Whilst a lot of love rightfully goes to the horror giants of the big screen, TV horror can often go toe-to-toe with the brilliance of horror cinema. Especially with the rise of streaming services, more creators are able to weave a tense and terrifying tale across several episodes.
Some of these shows have become legendary within the overall horror canon due to their compelling characters, imaginative plotlines and of course, gut-wrenching scares.
But when these shows come to an end, they often differ from their move counterparts. There often isn’t the catharsis of a triumphant final girl definitely grinning at the camera, drenched in blood. More often than not, there are unanswered questions, hidden truths and last-minute scares.
However, some horror shows aren’t satisfied with this, and decide to completely sucker punch their viewers with an ending that leaves you reeling. These shows did just that, leaving audiences broken, horrified and talking about the ending in question for years to come on nerdy film websites. Wait…
Perhaps it goes without saying, but this list will contain spoilers.
10. Penny Dreadful
This entry needs a bit of an explanation as to why it’s here, so hear your writer out.
Penny Dreadful was a bloody homage to gothic literature and its icons, including Dorian Grey, Victor Frankenstein and Doctor Jekyll. Playing these fabled characters was a fantastic cast that included Eva Green, the late Helen McCrory, Simon Russell Beale and Timothy Dalton. It was well loved, and well received by critics. However, many were left feeling utterly dejected after the ending.
The final season, which aired in 2016 was, for the most part, as excellent as the previous two, with the characters flung across the globe and leaving Green’s character Vanessa to fend for herself whilst being unknowingly courted by Dracula. Given that Vanessa spent much of the show being tormented, many expected that a happy ending wasn’t on the cards for her. But being unceremoniously shot by the man who swore he would always protect her? Huh?!?!?!?!?!
It was quite nice to see the other characters, including Frankenstein’s Creature, lovingly say goodbye, it still felt like an abrupt and soul-destroyingly frustrating end to a series that had previously enthralled viewers.
Loyal fans felt destroyed, betrayed and thoroughly pissed off by the ending of Penny Dreadful, but the rest of the show still remains to be one of the best gothic horror shows on television.