It’s been ages since I’ve written one of these posts, but then it’s been a while since I blogged regularly, or even got hooked on a new series.
Over the last month or so, I’ve done just that. The nights have been getting darker and I’ve had a few sick days from work, so there’s been a little extra time to curl up on the sofa with Netflix.
When I was younger, I was a sucker for a supernatural teen drama. I grew up with Buffy, Angel, Roswell and more. There’s just something about a supernatural twist that makes a love story much more powerful and intense. That life or death element raises the stakes and makes it all more meaningful.
In The Innocents, northern teens June and Harry run away from their Yorkshire home to escape June’s overbearing stepdad and Harry’s family troubles. But a sinister encounter on the road brings about a shock revelation: June is a shapeshifter who can transform into anyone she touches. As the teens find themselves caught up in a frightening mystery, they must track down June’s mother to find out the truth about her condition.
While there are a few flaws with this show, I actually really enjoyed it. The locations are gorgeous and the cinematography is moody and dramatic, plus it has a great soundtrack. Occasionally the plot relies a bit too much on chance encounters, but it leads June and Harry through a twisting narrative to a really shock cliff-hanger ending.
Hold the Dark
The trailer for this dark thriller really sucked me in.
A writer, well known for his skills in tracking wolves, receives a letter from a young mother in a remote Alaskan town: her son has been taken by wolves and she begs for his help in finding the boy. He arrives to find the woman strangely disturbed, her husband overseas in Iraq. When she too disappears, a horrible discovery unleashes a violent series of events.
This film has some incredibly mixed reviews: people either seem to love it or hate it enough to give it one or two stars. I was definitely in the love it camp, so much so that I downloaded the book the movie is based on before it even finished.
Again the locations here are beautiful. The remote wilderness of Alaska becomes a character in its own right, one that has a dramatic impact on the people living there. This story is a slow burn, with explosions of violence and sinister, otherworldly moments driven by the character’s behaviour. At times, it has a similar feel to No Country for Old Men, as characters go to any lengths to seek revenge.
This isn’t a story that provides any easy answers, but the film features some powerful performances, particularly from Alexander Skarsgård as the solider who returns home to find his family gone.
In this Finnish crime drama, a detective returns to work too soon after the death of her husband in a car accident. When the body of a woman is found buried close to the shore in Helsinki, the police must solve a complex case connected to environmental terrorism, big business and childhood abuse.
I watched this drama at random when I was ill and found myself bingeing episode after episode. It’s not as good as The Bridge, but it has a compelling story, especially as things progress. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and damaged characters to empathise with, or hate, depending on your perspective.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
You’ve probably already watched this fun and super dark remake of the 90s teen show, but it’s been one of the highlights of the television season for me. Sabrina Spellman is half witch and half human. Hr parents died when she was a baby and she’s been brought up by her aunts, and is about to have her dark baptism and become a witch. But she’s too involved in her human life and is conflicted about leaving her friends and boyfriend behind.
But there are dark forces that want Sabrina to join the Dark Lord and they’ll go to all kinds of trouble to persuade her…
Surprisingly dark and even a little scary, this is also inventive and upbeat and contemporary. It was the perfect Halloween watch and I’m really looking forward to season two.
What have you been watching lately?