Analog horror has taken the internet by storm ever since it first started to become mainstream back in 2015 with the widely acclaimed “LOCAL 58 TV.” As the name implies, the genre uses analog technology as a key motif and as a result, most series take place in the late 20th and early 21st century. The stories are often told in a variety of ways, be it through PSAs, found footage or cassette tapes.
The popularity of the genre can be attributed to the accessibility for viewers and the ease of making such projects on a low budget or with limited filmmaking resources. This has allowed for creative storytelling from online creators who otherwise might not have had the means to do so.
However, since the genre has become more mainstream, more and more series have popped up in the past few years. Some of them, though, are better than others. Here are a few of the best that have come out in the last few years.
“The Tangi Virus”
“The Tangi Virus” was created by YouTube creator vintage eight back in 2022. The story follows the small fictional town of Cate’s Crossing, LA, which becomes plagued by a strange virus in the water. It acts as a parasite, taking over victims’ bodies and using them to do their bidding and spread the virus further.
It is told through a series of pro-drinking-water PSAs from a government organization, found footage clips from rescue operations and Cate’s Crossing tourism advertisements. But, the best clips of the series come from the tapes produced by Dr. Julia Williams, who has been researching how to eradicate the virus, no matter who believes her and no matter what it costs her.
“Winter of ‘83”
“Winter of ‘83” comes from a strange source: a YouTube creator who does not normally upload this type of content. The piece was actually initially uploaded as an April Fools' Day joke by Linkara AtopTheFourthWall. But, it quickly cemented itself as one of the best pieces of analog horror in the past few years.
Like “The Tangi Virus,” “Winter of ‘83” also takes place in a small town, this one being Fawn’s Circle, MN. The piece tells the story of a mass disappearance of the townsfolk, before it is explained that the culprit is a series of experiments gone awry in an old manor outside Fawn’s Circle. In these experiments, a superorganism gains sentience and begins to kill the scientists observing it, spreading into the snow to continue its mission. All the while, private investigator Carl Denby is on the case of a man who had gone missing beforehand, hired by the victim’s sister.
It starts as an innocent animated video advising people to take care of themselves during the lockdown. However, it quickly veers away from this, taking a dark turn. A monster glitches across the screen, asking the viewer when the last time they had seen their friends was, even when the last time they had gone outside was.
While not traditional analog horror, the glitchy effects and the sheer relatability of the theme of mental health problems many people experienced during the Covid lockdowns make it a fantastic series.
“Woodlands National Park”
“Woodlands National Park” is a series created by Buddy Films. It takes place in the titular national park, and is centered around a group of rangers that create PSAs about the wildlife in the forests.
But, the wildlife is not exactly normal. Wendigos, cave critters and 45-foot-tall walkers inhabit the park. Many of them have caused the deaths of hikers, park staff and even members of a military group, which are touched on throughout the series. Alongside this, a government cover-up is clearly being put in place around the national park, hiding the monsters and the tragedies they have caused from the public, and trying to silence anyone who dares to speak out about the park.
The series is one of the best representations of analog horror out there currently. The old style of the PSAs and the found footage make it feel as if the series is genuinely happening in 1975, taking full advantage of the “analog” in analog horror.