It’s October 1st, which means spooky season is upon us. All the ghouls, goblins, and witches will start coming out after their year-long hibernation, and that means it’s the perfect time to start diving into scary movies and shows.
I said I’m a huge fan of the horror and thriller genres. Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher, Jordan Peele and Ari Aster all take me and keep scaring me with their crazy minds. Now that we’re approaching Halloween, my horror spree is at an all-time high, which means you’ll have plenty of creepy entertainment to consume over the next few weeks.
Ryan Murphy has dived deep into the horror genre with his past shows, such as “American Horror Story” and “Scream Queens”. Recently, “Ratched”, the untold origin story of Mildred Ratched, the heartless nurse from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” debuted.
If you’re not familiar with the 1975 film, Nurse Ratched, played by Louise Fletcher, is, in a nutshell, a terrible human being. She is cold, passive aggressive, and overall terrifying to all individuals admitted to the asylum. The film also stars Jack Nicholson as Randle Patrick McMurphy, who was transferred to the psychiatric institution after serving a few months in prison. He thought it would be easier in the mental institution than in prison, but Nurse Ratched makes her life a living nightmare whenever she can.
In “Ratched”, we see how this terrible woman became the terrible woman we all love to hate. Sarah Paulson, a frequent star in Murphy’s projects, plays the lead role, and is just as creepy, cold and manipulative as her predecessor.
The show begins shockingly enough: a man arrives at a church, claiming his car broke down, but he’s actually a bloodthirsty killer looking for his next victim. Fortunately for him, he can claim several, and he really sets the tone for just how dark this show is about to become.
Ratched arrives at Lucia looking for a job at Lucia State Hospital, which hosts some equally scary procedures for the human mind. This manipulative woman makes her way into the work and soon slowly begins to infiltrate every aspect of the institution which is helpful as there is a connection between her and the killer we were introduced to at the start of the show. What’s Up Her Wicked Nurse Ratched?
I admit, it’s not my favorite of Murphy’s projects. It doesn’t have the fear factor that its first seasons of “American Horror Story” have, but there is a lot of mystery and intrigue with “Ratched”. Set in the late 1940s, its style and tone remind me of many Hitchcock films; you are never too sure who someone is and what the reason is in the end. This show also has a stellar cast – Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, Jon Jon Briones, Sharon Stone, and Judy Davis – who do a great job of playing along with the coolness of this show.
“Ratched” is available to stream on Netflix.
If you are more into haunted houses and paranormal activities, look no further than “The Haunting of Hill House”. This series follows the Crain family as they experience strange events in their new home, Hill House. They’ve heard stories about the haunted place, but they’re just silly stories … right?
Children see some truly terrifying paranormal phenomena, which would have scared me as a child, but to their dismay, their parents really don’t believe it. That is, until they start experiencing strange, completely non-normal things. You’ll probably also start questioning every strange sound you hear in your home now!
Tragedy finally strikes – thank you, Hill House! – which leads the family to flee the horrors in the middle of the night. Twenty-six years later, just when the family thought their nightmares were over, the tragedy strikes again and all their fears come running back. You can’t hide from Hill House, no matter how long it’s been.
Cannot say enough good things about this show. Everything from acting to directing to writing checks all the boxes. One of my favorite things about this show is the way it mixes past and present. The events currently taking place seamlessly transform into something that happened a quarter of a century earlier and then take us back to the present day. If you don’t have solid shooting and writing work, it would all be flat, but thankfully that’s not the case here.
This show really impressed me from the start and most importantly it does a great job of telling a really scary ghost story, and I don’t say that often!
“The Haunting of Hill House” is available to stream on Netflix. If you can’t get enough by the end, showrunner Mike Flanagan will return with a new short story, “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” on October 9th. This sequel will feature a different story and characters, but many of the same actors from “Hill House”.
Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.