Scariest Horror Show of the Past Decade is Still Available on Netflix

Scariest Horror Show of the Past Decade is Still Available on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

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  • In 2019, critics and viewers alike praised the Marianne series
  • Netflix then canceled the show after just one season
  • Despite that, it remains one of the best horrors on the platform

Netflix has a huge library of great horror content: there's Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, Jordan Peele's Get Out, a great collection of J- and K-horrors, and, of course, the set of Mike Flanagan's incredibly suspenseful and thought-provoking series. However, 2019 saw the release of a French-produced series that had the potential to rival Flanagan's best productions.

We're talking about the critically acclaimed Marianne (96% Rotten Tomatoes score), a series that was praised first and foremost for its superbly written script. Unfortunately, Netflix is Netflix, and one of the scariest horror series of the past decade was promptly canceled after just one season. But even that lone season is totally deserving of your time as a standalone story, and it's still available on Netflix.

What's Marianne about?

The story follows young writer Emma Larsimon, who writes a best-selling series of horror novels whose central character, Lizzie Larck, is haunted by a witch named Marianne. Emma decides to end the series and move on to other projects, but her plans are thwarted by a childhood friend who suddenly appears and claims that Emma's parents are in danger and that the only way to save them is to return to her hometown of Elden and resume work on the Lizzie Larck series.

Returning to Elden is a major challenge for Emma, as when she moved out of there 15 years ago, it wasn't just family and friends she left behind but also a bunch of unresolved traumas. To add insult to injury, now that she's back, it's not just psychological issues that are torturing her. It turns out the Marianne she's been writing about in her novels is actually a very real demon that haunted Emma as a kid and has now possessed Mrs. Daugeron, the mother of a childhood friend of Emma's.

Why was the show canceled?

While Marianne's premise sounds a bit clichéd, the show was praised for its thought-provoking and well-executed script. Showrunner Samuel Bodin wanted to tell the story in three seasons, but unfortunately, Netflix canceled it after just one. What went wrong?

It's the same as always: the only metric Netflix ever considers when deciding on whether to carry on with a show is the ratings. Quality is just not part of the equation. And according to the streaming platform, Marianne never got enough unique viewers to warrant renewal for a second season.

Why is it still worth watching?

Even though Season 1 ends on a cliffhanger, it's still totally worth watching. In fact, the open ending gives the viewer lots of room for interpretation, leaving us with a sense of unease about what's going to happen to the protagonist next.

Special mention should be made of how expertly the series manages to balance elements of psychological thriller, suspense, and good ole jump-scare horror: we delve into Emma's past and explore her childhood traumas while following the events happening to her in the present that include some very disturbing revelations along the way.

The ten episodes immerse viewers in an extremely tense atmosphere with plenty of terrifying, fast-paced sequences sprinkled strategically throughout for a surprisingly powerful effect.