There have been enough ups and downs at Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) over the past year to give investors the creeps, but now it's going for the goose bumps.

The video service will be streaming a new series early next year.

Hemlock Grove -- a horror series directed by Hostel creator Eli Roth -- will have a 13-episode run early next year. This will make it Netflix's third original series, coming after this year's Lilyhammer and House of Cards but before next year's Arrested Development revival.

"A gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town," is how Netflix describes the series starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard.

Is it any good or is it something that's being made available to Netflix because the bigger players passed? For now, it doesn't matter.

Piece by piece Netflix is proving -- as CEO Reed Hastings has said all along -- that Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) HBO is its biggest rival.

The public still doesn't see it that way.

When folks think about Netflix competitors, they think of (Nasdaq: AMZN), DISH Network's (Nasdaq: DISH) Blockbuster, and Coinstar's (Nasdaq: CSTR) Redbox.

They are right, of course. Amazon was the first major company to launch a streaming smorgasbord of content, and its digital catalog is now up to 17,000 titles. Blockbuster seems to be reeling as DISH repositions the video rental giant as a DISH Network hub and promoter, but it's still a big brand. Redbox has already made it clear that it will enter the digital streaming market later this year.

However, as Netflix continues to tack on original programming and HBO gets digital through HBO Go, they really are butting heads a lot these days.

By the time this all plays out, don't be surprised if there will be murder, mystery, and monsters within the streaming video niche, too.

Stream on
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix subscriber and shareholder since 2002. He does not own shares in any of the other stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.