Hemlock Grove – Episode 1 – Jellyfish in the sky Review
By: Mike Holtz, WeWatchedAMovie
Directed By: Eli Roth (Cabin Fever)
Starring: Famke Jansenn (Rounders) , Landon Liboiron (The Howling: Reborn) , Bill Skarsgard (Behind Blue Skies)
It’s time that Twilight fans knew that werewolves weren’t all bad actors with abs. Hemlock Grove is a Netflix Original show from Horror heavyweight Eli Roth. The last Netflix Series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey and Directed by David Fincher was a critical success and for those who watched it, HBO worthy programming. This leaves high hopes for Roth and Hemlock Grove as the whole season debuts on Netflix April 19th.
Hemlock Grove centers around a really odd town that’s kind of like a grown up version of Eerie Indiana or Bon Temps from True Blood. Every character we meet in the pilot episode is just a bit off. It opens with a bang involving the previously mentioned werewolf and let’s just say it didn’t cover its victim in glitter.
You get the picture from the start that much like House of Cards, Hemlock Grove is going to take advantage of not having to rate it’s shows as in true Roth fashion we get both intestines and a naked prostitute early on. There’s not a whole lot of killing or horror that comes from the first episode however as we are instead introduced to the show’s peculiar characters. After all, we have a whole season to fill of nudity and murder and still plenty of time to make a tightly woven story with characters you actually care about. That’s what makes un-rated horror shows so fun and is why I was anxiously awaiting Grove’s premiere in the first place.
The most interesting character in the first episode was a tie between Roman (Skarksgard); an embarrassingly rich kid with a really cool but dark side to him whose mother Olivia (Jansenn) clearly has some issues of her own and Peter (Liboiron), a gypsy that steals and drinks a lot but also might be a Werewolf.. You can sense these two are going to have some run ins later in the show and both of them seem witty and arrogant which should make for a good time. You get the feeling these mostly unknown but memorable actors may not stay unknown for long if the show takes off.
Hemlock Grove seems to have well written characters with pasts and intentions just waiting to be explored. Eli Roth is going to give it the horror bite and darkly comic twist it needs to stay original. The environment is surreal and creepy and its entire world is like a sandbox for creepy things. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of what Hemlock Grove has to offer and while I’m not hooked enough to watch the whole season today, I fear the addiction may set in soon. Jellyfish in the Sky sets a nice tone and introduces us to some sleek characters and spooky things. It’s an entrancing enough beginning to what I hope becomes a season full of nasty and violent things to supplement some well-rounded characters.
3/4 Netflix Stars