Hemlock Grove: Not Your Average Horror Story

I love that Netflix has begun producing their own original series. Yeah, I know, it’s old news to most of you. While I still haven't jumped on the House of Cards bandwagon, I devoured Orange is the New Black. Then I noticed Hemlock Grove.  I have always been a horror fan. Dark and scary gets me intrigued.  So show me an ad with an arm reaching out from an angry looking wolf’s mouth and you've got my attention. Hemlock Grove is based on the novel of the same name by author Brian McGreevy.  It centers around Roman Godfrey and Peter Rumancek, two teenage boys from polar opposite upbringings, who are trying to figure out who brutally killed two teenage girls in their small, yet surprisingly creepy town.  But Hemlock Grove has more to offer than just murder! There are gypsies, werewolves, psychics, mental patients, monsters, and secret science projects, just to name a few.  Oh, and sex. Quite a bit of sex, actually.

I really enjoyed how original the story was. There were many supernatural aspects and that kept me very interested. I was pleased with the younger actors in the show.  I really enjoyed Landon Liboiron’s character, Peter.  He’s a smart ass, and I always identify with the smart ass. Bill Skarsgård was a surprising talent as well. I thought he tackled his role very well. (And yes, he is the brother of Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood fame.) There are some recognizable faces as well; Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen, Lily Taylor, and Kandyce McClure and Aaron Douglas from Battlestar Galactica.

I spent most of my time with Hemlock Grove saying to myself, “what the actual f*$%?!” It’s pretty much impossible to decipher what’s going to happen next.  There are a lot of things that go unexplained, which is a pet peeve of mine. I always need to know more. Famke Janssen’s accent is horrible. Seriously, what freaking country is she pretending to be from?!  The special effects are amazing. The show was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.  The theme music is hauntingly beautiful and vaguely familiar for some reason.

I suppose one would classify Hemlock Grove as a guilty pleasure.  It’s so bad, it’s good.  Who knows if the producers were really just that bad, or if it was intended to be as campy as it is. Don’t go into this show expecting a masterpiece; Enjoy it for what it is.  The release date for season two should be released any time now.  The cast has finished shooting. Eli Roth (producer) tweeted saying that season one was a warm up and that season two was looking so good.  Being that there isn’t a sequel to the novel, I’m curious to see where this show is headed.  I’m sure there is more mystery and confusion in the near future.