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The HBO Drama That Horror Movie Fans Are Calling A Horror Hidden Gem

HBO's Chernobyl is one of the most celebrated TV mini-series of the past several years. Based on the true story of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the limited series hooked viewers and critics all over the world with its unique look, strong performances, measured pace, and terrifying thematic parallels to the modern day. Unsurprisingly, the series went on to be a major awards darling as well, winning multiple Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.

With that being said, Chernobyl wasn't a particularly easy viewing experience. The series' commitment to showing the real-world effects of a nuclear meltdown meant it had to depict the impact the plant's radiation had on its surrounding environment and people. As a result, the show had more than its fair share of nail-biting moments and it successfully managed to consistently fill viewers with palpable dread across its five episodes.

It's for those reasons that some fans have even begun making the case for why Chernobyl isn't just a prestige drama, but also a horror series.

Why Chernobyl works as a horror series

One Chernobyl fan recently took to Reddit to call the HBO series a hidden gem in the horror genre. The user notes that, although HBO never marketed the show as a horror project, Chernobyl has more than just a few horror elements in it. The Redditor argues that not only was the Chernobyl disaster itself horrifying, but that the show also used its direction, writing, effects, and mood to create moments of pure tension and dread.

The thread that followed brought up several moments from the series as examples of the show's status as a horror series, including the nerve-wracking rooftop clearing scene, the reactor meltdown scene, and the tense scene in the flooded, radioactive basement. As noted by users in the thread, the show's sound design even uses the sound of a Geiger counter in a way that is similar to how most horror films use music to build tension and suspense. The show's depiction of radiation poisoning also makes it a particularly difficult watch for even the most seasoned of horror movie fans.

All in all, these Reddit users make a strong case for why Chernobyl is — in addition to being a human drama and government conspiracy thriller — also one of the best horror TV shows in recent memory.