10 More Mystery Boxes
Katla is the latest mystery box series on Netflix, set deep in the heart of Iceland and delivering a very moody, character-driven slow burn.
If you’ve finished this one and are looking for something similar, we’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Katla.
Similarities – Character-Driven Drama, Returning From The Dead
Blanketed in a layer of mud and grass, six unconnected people from different periods of history raise from their graves with no knowledge of who they are.
With these six individuals displaced and unsure of who they are, Glitch centers on police office, James Hayes. One of the returned happens to be his deceased wife Kate, and together they try to piece together the ruinous fragments of their life.
Glitch’s strength lies with its character-driven drama, which is excellent throughout. Each individual is given enough time to explore their past. Taking a glimpse into this is fascinating and intriguing, especially seeing the way each of the six meet their fate with death.
Do be warned with this one though. While the first two seasons are pretty decent, the third season ends with a frustrating and unresolved cliffhanger.
Similarities – Mystery & Slow-Burn
Equinox feels like a blend of Midsommar and German Series Dark. With a mystery encompassing the entire series, revealing flashbacks and light bites of horror, this Danish series certainly has a lot going for it.
The story itself is essentially split between two separate timelines. In 1999, Astrid’s sister Ida leaves town on a Graduation Bus with a class full of students never to be seen again. Including Ida, 21 students in total go missing with only Amelia, Jakob and Falke inexplicably surviving whatever happened.
Cut forward 20 years and Astrid continues to be haunted by her sister’s disappearance. Working at a local radio station, she receives a strange, garbled call: “It’s me, Jakob Skipper. I know why she disappeared.”
From here, the show takes on a twisty-turny thriller, drip-feeding out the truth which is revealed in part during the finale. Do be warned though, this one does end on a cliffhanger!
Similarities – Mystery & Characters
Dark is thought provocative, regularly surprising and full of interesting characters to keep you watching until the final scene. Across its 3 season run, Dark shows exactly how to craft a compelling and complicated web of time travel.
The story begins in the (at time of broadcast) near future of 2019 Germany in a small town called Winden. This tight-knit community is rocked by the sudden disappearance of two young children who seem to be connected with a cave there.
I won’t spoil more but suffice to say, this is one story you’ll probably need to revisit numerous times to catch all the clues along the way.
Using a distinctly dark tone and a gorgeous, atmospheric score, Dark is easily one of the best time travel series ever created and easily a top contender to add to your watch-list if you haven’t already.
Similarities – Mystery
The Missing, unsurprisingly, is a series about a missing child. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and the way The Missing captures this in its rawest essence is partly why the show works as well as it does.
Our protagonists here are Tony and Emily Hughes, who travel to France with their 5-year-old son Oliver. Their family holiday turns into a nightmare when Oliver disappears from a large celebrating crowd in Northern France.
Suspenseful, gripping and split across two seasons, The Missing really hits that character-driven essence of what makes this scenario so frightening. It also makes for quite the engrossing watch that we highly recommend checking out.
Similarities – Mystery & Themes
Curon is a moody Italian mystery-box series, one that tackles very similar ideas to Katla. This one is certainly more of an acquired taste but it does have some good moments.
The story itself begins with a brief flashback to a girl called Anna’s past, where she witnesses her Mother killed by a figure that looks strangely like herself. This image haunts our protagonist for 17 years, as she returns to the town of Curon with her two children, Daria and Mauro. After breaking up with her partner, she’s looking for a fresh start.
With half the town submerged in water, lots of shadowy figures and hints that something afoul is going on, Curon combines elements of The Shining with mystery dramas like Dark. However, there’s a distinct teen-drama vibe with this one, keeping those questions simmering throughout the 7 episode season.
Similarities – Mystery, Tone & Themes
If thematic depth is your jam, The Leftovers is definitely worth checking out. Running for three seasons, the story picks up just after a global event called the “Sudden Departure”.
This inexplicable event sees the disappearance of 140 million people – or 2% of the world’s population to be precise.
Following that, mainstream religions decline which paves way for a number of cults to emerge. The most notable among them is the Guilty Remnant.
The story picks up from here and only grows more intriguing and interesting over time. To give much more away would be a disservice to the series but if you haven’t already, The Leftovers is a must-watch.
The Third Day
Similarities – Uneasy Atmosphere
The Third Day is a fascinating drama that has a lot of symbolism dotted throughout its 6 episode run. While a little short, the mystery is compelling enough to really lean into the creepy atmosphere. This is really where the show is at its best.
The story revolves around a man and a woman making separate journeys to a mysterious island off the British coast. To give much more away would be a disservice to this show but it certainly grows and evolves over time into something really special.
The tone is fantastic and the uneasiness really feeds into the acting, which is quite simply fantastic.
Similarities – Characters & Themes
The 4400 feels like a mash-up of various other sci-fi shows. There are clear influences of Lost, Flashforward and The X-Files. However, the show nicely blends that together to form the core of this series.
The story here revolves around the trials and tribulations of 4400 people, who all suddenly return in a ball of light to Earth. None of the returnees have aged physically, although mentally some of them definitely have.
Tasked with investigating this phenomenon is the NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) who try to work out why this has occurred.
Smartly written and chock full of binge-worthy episodes, The 4400 is definitely worth a watch.
Similarities – Characters returning inexplicably
The Returned’s story gravitates around several people that come back to life years after their death. Reeling from this revelation, much of the series’ 10 episodes focus on the different groups of characters as they try to piece their life together
Teenager Camille comes back to find her family fractured from the once happy life she knew. Simon returns to find his fiancé Rowan is now marrying someone else. And a silent little boy named Victor is found wandering the streets.
A host of other characters join the fray too, and as the series progresses each find their stories intertwine and cross paths.
The story is intriguing, the characters are relatable and there’s a good balance of mystery, drama and fantasy. The lack of a second season is a bit disappointing but there’s enough to enjoy here nonetheless.
Similarities – Mystery
Speaking of cancellations, The OA’s chop caused quite the stir online. That alone should tell you all you need to know about the power and quality surrounding this utterly bizarre Netflix Original.
The OA is undeniably weird and its mystery does so well to keep you glued to find out what happens next. The main story revolves around a missing blind girl called Prairie returning home. Now in her twenties, she suddenly has her sight restored and no one seems to know why.
From here, the show grows and piles on more mystery, delivering two seasons of utterly compelling TV. Unfortunately, the final episode of season 2 does end on a cliffhanger which could make or break the experience for you. However, in terms of atmosphere and riveting mystery, The OA absolutely nails it.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Katla on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!