Apple TV+’s Servant feels like the kind of show you would only enjoy if you’re a horror fan. There’s absolutely nothing about it that gives “This is fine for casual fans” much less the “You’ll enjoy even if you don’t usually like horror” vibes. And yet today I am here to tell you that yes, you will absolutely enjoy it even if horror isn’t usually your vibe.
I know, I know. I’m as shocked as you are.
The show’s description reads as follows: From M. Night Shyamalan, Servant follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
You know what that sounds? Sounds like something I would typically never watch. But here we are, and I don’t regret doing it.
Sometimes pressing play on a show that’s out of your comfort zone is a leap of faith. I know I took one when I listened to the advice of friends and decided to give Servant a try. Because, let me make this very, very clear, I am a wimp. I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t watch semi-scary movies. I don’t even watch Halloween-type shows that aren’t even scary.
Like my mom used to say: why pay to be scared? The world will scare you for free.
I do, however, enjoy a good mystery. Give me a puzzle, and you’ve got my attention. Especially if it’s not an easy one to put together; or if the story behind it is much more than meets the eye.
Apple TV+’s Servant, which was marketed as a psychological horror series, is, if you ask me, more psychological thriller than straight up horror. This – in my opinion – is a good thing, because the show doesn’t have to rely on jump scares to get your attention. It holds your attention because of the story. It also takes a while to get there.
This is probably one of my favorite things about the show, even though I might be in the minority in this regard. Being as I’m not a typical fan of the genre, or at least not a fan of the scare-after-scare-after-scare kind of movies, I found myself greatly appreciating the time the show took to just …set the mood. Made me feel these people, this place, these feelings.
Good storytelling creates good horror, just like with every other genre.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the show doesn’t throw a twist or five your way, this is M. Night Shyamalan we’re talking about, but think of this as the kind of story that might end up being fitting for this spooky season not because it’ll make you jump out of your seat, but because it’ll leave you thinking.
For some people, that might be worse, but for me, this turned out to be exactly the kind of horror series that opened my eyes to the idea that, perhaps, I dismissed an entire genre too easily. No, I don’t enjoy being scared, but is it fair of me to dismiss a genre that has become so much more than jump scares because it might make me uncomfortable at times?
Don’t answer that. I don’t have a definite answer yet, but at least I’m thinking about it, and that’s enough to tip my cap to Servant. Enough for you to give it a try, too. It is spooky season, after all, and it’s not like you are going anywhere.
Servant season 1 is available on Apple TV+. Season 2 is set to premiere January 15, with the first episode available that day and a new episode available every Friday after that.