Featured / SCREEN

Hemlock Grove: No Twilight Werewolves In Sight

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Penelope Mitchell, Bill Skarsgård, Famke Janssen, and Dougray Scott in “Hemlock Grove

I was worried when I first sat down to watch “Hemlock Grove”; fearful of finding more sparkling vampires and lame-ass, overly sentimental werewolves.  Of that there is no sign in this made-for-Netflix series.

This 13 episode series is based on the book, “Hemlock Grove: A Novel” by Brian McGreevy.  I’ve ordered the book to see how closely the story is followed.  The story is, actually, quite engaging.

The cast is a cross-section of people-to-watch and familiar faces.  The key partnership in the plot is that of Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgård) and Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron).

In the pilot, Peter arrives in Hemlock Grove with his mother, Lynda (Lili Taylor) to take over the trailer left by Peter’s Uncle.  We find out quickly that the Rumancek’s are ‘Gypsies‘; a magical family and they’re going to be staying for a while.  The trailer the Rumancek’s inherit is just over the property line from the Godfrey’s mansion.

Peter and Roman become friends in the aftermath of a grisly murder; an unlikely pair.  But their friendship is solid as the supernatural mystery unravels around them.

There are many things to love about “Hemlock Grove”.  It’s well-written and well-acted.  I enjoyed a lot of the dialogue and found that, even the more ‘magical’ oriented discussions were still believable.  Landon Liboiron is a stand out; his portrayal of Peter is sensitive and quirky without being over-the-top.

The story is clever.  There are leads that temp the viewer and yet, go nowhere.  There aren’t a lot of questions that are left unanswered at the end of the series but that doesn’t prevent their from being a second series in my mind.  I would certainly tune in to watch more of this series.

This isn’t a series for people who like the sensitive and carefree creatures that are in novels like “Twilight”.  The creatures in “Hemlock Grove” are much more realistic and honestly, sometimes, the most frightening monsters in the series are the humans.

This combines a kick-ass story with likable characters, (even the ones you may love-to-hate) , magic, and a lot of intrigue.  It’s been one of my favorite shows so far this year!

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One thought on “Hemlock Grove: No Twilight Werewolves In Sight

  1. Finally got around to watching the first episode, cuz I have a lot of shows on my plate, so to speak. The fact that there is another pretty Skarsgard to look at is reason enough to keep watching. XD

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