In the years following its U.S. debut, Dark has become one of the most talked-about sci-fi horror shows around. The first German-language program ever offered on Netflix, this complex series consistently leaves your heart racing and your mind spiraling. Dark undeniably holds a special place in the hearts of genre fans everywhere. Yet the show's multi-layered narrative and its cast of compelling characters make it a must-watch for anyone who enjoys fantastic, thrilling television.
Dark premiered its third and final season in 2020. Although the end of the show is certainly a loss, never fear. There's a horde of mind-bending horror shows like Dark out there that capture the spirit of the German series—be it shows centered on families reeling from their haunted pasts to tales of the dead returning to life or bands of kids searching for their friend trapped in an alternate dimension.
As Dark put it best, “there are things out there that our little minds will never comprehend.” The following horror shows like Dark will keep you watching long into the night. But viewer beware: just like Dark, you may find it a little difficult to fall asleep after watching.
The Outsider (2020)
The Outsider is a faithful adaption of Stephen King's horrifying novel of the same name. A missing boy’s corpse appears, sexually assaulted and covered in human bite marks. The perpetrator is quickly found—video and DNA evidence proves it had to be the boy’s baseball coach. The coach maintains his innocence, and separate, undeniable evidence supports him. But how can a person be in two places at once? As tragedy spreads like a disease, a disfigured being seen at all the crime scenes might be the one worth investigating. Excellent performances by Jason Bateman, Cynthia Eviro, and Ben Mendelsohn make The Outsider one of the best miniseries of 2020.
A six-part series, Netflix's Requiem follows a celebrated cellist who, after her mother’s suicide, finds a box full of newspaper clippings about a girl who went missing from their Welsh town years before. She quickly becomes convinced that she is the missing girl, but the truth is far stranger than that. A violent cult soon becomes aware of her investigation, and what follows is nothing short of terrifying. Like Dark, Requiem deals with the idea that there is so much we don’t know about this world and ourselves.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018- )
Loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s novel, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House stars a family running from their past. The season switches between two timelines, slowly revealing the paranormal occurrences and subsequent tragedy that forced the Crain family to flee Hill House years before. Like Dark, we start to learn that the siblings' shared past is tied to their present. Netflix announced that the second season of the show is based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, and we can't wait.
Stranger Things (2016- )
The show Dark is most often compared to, Stranger Things needs no introduction. Set in 1980s Indiana, the hit Netflix series revolves around a young boy’s disappearance, his friends' determination to find him, a girl with mind-bending abilities, and a twisted mirror of our world called “The Upside Down.” Plus, Winona Ryder makes her comeback as the missing boy’s unstoppable mother. Season 3 came out in 2019, and production on season 4 has been halted, so it might be a little while before there’s more Stranger Things to watch.
Produced by HBO Asia, Grace is a true horror show. A bride is found hanging in a hotel room on the hotel's abandoned floor. Unexplainable incidents soon follow, such as people finding glass in their mouths. Like Dark, the family of the bride is hiding a, well, dark secret that just might be the cause of all the horror. At only four episodes long, Grace is a show you can watch in one sitting.
Castle Rock (2018- )
We all know about Stephen King's nightmarish version of Maine; many of the horror author's narratives are set in and around the fictional town of Castle Rock. Hulu's Castle Rock is an anthology series set in King's town and inspired by his storytelling. We get to visit the Shawshank State Penitentiary, cross paths with nurse Annie Wilkes, and meet Jack Torrance’s niece—all while exploring the murky space between good and evil, dark and light, right and wrong.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017)
A homecoming queen is murdered in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, and an FBI agent and the local sheriff team up to investigate. Twin Peaks was canceled in 1991 after two seasons, ending on one of the biggest cliffhangers in television history. The show now stands as one of the greatest television series of all time. In 2017, co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost revived Twin Peaks for a long-awaited third season. Much like Dark’s co-creators, Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, Lynch and Frost love to leave their fans with more questions than answers.
Les Revenants (2012-2015)
Although A&E remade this show for American viewers, the original French version, Les Revenants (The Returned), is inarguably the better of the two. In a small French town, the dead have reappeared, alive and well. This might seem like a cause for celebration, but horrible occurrences follow their return. Occult markings begin appearing on both the living and the revived, the town’s reservoir is drying up, and whoever murdered some of the dead has come back to life as well. Haunting, mystifying, and twisted, Les Revenants is the kind of show that sucks you in, just like Dark. At only two seasons long, it’s easy to binge.
The Secret of Crickley Hall (2012)
Another book adaption, The Secret of Crickley Hall is based on Joe Ahearne’s 2006 novel of the same name. This show has two timelines, set decades apart. The present-day timeline follows the Caleigh family after they rent Crickley Hall and their child's ensuing vanishment from a playground. The second timeline is primarily flashbacks to WWII-era England, when Crickley Hall was a home for orphans evacuated from London. The Caleigh family begins to find out that Crickley Hall’s tragic history might have something to do with their missing son. Like Dark, the past and present collide with transfixing results.
The OA (2016-2019)
After seven years, a missing and adopted teen girl reemerges, now calling herself the “Original Angel” (or “The OA”). Formerly blind, she shows up with both her sight restored and scars covering her back. Refusing to tell the FBI where she has been, she gathers a group of four teens and one teacher and asks for their help saving others from a separate dimension. Although planned to be five seasons long, The OA was canceled after two, ending on a cliffhanger. But if you loved Dark, Netflix's The OA is well worth adding to your list of shows.