Arts

‘Haunted’ on Netflix is the perfect show for the spooky holiday season

Netflix’s new docu-series “Haunted” is more than just ghost stories reenacted to bring them to life for the audience.

Image By: Photo Courtesy of Netflix Media Center

For some, the possibility of paranormal or supernatural occurrences is simply an impossibility. But for many Americans and people all over the world, encounters with unknown entities are more than just tale; these encounters are very real.

Netflix’s new docu-series “Haunted” is more than just ghost stories reenacted to bring them to life for the audience. Each episode features a new victim of paranormal haunting, retelling their terrifying ordeals to family members and close friends.

It is very clear from the first episode that these storytellers/victims are either very well-trained actors able to manipulate us into believing them or they sincerely are survivors of unexplainable events caused by unknown forces. Their depression, mental strain and visible distress come off as highly genuine.

The stories or encounters are told in a closed set setting with cozy chairs and couches for family and friends so they feel comfortable sharing, similar to that of a group therapy session. However, the room they occupy is dimly lit and the décor is dark — dare I say mildly dingy —fitting the setting of an old, spooky cabin in the woods more than a psychological healing environment.

From here, the filmmakers switch back and forth between the retellings and reenactments of the events being discussed. This effect at first seemed corny and overused at surface level. However, Netflix is free from the normal restraints of cable television and able to push the limits of how graphic these reenactments can be.

One episode that stands out as both effectively scary through the storytelling/sharing aspect and the reenactment scenes is episode two, entitled “The Slaughterhouse.” The story is told by two now middle-aged sisters, who as little girls witnessed unspeakable atrocities committed in their country home. These occurrences left them under the impression that there were demonic forces acting in the house beyond their understanding and certainly something they were at the mercy of.

Little is known about the reenactment actors involved. Netflix really seemed to want to keep realism an essential focal point of the show through the hiring of unrecognizable faces. This does not take away from the acting itself. In fact, it amplifies the horror being conveyed through each haunting ordeal.

The storytellers are said to be everyday people and not actors, with a “The following is a true story” tagline at the beginning of every episode. With each episode coming in at less than thirty minutes long, the six-chapter docu-series is now available for streaming now on Netflix, making it a perfect marathon for your Halloween post-party.

Whether you believe these stories is irrelevant: The storytellers believe them, which makes each episode uniquely frightening in its own way. Whether these people are victims of paranoia or paranormal, what is for certain are the chills sure to be sent up your spine when watching “Haunted.”

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