Think Nine Perfect Strangers Is Creepy? Get In the Cult-y Mood With These Other Horrifying Shows

Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers isn't the first intoxicating portrayal of a charismatic leader with questionable motives on TV. Find out which other shows to binge for the cult-obsessed.

By Samantha Bergeson Aug 21, 2021 3:00 PMTags

Surrender yourself for the sake of tranquility. Sounds legit!

While we anxiously await the next episode of Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers, which premiered Aug. 18, the rumors swirl over the true intentions—and, perhaps, identity—of Tranquillum House leader Masha Dmitrichenko, played by Nicole Kidman in one of her most haunting roles yet.

The series follows an "especially volatile" group of strangers portrayed by Melissa McCarthyLuke EvansBobby CannavaleRegina HallMichael ShannonSamara WeavingMelvin GreggAsher Keddie and Grace Van Patten, all of whom are looking for some sense of relief. 

Masha's idea of a wellness retreat? Encouraging her guests to lay in open graves to expel their own personal demons as she assures that there is "nothing to fear"...but we're not entirely convinced.

Whether Masha turns out to be a nefarious self-interested narcissist or a truly helpful entity—and whether you want to run toward or screaming away from Tranquillum House—there are plenty of other creepy self-help shows out there to satisfy your cult craze.

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All of Nicole Kidman's Most Haunting Performances

Below, check out other shows and docuseries any Nine Perfect Strangers fan will love.

Nine Perfect Strangers

A wellness retreat with eccentric forms of therapy? Let's pause before signing up. Tranquillum House leader Masha Dmitrichenko (Nicole Kidman) seems to be concealing a dark past and perhaps even darker future as she convinces a group of misfits to "surrender" themselves to her methods. 

Nine Perfect Strangers is now streaming on Hulu. 

The Vow

HBO Max docuseries The Vow tells a tale almost too gruesome to believe: charismatic leader Keith Raniere of supposed self-improvement group NXIVM was convicted of sex trafficking, identity theft and other charges in 2019. Survivors and former NXIVM elites tell their story. 

The Vow is streaming on HBO Max.

Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult

Starz took on the NXIVM cult through the eyes of high-profile member India Oxenberg, who also also executive produced the docuseries.

Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Waco

A fictional retelling of the 51-day fatal standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas are at the center of the 2018 Netflix miniseries Waco, starring Michael Shannon as a sympathetic agent and Taylor Kitsch as commune leader David Koresh.

Waco is available on Netfix.

Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath

Actress Leah Remini details her escape from Scientology and interviews other former members in the A&E documentary. 

Leah Remini: Scientology is available on Netflix.

Helter Skelter: An American Myth

Charles Manson and his "family" are at the center of this six-part Epix miniseries, which premiered in 2020. 

Helter Skelter: An American Myth is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Aquarius

The Manson family gets the fictional treatment in NBC's Aquarius starring David Duchovny as an LAPD detective researching the disappearance of a teen girl, only to find that she has joined the ranks of Charles Manson's cult. 

Aquarius is available on Peacock.

Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

The Sundance Now docuseries explores the rise of Peoples Temple preacher and Jonestown founder Jim Jones who encouraged his followers to kill themselves. In 1978, more than 900 of his followers were found dead by apparent suicide at Jonestown. 

Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Jonestown: The Women Behind the Massacre

The two-hour A&E special takes audiences inside the minds of four women who helped plan the 1978 Jonestown Massacre.

Jonestown: The Women Behind the Massacre is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults

The four-part HBO Max docuseries focuses on a small Oregon town, which, over the course of 22 years lost 20 people in mysterious disappearances. By 1997, the infamous UFO cult took part in the largest mass suicide in the U.S. led by Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite. 

Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults is available on HBO Max. 

The Following

Kevin Bacon stars as a former FBI agent who is intent on recapturing an escaped serial killer after learning that the killer's infamy has led to a cult of murderers.

The Following is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Deprogrammed

Deprogrammed unravels the anti-cult crusade, helmed by Ted "Black Lightning" Patrick who pioneered the art of deprogramming, also known as reverse brainwashing, in the early 1970s. 

Deprogrammed is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Wild Wild Country

The 2018 Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country captivated audiences with the little-known story behind an Oregon-based utopia town occupied by a cult, led by controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela.

Wild Wild Country is available on Netflix. 

The Leftovers

Beloved HBO series The Leftovers, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, answers what would happen if the Rapture took away 2 percent of the world's population. Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon star in the supernatural drama series that grapples with finding purpose in the apocalypse.

The Leftovers is available on HBO Max.

Sacred Lies

Jason Blum executive produced this fictional Facebook Watch series that follows a group of teenagers who escape from a cult, only to then be accused of killing its leader.

Sacred Lies is available on Peacock.

 

Prophets Prey

The Showtime documentary traces the capture of Warren Jeffs, the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, after he was convicted of raping young girls. Jeffs is still running the religious sect from a Texas state prison as he serves a life sentence. 

Prophets Prey is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Deadly Cults

From vampire clans to literal snake charmers, the Oxygen series Deadly Cults unveils every mysterious, fatal and often lesser-known cult in the U.S.

Deadly Cults is available on Peacock.

American Horror Story: Cult

What would a cults roundup be without American Horror Story: Cult? The seventh season of the beloved FX anthology series takes place in a fictional Michigan suburb where a cult terrorizes locals after Donald Trump wins the election. Doesn't sound so fantastical now, does it? 

The Path

A family begins to question their faith as part of fictional religious cult Meyerism in this Hulu series starring Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan and Hugh Dancy.

The Path is available on Hulu.

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