Netflix does it again, with a superb original TV show.
In short, Hemlock Grove has secrets. Dark secrets that actually will bite! You have a new breed of vampires, werewolves that can change on demand but will suffer the consequences, sordid family drama and even more sinister storylines intertwined in the chaos.
Hemlock Grove is a winner for many reasons. Firstly, we have a remarkably talented cast who give us stellar performances! Let's start with Bill Skarsgard (Battlecreek, Behind Blue Skies) who plays the 'rich boy' Roman Godfrey. His father owns a medical facility that not-so-shockingly hides sinister experiments. Roman Godfrey is a messed up individual with sick obsessions and who is known to think with his manhood rather than his brain.
Then we have Landon Liboiron who plays Peter Rumancek, a gypsy, but most importantly, the big bad wolf. He is modest, loyal and has a strong moral compass when it comes to family and friends. Landon portrays a selfless, likable character that the viewer becomes attached too.
The queen bitch is played by Famke Janssen, otherwise known as Olivia Godfrey, Roman's mother. This woman is your typical deceitful, malicious, vindictive and selfish character. She only cares about number one, and to say she has two children, has no maternal instincts. She enjoys the wealth and looks down at people less fortunate than her. Yet her daughter Shelley, a deformed human, is the complete opposite. In fact, both her children despite her, seeking friendship with anyone. And if mother dearest doesn't approve, then that's just icing on the cake.
These are but a few of the talented actors that really make this show. They make us love, hate, cry, and unnerve us.
Moving beyond the perfect cast, I adored how the show mixes supernatural issues with everyday drama such as bullying, sex, pregnancy and so on. This gives the show an element of realism and keeps it grounded and not too bizarre, for the most part. Although some episodes will mess with your mind. In fact, some episodes alone were better than a large portion of horror movies I have seen!
They keep a fast pace with revelations unfolding quickly and dramatically. We follow the characters in their various agendas, whether they are honourable, or not.
The script has been intelligently written, creating a solid foundation for the actors to come in and bring to life extraordinary characters. Not to mention the intricate details of each season's main plot as well as a seemingly endless list of sub-plots.
Back to the characters for a moment. Shelley, played by the superhumanly talented
Madeleine Martin really pulls on our heart strings. In a world obsessed with appearance, materialism, and superficial things, Shelley has been cursed with a horribly disfigured face that most would scream at. Not to mention she is over 7-feet tall. Fortunately, her brother Roman is nothing if not a loving older brother. He stands up for her at school and is always there to talk or make her laugh. Due to her appearance, she is denied love in the romantic sense. Although she may seem like a weakened individual shunned by society, if you hurt her family she will bring her super strength out and kill you in a heartbeat. Yet this is only done to protect who she loves and she often loathes violence and harming others. Shelley is a complex character that I adored following through the show. She is addictive, compelling and utterly captivating. The actress who played her says she immediately sympathized with the character, who just wanted to be a normal girl. She brought life to this character in a way that few actors have the ability to do.
In fact, we watch all the characters grow. They come into their own and realize their hidden powers and strengths. We watch how they adapt to change and seek out their heart's desires.
Further more, the effects are superb. From vampire transformations, werewolf mutations, killings, and otherworldly beasts. And horror fans, rest assured, there is plenty of blood and guts! Not leaving out massacre and mutilation. Also, the majority of the actors aren't afraid of showing skin. There is an abundance of sex scenes and nudity.
Props have to go to the executive producer Eli Roth (The Sacrament, The Green Inferno, Hostel). He has moulded and shaped the show into a horror hit in my opinion. We have everything we could want in a horror TV series, and then some!
Overall this is a superb show. If you are looking for unusual yet enthralling characters, excellent storylines, powerful twists and turns, gore, blood, sex, unbelievable cliffhangers, originality, stunning shots, mind-blowing effects, and more, then this is the show for you! Add it to your Netflix list right now!
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