Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Netflix's sci-fi horror monster hit Stranger Things returned for its third season this July. Chances are also good that you took full advantage of the holiday weekend to binge-watch all eight episodes of the latest season. After all, who has time for family cookouts and fireworks when there's a Mind Flayer to slay??
Those who finished watching season three know that it ends with a number of burning questions. And while a fourth season is reportedly in the works, no release date is currently set. To satisfy your need for otherworldly chills, we compiled a list of shows like Stranger Things you can watch tonight. While the genre and subject matter varies, each show below delivers on the scares as well as the heart.
So dim the lights, crack open a fresh box of frozen waffles, and settle in for your next bingeing session.
This mystery-steeped German export melds the small town paranoia and shadowy agents of with the cosmic dread of —in fact, Vogue describes the show as "Stranger Things for grown-ups." In season one, a rash of child disappearances plagues the quiet German town. Friends and family search for the missing children, unearthing the town's dark past as well as the wormhole hidden deep in a cave beneath the town's nuclear power plant. Yep, you read that right: Adding to the show's eerie mystery is a mind-bending dose of multiple timelines and sci-fi time travel—making this series a must watch for all genre fans.
This dark and twisted British horror show from Misfits creator Howard Overman follows two twenty-somethings who must do battle with both inner and outer demons. Amy, a bored bowling alley worker, is suddenly attacked by a sinister creature that only she can see. She's rescued by Raquel, a self-professed demon hunter. Together, Amy and Raquel go toe-to-hellish-toe with a horde of demons and an evil mastermind who plans to bring the world to an end. For all those who enjoy the camaraderie of the Stranger Things gang and the power of friendship to triumph over all kinds of evil, check out Crazyhead.
3. Black Mirror
Look, if you're into Stranger Things chances are high that you're already plugged into the techno-nightmare of Black Mirror. If not, clear your cache and dive into Charlie Brooker's cracked-screen vision of the very near future right now. The latest season hit Netflix in June 2019.
4. The X-Files
Stranger Things itself borrows heavily from this 1990s cult favorite. When rational Agent Scully is paired with “true believer” Agent Mulder, weird things, most of which involve aliens and monsters, start happening. If you enjoyed the pairing of Joyce and Hop, Mulder and Scully are right up your alley. Plus, the sinister creatures, psychotic killers, and dark mysteries featured in The X-Files will be sure to give you many a sleepless night.
5. American Horror Story
AHS teeters between the absurd and the downright disturbing. While all five seasons are worth watching, Season 2, Asylum, is perhaps the darkest, as well as the most similar to Stranger Things from a tonal perspective. Set in the 1960s, Asylum follows the inner-workings of one of the most harrowing insane asylums in recent television history. Twisted doctors performing gruesome procedures, murder, possession, and kidnapping abound. Do. Not. Watch. This. Alone.
6. Twin Peaks
Another 1990s cult classic from which Stranger Things draws inspiration, Twin Peaks begins with the death of high school student Laura Palmer. Laura's shocking end upends the small northwestern town, igniting a mystery that soon grows to cosmic proportions. Co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost create a dreamy and unsettling atmosphere, one that leaves you constantly on edge. In Twin Peaks, the evil lurking just beneath the mundanity of daily life takes a human form in Bob, one of the most terrifying villains in TV history.
7. The OA
Secret missions, hidden labs, a main character who disappears only to return to her hometown with supernatural gifts? Netflix's The OA is a fine contender to fill the Stranger Things-sized hole in your heart. Seven years after disappearing from her home, a young woman named Prairie Johnson reappears. Her return stuns her friends and adoptive family. Once blind, she can now see; she also now calls herself "The OA" and refuses to share her experiences with investigators. As the mystery of her disappearance deepens, she enlists five strangers for a supernatural quest.
8. The Returned
This paranormal import from France breathes new life into the undead genre. Many years after their deaths, the deceased residents of an isolated French alpine village suddenly return to walk among the living. The otherworldly event opens up emotional wounds of the past and fractures the tight-knight community. Meanwhile, strange phenomena send the town into further disarray, from power outages and mysterious marks on the skin of the living and the returned to the inexplicable lowering of the local reservoir's water level.
9. The Fall
If you enjoyed the bad-ass law enforcement and creepy woods-searching of Stranger Things, The Fall might be the next show for you. Whereas the former is set in small town America, and only partially based in reality, the latter is firmly grounded in real-life Northern Ireland. Far from the monster of The Upside Down, The Fall’s monster is a serial killer, hiding in the guise of husband and family man, who brutally attacks and murders women. However, like Officer Hopper, The Fall’s Agent Gibson is a flawed and relatable anti-hero, whose devotion to the bone-chilling case becomes all-encompassing, especially for viewers.
Love Stranger Things' winning combination of supernatural chills and big hearted friendships? Check out Sense8. Created by the Wachowskis, this tense sci-fi drama follows eight strangers from different parts of the world who discover that they are linked together both through a psychic connection. As the eight “sensates” search for the truth behind their mysterious abilities, a shadowy organization tracks their movement, intent on destroying them.
11. The Umbrella Academy
This new Netflix series, adapted from the comic book series of the same name, is sure to thrill Stranger Things fans who also enjoy a good super hero tale. The series follows a set of estranged siblings with extraordinary abilities who reunite upon their father's death. The reunion uncovers dark family secrets. As the superhero siblings butt heads and seek to unravel the mystery of their fallen patriarch, they also uncover a looming threat to humanity that must be stopped.
Fringe takes the government conspiracy, child test subject, parallel universe, and superhuman ability elements of Stranger Things and pairs it with the FBI-sponsorship and episodic case-by-case storyline of The X-Files. Though it only ran for five seasons, Fringe has garnered something of a cult following since it went off the air in 2013.
13. Penny Dreadful
Another short-running show which is sure to gain cult status in the coming years, Penny Dreadful, set in Victorian England, features a rag-tag group of anti-heroes fighting against famous literary monsters from novels like and . Excellent performances from actors like Eva Green and Rory Kinnear make this show an effective (somewhat)-human drama, while the preponderance of monsters ensures that the scares are constant and intense.
14. Hemlock Grove
The executive producer of Hemlock Grove is Eli Roth, so you know it’s going to be scary. Set in the fictional eponymous Pennsylvania town, creepy things are afoot from the get-go. An imposing institute, rumored to be running sinister experiments on human test subjects, is only the start of the town’s dark history. Soon, Hemlock Grove is plagued by horrible murders, and rumors of Werewolf and other inhuman activity.
15. Wayward Pines
This Twin Peaks-y show features a small mountain town, where, of course, everything is not as it seems. Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents. After a car accident, Ethan realizes he is unable to leave the town, and unable to contact anyone in the outside world. Furthermore, townspeople are prevented from leaving by an electric fence, as well as the threat of public execution for anyone who tries to escape. Yikes.
16. The Prisoner
Yet another cult classic, The Prisoner is an oft-overlooked gem of the 1960s. After abruptly resigning from his secret agent post, an unnamed agent finds he’s been captured and imprisoned on an island called “The Village.” The Village is governed by a bizarre set of rules, and, of course, not trying to escape is rule number one. A psychedelic 60s atmosphere and a growing sense of paranoia make this show deeply unsettling and disturbing.
Feature still from "Stranger Things" via 21 Laps Entertainment