The 10 Best Horror Anthology TV Shows, Ranked (According to Rotten Tomatoes)

Guillermo del Toro has a horror anthology series called “Cabinet of Curiosities” hitting Netflix this year, and the streaming giant has released it in a surprisingly different way than the usual Netflix shows. Most fans are expecting big things as Del Toro is behind the show, following in the footsteps of Jordan Peele, who brought back Twilight Zone a few years ago as a top-notch director helming the show.

Throughout the history of television, anthology shows have waxed and waned in popularity. The best horror anthology TV shows date back to the era of classic shows like the Twilight Zone. However, recent shows have matched, if not surpassed, this classic original. While the new shows feature big names, past shows have stood the test of time, especially when looking at Rotten Tomatoes critics scores.

10/10 American Horror Story (2011-) – 77%

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American Horror Story is a different breed of horror anthology series. Although it previously featured a single season of mostly standalone horror episodes, each season of this Ryan Murphy-created series told a horror story, and the anthology format was different each season.

It was also unique because each season of American Horror Story featured a different horror subgenre. Although the first season was a ghost story, later seasons included witches, freak shows, murderous killers, and more. The seasons have been up and down for reviews, but overall Rotten Tomatoes considers this a horror anthology series worth watching.

9/10 Tales from the Crypt (1989-1996) – 82%

Stream now on HBO Max

While most people think of the Crypt Keeper when they think of the HBO horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt, there’s more to it than just the creature that introduces the series. It was a series that used big stars to tell horror stories influenced by EC Comics.

This series featured top stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, Martin Sheen, Kirk Douglas, John Lithgow and young rising stars like Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig. When it comes to the perfect horror anthology on cable, nothing quite matched this show until Netflix got into the game.

8/10 The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) – 82%

Stream now on Peacock+

Although Jordan Peele brought The Twilight Zone back to Apple TV, even his unique and singular approach didn’t match the original. Creator Rod Sterling created the horror anthology series that blended science fiction and became the show that all others strive to match.

However, despite its reputation, the show still ranks below the rest with an 82% rating. Regardless of the Rotten Tomatoes score, there may not be a horror anthology series with more iconic episodes. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” may be the show most fans are talking about, but others like “It’s the Good Life” are cementing their place in television history.

7/10 Black Mirror (2011-) – 84%

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Black Mirror on Netflix is ​​less horror and a little more sci-fi. However, since the theme of the series is fear of technology, the stories fit easily into the horror genre. These shows showcase the advancements in high technology and then reveal everything that could go wrong.

Black Mirror followed American Horror Story in helping make horror anthology series popular again. However, it did a little more as it returned to the traditional stand-alone episode format. The series attempted a polarizing interactive episode at best, but overall it was must-see TV during its run.

6/10 Nightmares and Dreamscapes (2006) – 85%

There is currently no broadcast

Stephen King is the master of horror, but he’s not only known for his spine-tingling novels. He is also a master of writing short stories and has many collections of his short fiction. In 2006, TNT released a horror anthology series based entirely on adaptations of King’s short stories. It is named after one of King’s collections Nightmares & Dreamscapes.

The best episodes of Nightmares & Dreamscapes featured some of King’s most twisted tales. Some were a bit silly, like Battleground’s toy assault on an assassin, while others were scary. Highlights include “The End of All Chaos” and “Autopsy Room Four,” but it’s scary enough to keep the viewer thinking long after they’ve turned off the TV.

5/10 Castle Rock (2018-2019) – 88%

Stream now on Hulu

Castle Rock is a horror anthology series by Stephen King and higher than Nightmares and Dreams. The most interesting thing about this Hulu series is that it is not based on the King story. Instead, it is influenced by King’s stories and takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, which King created.

There’s a lot going on in King’s stories here. Outside of Castle Rock, there’s a trip to Shawshank State Penitentiary, Ace Merrill from Stand By Me, and a very young Annie Wilkes from Misery in Season 2. Throw in actors from previous King movies like Sissy Spacek and this is the perfect show for King fans. It is also one of the best horror anthology TV shows based on Rotten Tomatoes scores.

4/10 The Midnight Club (2022-) – 87%

Stream on Netflix now

Midnight Club is still new enough in the eyes of Rotten Tomatoes critics to make a movie one way or another. Set in 2022, this horror anthology series focuses on the members of the Midnight Club, a group of people who come together every night to tell each other scary stories and look for signs of the supernatural in the real world.

It is based on a book series and is co-hosted by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House). Although the episodes are left over by the narrators, each one has a story told like a horror episode. It’s a little unusual because there’s also a story that takes place in the real world, and overall it’s something that critics like more than viewers who underrate it on RT.

3/10 Room 104 (2017-2020) – 88%

Stream now on HBO Max

Room 104 was an HBO anthology television series that is difficult to categorize. Mark and Jay Duplass created the show, and it spanned a variety of genres. There were action-based episodes, horror episodes, fantasy and science fiction, funny episodes and even musical episodes. However, regardless of the genre, every episode had something terrifying behind the scenes, making it fall into various horror subgenres.

Each episode took place in the same room of the roadside motel – the terrifying room 104. People entered the room with various problems, some were looking for something, some were trying to escape and find something, and others were just looking for a place to relax. None remained the same, and some never left. After watching this series, no one will ever look at a small motel room the same way again.

2/10 Outer Limits (1963-1965) – 92%

Now stream on Roku and Pluto TV

While more and more people are talking about The Twilight Zone as the horror anthology series that revolutionized the genre, The Outer Limits is the highest rated classic series on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 10% higher rating than The Twilight Zone , although it focuses more on horror stories after the first season before switching to science fiction.

Critics praised the series, with one calling it a B-horror film that felt like a European arthouse film. When recommending great episodes, Rotten Tomatoes reviewers highlighted “OBIT,” “Nightmare” and “Glass Handed Demon.”

1/10 Cabinet of Interests (2022) – 95%

Stream on Netflix now

When Guillermo del Toro creates something terrifying, fans usually buy, and that’s what happened with Cabinet of Curiosities. Not only is it the highest-rated horror anthology series according to Rotten Tomatoes, but its score is up after its first two weeks on Netflix.

Like the classic Masters of Horror, it brought famous horror directors together and had them create new short horror tales for their fans. The film’s creators include Vincenzo Natali (The Cube), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) and Ana Lily Amipour (Girl Walks Home Alone). One reviewer called it “the best thing for horror fans since Shudder went live.”

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