The exhausting trend of Netflix shows ‘so scary’ people ‘can’t sleep’

Typewriter, a new Netflix series about a haunted house, is experiencing the “so scary” bump.

The five-episode Indian series, which was released July 19, has received fairly positive reviews (at least on Twitter) and comparisons to The Haunting of Hill House. And like THOHH, it’s the latest Netflix title to get the “so scary” bump, which is part of the “so scary people can’t sleep” trend. CNN ran with the headline “New Netflix show is so scary people say they can’t sleep,” even though no tweets they reference explicitly say that, and Google presents a few variations of that headline.

netflix typewriter so scary can't sleep Google

Verónica, a 2017 Spanish horror movie, was one of the first widespread examples of this trend on social media, though it was amusingly touted as the “scariest movie ever.” People wondered if this was some covert Netflix promo to drum up interest, something the company has denied doing for other viral titles. But over the last year or so, a more specific headline construction has appeared.

Secret Obsession, a Netflix film we gave a rating of half a star out of five stars, is so scary people can’t sleep.

netflix so scary can't sleep The Sun

So is Chambers, a series released earlier this year starring Uma Thurman.

netflix so scary can't sleep Student Problems

And so was stalker-thriller You.

netflix so scary can't sleep Lad Bible

Netflix’s acclaimed series The Haunting of Hill House and original film The Perfection both allegedly elicited more physical responses from viewers, and while people sharing visceral responses about pop culture they’ve consumed is perfectly normal, there seems to be a chasm between cherry-picked reactions and clickbait presentation. The other part of this headline cycle is people asserting said show or movie is not scary, and some people are doing that for Typewriter, but this exhausting headline construction has now become a source of parody.

Is it really a scary Netflix series that’s causing mass insomnia, or something deeper and more intractable? Thankfully, people can always turn to Netflix if they can’t sleep.


Audra Schroeder

Audra Schroeder

Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.