An epic new mystery thriller show is about to drop on Disney+ and Hulu, called The Clearing. It’s a show based on a best-selling novel called In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare. The show follows a woman with a troubled past, which she is forced to confront if she wants to stop a dangerous cult from using children to fulfill their plans.
There’s a bit of everything in there: drama, mystery, thriller, crime, cults – you name it. If you’re a fan of, well, any of those subgenres, you’ll probably look for more similar content. Don’t worry – you’re in the right place. Here’s a list of the ten best TV shows like The Clearing, ranked solely by their IMDb score.
10. The Third Day (2020)
IMDb score: 6.4/10
What it’s about: A man and a woman both find their way onto a mysterious, small island just off of the British coast. Their stories about encountering the cult-like islanders are told in six episodes, with each character’s story being told in three episodes as they gradually intertwine.
Why it’s like The Clearing: Both The Third Day and The Clearing are mystery thrillers based on a character forced to confront their past, encountering a dangerous cult. And in both shows, the main characters probably have more connections to the matter than what initially meets the eye…
9. Aquarius (2015-2016)
IMDb score: 7.0/10
What it’s about: In the 1960s, a detective named Sam Hodiak deals with the brutal crimes happening in LA. However, the biggest issues started emerging due to a young fellow named Charles Manson, who slowly built a cult of loyal followers around himself. The story is semi-fictional, but parts are based on true events.
Why it’s like The Clearing: While The Clearing is a completely fictional story based on a novel, Aquarius is a semi-fictional story based on real-life events, however, both include not-so-benevolent cults and characters who are trying to stop their malevolent plans. Will they succeed? Take a look yourself.
8. The Path (2016-2018)
IMDb score: 7.2/10
What it’s about: A man retreats spiritually, after which his family inadvertently joins a cult. However, he soon has a vision making him question his faith, beliefs, and the group’s benevolence. What unravels will not just shake his family but also involve the FBI…
Why it’s like The Clearing: The main character encounters a cult in both shows. Here, Aaron Paul’s character is unaware of the cult’s ulterior motifs at first, but as the story progresses, we learn more and more about their evil intentions. Both shows are mysterious and chilling; I bet you’ll love them.
7. The Following (2013-2015)
IMDb score: 7.4/10
What it’s about: A serial killer obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe starts communicating with other serial killers, making them his loyal subordinates. The killing cult gets more dangerous after he escapes prison, and it’s now an FBI agent’s job to stop it. He has more at stake here than just doing his job…
Why it’s like The Clearing: The Following is probably a more hardcore version of The Clearing, but it’s just as awesome and spine-chilling. There’s an element of horror here due to the gruesome nature of the cult – coming down to a huge number of serial killers teaming up.
6. From (2022-)
IMDb score: 7.7/10
What it’s about: There’s a small city in the US that, if you visit it, traps you and imprisons you. Those inside struggle to escape, or at least try to live a semi-normal life, but the forest around them hides a secret – something vile, something malevolent. The mystery only gets darker as the journey progresses.
Why it’s like The Clearing: From is quite a contemporary show, coming out still as we speak, much like The Clearing. While there’s more of a supernatural element to From, we also have a main character having to find a way to deal with his own problems while trying to escape a mysterious little town and its trapped residents.
5. The Sinner (2017-2021)
IMDb score: 7.9/10
What it’s about: The Sinner is an anthology series following an investigator who, in each season, deals with a seemingly ordinary individual committing a perilous crime. The show explores why people do what they do and how anyone can hide a dark past.
Why it’s like The Clearing: Not every season of The Sinner is quite similar to The Clearing, however, the second season of action is very similar, as it also takes the main character on a scary path of confronting a cult and his troubled past. That second season is the best season of The Sinner, in my opinion, but the entire show is just awesome.
4. Yellowjackets (2021-)
IMDb score: 7.9/10
What it’s about: A high school girl’s soccer team’s airplane crashes into the wilderness of Canada, and they are left stranded, struggling to survive. Some of them do, and the show follows their lives over 20 years later, parallel to the story of their crash and survival in the wild. Did something follow them home from the wilderness?
Why it’s like The Clearing: Yellowjackets is one of the most insane, awesome shows on TV right now, and this new season absolutely moved boundaries to a whole new level. One of the survivors – who was kind of their spiritual leader while in the wild – leads a cultish community in the present day, and it may have more to do with their past than anyone thinks.
I highly recommend Yellowjackets to everyone, as it has drama, mystery, crime, thrill, cults, and just a dash of supernatural (maybe?).
3. American Horror Story (2011-)
IMDb score: 8.0/10
What it’s about: American Horror Story is an anthology series telling us separate stories from various places and various characters. You’ll see stories about a murder house, an asylum, a witch coven, a scary, haunted hotel, an 80s-style summer camp, a cult, and so much more.
Why it’s like The Clearing: American Horror Story is an anthology series, so each season is not quite similar to The Clearing. However, Season 7 of the show revolves around a cult and is similar to the new mystery show. That being said, AHS is much more brutal and scary, but it’s still one of the coolest TV shows out there.
2. Orphan Black (2013-2017)
IMDb score: 8.3/10
What it’s about: Sarah is a street-wise hustler who keeps finding crooked ways to provide for her daughter. However, her life turns upside down when she witnesses the suicide of a woman that looks just like her, as Sarah tries to steal her identity. What unravels is an insane mystery, including DNA replication, cloning, and Sarah’s search for answers.
Why it’s like The Clearing: While Orphan Black doesn’t revolve around a cult, per se, it does include a main character (or characters?) that explores her past and finds out it’s a lot more mysterious and complicated than you could ever imagine. It’s an awesome show that will keep you on the edge of your seat and never cease to surprise you.
1. Mare of Easttown (2021)
IMDb score: 8.4/10
What it’s about: In a small town in Pennsylvania, a young woman is found murdered, and Mare Sheehan is the detective assigned to investigate the case. However, Mare is going through her own problems, haunted by her past. As the story progresses, we learn more about the grizzly murder in Easttown and Mare and her troubled life.
Why it’s like The Clearing: The two main characters in The Clearing and Mare of Easttown are incredibly similar – they even look and dress alike. They both struggle with their past and are pulled into something more sinister than it initially seemed. I love Mare of Easttown and believe it’s one of Kate Winslet’s best roles in her career.