world in scope each season. However, the scariest season is the first. “Murder House” sees Ben and Vivien Harmon move into probably the most haunted house in the world with their daughter, Violet.
The first season is riddled with death and explorations of what it means to be dead. However, between latex body suits, the allure of a seductive maid, and make-up sex, the season is certainly not devoid of sex appeal.
First of all, Dr. Ben Harmon… I mean, c’mon. His constant five o’ clock shadow gives the idea of a dark, gruff side that never entirely surfaces in the show. But have you ever seen a better-looking perturbed person? While he navigates the world of psychotherapy for ghosts, he also deals with several souls throughout the house. This includes the Rubber Man, who skulks around the house in a bondage suit the house’s previous owners had purchased to enhance their sex lives.
Joe Goldberg and his obsessive pursuit of attractive young women has taken the world by storm in recent years. This show is rife with tense sequences, murder, stalking, and more dark themes. Although, like Dexter, Joe is ultimately a murderer, he does it out of (what he thinks is) love. That can help create a soft spot for him in the viewers’ heart.
Though Joe deals with his obsessive tendencies in rather uncouth ways (e.g., spying on and manipulating the social media of the girls he’s interested in), there are some seriously steamy scenes scattered throughout the three seasons. Every time Joe finds himself in bed with a woman, there is a sense of danger and lust as the audience is on the edge of their seats to see how it will end.
Vampires are among the sexiest horror creatures to ever grace our screens. I mean, is there a more intimate way to meet your demise than a neck bite? Just before “Twilight” pandemonium hit the mainstream, “True Blood” was trading the “will they, won’t they?” tension of YA novels for something a bit more direct.
Let me be clear, “True Blood” is not your typical vampire story. In lieu of having their monsters hide in the shadows, the creators center a conversation about equality around vampires themselves. The vampires in this world no longer need human blood to survive. So, they try to integrate into society, but meet some opposition. Concurrently, there are several opposing groups. Some vampires that want to integrate and those that don’t. Then there are humans that want vampires to integrate and those that don’t.
In any case, the underlying tension of the show amplifies the sexual tension strung throughout. Cemetery sex, first-time sex, hate sex, make-up sex, you name it, it’s in “True Blood.” The great thing about the series is that, where horror media usually condemns sex with killers targeting promiscuous teens, “True Blood” celebrates sex.
Another anthology series, each “Black Mirror” episode explores a different way society might collapse. Many of the episodes center around technological advancements that inevitably take things too far and have adverse effects. From the more immediately realistic to futuristic premises, positive to downright horrifying, “Black Mirror” will make you rethink opening your phone several times each day.
Though not every episode is sexy, there are a couple that put “Black Mirror” on our list. The first is “Striking Vipers” (season 5, episode 1). You see longtime friends Danny and Karl explore their sexuality through a virtual reality video game called “Striking Vipers X.” This episode has both real-life and simulated sex scenes. It explores themes much deeper than whether virtual sex counts as infidelity. Danny and Karl choose characters of opposite genders, so their in-game sex is both an exploration of homosexuality and gender fluidity alike. But the writing stops short at explaining the implications of their affair.
Another episode to explore themes of infidelity through technology is “The Entire History of You” (season 1, episode 3). This episode thrusts us into a world where a new technology – called a “grain” – is implanted into peoples’ heads. It records everything they see so they can replay their memories later. The story centers on an accusation of infidelity. Lawyer Liam peruses his own and his wife, Ffion’s, memories to affirm his speculation that she was having an affair. In one of the more moving scenes in the episode, we see Liam and Ffion have sex. But instead of living in the moment, they relive memories of their previous sexual encounters (essentially a literal “spank bank”) to help them get off. Despite the bleak, rather disturbing outlook this scene conveys, the episode gives a whole new meaning to the POV genre.
These are our top 5 scary, sexy shows for fall. We’re looking forward to a cozy autumn of curling up and preparing to scream (in more ways than one). Let us know what you think of our list, by reaching out to us on social media!