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Top 5 Horror TV Shows of 2014

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Our friend, 'D' counts down the best horror tv shows currently on the air. Disagree? Let us know what tops your list of favorites!

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Looking for great horror on television can be tough.  There are shows where the characters are "monsters" but the genre is most definitely not horror.  Take True Blood for example - there are vampires and werewolves, but the show is basically Twilight with titties.  There are also shows that are trying to be scary and disturbing, but just.... aren't.  The Following is violent and gory for sure, but its model-pretty bad guys are about as creepy as a J.Crew catalog.  Here are my top 5 favorite horror TV shows that are still airing and you can watch now.

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#5 - Hannibal (NBC)

I'll be honest, I was skeptical about this show.  4 books and 4 movies was about as much Hannibal Lecter as I needed, and what kind of fool would really want to attempt to walk in the Academy Award winning shoes of Anthony Hopkins?  Mads Mikkelsen, that's who, and dang is he creepy!  I was hooked after episode 2, which featured the hunt for a serial killer who buried his victims alive and grew mushrooms out of them.  Hannibal is scheduled to "return soon" for season 3, but you can binge watch the first season on Amazon Prime like I did!

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#4 - American Horror Story (FX)

Another confession - I found the first season of this show to be tawdry (so wait, you mean you're going to have a ghost put on a gimp suit and rape Connie Britton?)  But AHS has figured out the right formula and has gotten better - less Dylan McDermott and more Jessica Lange.  Season 2 was fun and creepy, despite a serious lack of focus - I like to imagine some FX network exec being like: "Grotesque experiments on lunatics in an insane asylum?  A scary serial killer?  Sounds great you guys - but it just feels like it needs something.... how about aliens?  X-Files, now that was a scary show and they had aliens."  American Horror Story kicks off Season 4 with Freak Show, starting October 8th.

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#3 - The Strain (FX)

Y'know, vampires aren't scary enough on their own.  How about instead of traditional fangs, we give these bad boys some messed up snake like stingers that they launch at you out of their mouths?  Oh, oh, and instead of just sucking your blood they inject you with worms that crawl around underneath your skin.  And then once your transformation to vampire is complete your peen falls off!  Ewwwww.  Sure the show is chock full of cliched characters (the good hearted work-a-holic dad who can't get his shit together) and we've seen 'reinvented vampire mouths' before (Blade 2), but who doesn't love an epic horror quest?  Band together a motley crew of CDC execs, a concentration camp survivor, a former gang banger and an exterminator to stop the vamps from taking over the world?  Sign me up Mr. Del Toro.  We're currently mid-season 1, so catch up on demand now!

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#2 - Penny Dreadful (Showtime)

Okay, so there are vampires, and werewolves, and titties (which I was just making fun of before), but Penny Dreadful pulls off what True Blood doesn't by blending famous monsters in a new and creative way.  Our heroes need someone with a medical background and the morbid curiosity not to run at the site of a vampire corpse?  Sounds like Dr. Frankenstein to me.  And who to turn to when they need a hematologist with experience in strange blood disorders?  Hello Abraham Van Helsing!  But what truly sets Penny Dreadful apart is the spectacular performance from Eva Green, whose Vanessa Ives can barely keep her inner demons at bay.  Here's hoping the show can keep up the momentum it established in a short 8-episode first season.

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#1 - The Walking Dead (AMC)

I always figured that in the inevitable event of a zombie apocalypse that there would be strength in numbers.  If my gang ran into another gang out on the street then we would join forces to become an even bigger gang of zombie ass-kickers.  I guess I didn't factor in the lack of food and resources, or the distrust that would come with the end of the world.  People who have lost patience with TWD want a show about zombies.  The real struggle here is the balance between being willing to do whatever it takes to survive and trying to hold onto what makes us human. This show takes its time, so you'll care when a character dies.  It can be slow and plodding (like life might be like if you could no longer check into the zombie apocalypse on Foursquare), but that only makes the sudden danger of a violent attack all the more tense and terrifying.  The original comics, books, video games, and an upcoming spin-off... is TWD getting too big for its britches?  The answer is no.  The Walking Dead returns October 12th.  Seriously, watch this show.