Psychological horror/thriller on the small screen

Note: This is not an exposé on psych genres in recent years

I have been an avid fan of horror dramas for years. Right from The Ring (which was the first real horror I watched) to Chainsaw Massacre to I know what you did last summer to classics like Psycho and then more recently TV shows like American Horror Story, Harper’s Island, etc I have watched numerous different horror dramas. Full disclosure, I can’t name them all. 

Do zombie shows qualify as horror? Yeah some do. The Walking Dead was a horror, in my opinion, only for the first season. The latter seasons are just mostly “survivalist thrillers”. They have walked away from the horror genre. Its more about the people than the zombies. But still so awesome, ain’t it? Arguably one of the best shows right now. Though I don’t classify The Saviors vs Rick’s group as horror. Its just highly intense survivalist thriller. 

Now that I’ve painted a picture on the little I know about horror, I can go forward to a fascinating subgenre, shall I say, of horror – psychological horror. Ever since I started watching Hannibal, I’ve been wondering why there aren’t many TV shows in that subgenre. To elaborate abit, Hannibal is about a psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who basically murders people to cannibalize them. In layman’s terms, he eats people. Imagine the main character being a serial killer. That’d be epic. That’s what this show was doing until, for reasons beyond my understanding, it was cancelled after a game changing third season. Dr. Hannibal and a patient of his, FBI agent Will Graham, were locked in psychological warfare. Basically, psychiatrist vs insane patient. Though the patient instinctively knew what he was up to, Hannibal always used psychology and manipulation to cover his tracks. At the end of the second season, Hannibal has been outed as a cannibal. He runs off to Italy. The main theme of this TV show was you couldn’t tell what was real or fantasy half the time. There were layers of illusions, stunning visual art, and a masterpiece of blending sound effects. When Noah Hawley, one of the creative geniuses in show business, was making Legion, another psychological horror/thriller, he described Hannibal as “a great example of something that had this almost fetishistic beauty to everything that you saw, whether it was food or violence.”. The unique concept of Hannibal with its unorthodox yet seductive audiovisual art should, in my opinion, be considered one of the most TV redefining shows ever. Bryan Fuller did really great work on Hannibal. Just like he’s doing on American Gods. I think he’s a visual art genius. Attaboy. 

P.S: Bryan Fuller, if you are reading this, terrible idea to pitch Hannibal to NBC. Should have taken it to Netflix or one of the cable networks. 

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