‘Hemlock Grove’: New twist on vampire-werewolf theme

By Angela Hernandez


  “Hemlock Grove” is an original horror/thriller show on Netflix. This is the second original series for Netflix, the first being “House of Cards.”

“Hemlock Grove” is based off a novel of the same name by Brian Mcgreevy. Eli Roth (“Hostel”) has his first stab at being executive producer rather than his normal duties as a director. The show premiered April 19and viewers were happy to learn there will be no waiting for the next episode for a week since all 13 episodes of the series are already online.

The series is based in the fictional town of Hemlock Grove, Pa. The quiet town has become plagued with the murder of a teenage girl and a manhunt is on to find the killer as more bodies began to pile up. There is no one suspect since there is no shortage of odd and interesting characters.

First up is the Godfrey family. The mother, Olivia, played by Famke Jansen, is a widowed millionaire who is cold to everyone — even her own children — and seems to be troubled by her own demons. The first episode hints at the fact she and her son Roman (Bill Skarsgard) are Unpirs, which is some type of vampire-like creature. Roman is the spoiled brat of the town and is the heir to his father’s bioengineering company. He seems distant and is always testing the boundaries. Shelly, the younger sister to Roman, is a Frankenstein-like character. She is very intelligent but doesn’t interact much with people because of her curious looks that hint at the idea she is a reanimated corpse.

A major suspect in the murders is the new gypsy boy in town, Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron). A rumor is spread around the local high school and leaks into the town that Peter is a werewolf (which he is).

There is also, Letha (Penelope Mitchell), the cousin of Roman and Shelly. Letha claims she is  impregnated by an angel. Then there is a homeless man running around the woods claiming to see dragons. A sketchy game and wildlife officer who throws herself into the case is a tad too noisy and has a drinking problem. But she’ll also ruffle some feathers around town. Let’s not forget the lead doctor and the Godfrey Institute. Dr. Jonathan Pryce seems to be working on some experiments of his own.

Basically everyone seems like a suspect. With everyone’s story intertwined, it can get a bit confusing, but it works for the show. Every character adds a small puzzle piece into the fray each time they are on screen. The murder doesn’t get solved right away especially due to the fact most of the main characters have to come together to make any progress.

Admittedly the plot seems a tad like “Twilight” with the whole mysterious crimes being committed in a small town where both vampires and werewolves reside, but this series definitely redeems the whole folklore for those two creatures. If anything the show resembles “True Blood” more than anything with its dark thrilling plot and its rating of TV-MA for its sexual aspect.

   “Hemlock Grove” has great writing going on, impressive visual effects and all the actors do their part to suck the audience in. It is at least worth checking out one episode if viewers are between shows and looking for something new to get into. After each episode viewers will be left with more questions than answers, but that is the best part, and that’s what will hook the audience. This fresh new twist on the same old vampire-and-werewolf genre will definitely give fans of folklore something to look forward to. While the show isn’t too bloody or terrifying, it is interesting and the suspense and character development is what makes the show great.  It is also worth mentioning that now more shows aren’t being uploaded online later for viewing, but are going straight to the Internet. It seems like this is the way to view series and movies now.


E-mail Hernandez at angela7hernandez@aol.com

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