The release of the made-for-Netflix series, Hemlock Grove, may completely derail my weekend plans.
I have errands to run, people to see, and a whole freakin’ novel to edit. Then I watched the premiere of Hemlock Grove, noted that there are thirteen, one-hour long episodes in the fully released first season, and well – I did the math. Something has to get cut from my weekend schedule, and it won’t be watching the entire first season of Hemlock Grove.
The pitch goes like this: In the shadows of a rusted Pennsylvania steel town, the mangled body of a teenage girl is discovered. As they hunt for a monster among them, rumors mount and many of the eccentric residents become suspects, from the newly arrived gypsy family to the wealthy Godfrey clan. In the twisted world of Hemlock Grove, everyone hides a dark secret. From director Eli Roth (“Hostel”) comes a chilling supernatural series based on Brian McGreevy’s novel.
So help me, despite the overwhelming Twilight-like overtones, I’m intrigued. I am no fan of Eli Roth’s torture horror movies, and I worry that the series has no rating system at all (being neither for TV or theaters), and Roth might push the boundaries of violence, gore and weird sex to such a degree that it becomes unwatchable.
The cast is first-rate, such as Lili Taylor (from many excellent appearances, but most memorable to me in High Infidelity), Aaron Douglas (Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica) and Famke Janssen as Olivia Godley – the mysterious, wealthy matriarch with a British accent that comes and goes (not sure if that’s intentional or not).
Creepy, misfit teenagers, werewolves and pretty, young girls playing the role of mutilated cadavers, Hemlock Grove seems on the verge of jumping the shark from the start, but stays just this side of the tank. So far.
All 13 episodes are available for viewing starting today, April 19, 2013, so we’ll see if it can stay that way. I’m in, and if the series goes too far, well, maybe I’ll take a look at McGreevy’s novel of the same name and give it a go.
Here’s the teaser:
UPDATE – 4/22/2013: Finished it. I admit to having it on while doing other things at times, but I kept up with the storyline. I think people who like twilight will dig this. It’s a little more raw, but only on the easy stuff – language, nudity and graphic violence – not the story. The acting is solid throughout, as is the directing and production. Overall, not great, not bad.