Strange Vistas

Writing about movies, anime, books, and media

Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, and Mick Jagger

There are movies where you know someone is running a con, but you don't know who it is.

Is it the marble sculpture of a blonde, with a generic accent, who appears out of nowhere amidst a crowd of bored, elderly tourists?

Is it the glib pill-popping art critic, starved for recognition and yet so full of himself that he doesn't question his own preconceptions?

Might it be the debonair millionaire who invites him over to his “modest summer cottage” with a proposal?

Or the picture-perfect wise-old-man recluse of a painter? Is he even real?

And still, even though you smell the con coming, The Burn Orange Heresy has the feel and pacing of a play, constrained in space, where you might not be shown things by necessity instead of by design.

Is it hiding something or are you getting paranoid?

The mark. The provocateur. The bystander. The victim. At least one of them is a Bryonic Hero – but who's which? It's noir alright, even though it insists on settings it action mostly in airy, brightly lit buildings with sky-high ceilings.

The cast does their bit impeccably. I have been waiting for years for Elizabeth Debicki to start squirm her way out of her casting straitjacket. Here she gets to play a whip-smart character with a staccato of quick quips, and the figure that you are most uncertain of for the entire movie (as befitting the genre). She lifts Claes Bang, who could otherwise come across merely as the requisite asshole, the kind of insufferable bastard who calls people “pumpkin”, and runs rhetorical circles around him while keeping you wondering about how much of it is made up on the fly and how much rehearsed. Mick Jagger, looking like an oily, debonair Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Donald Sutherland as the Donald Sutherland character, are in their elements.

No, I haven't told you what it is about. Do you really need me to? You have a troubled critic, a mysterious woman, a hermit of a painter, and a millionaire. Throw them at a canvas and slowly step away.

Oh, you want to hear a demerit? To point out the fly in the mix, it's a movie you've seen before. It's packed with quotable bits, but can come across as if it thinks it's smarter than it is. But that can be the case, and you can still get away with it.

#crime #elizabethdebicki #claesbang #mickjagger #donaldsutherland

Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, and Bella Heathcote in Relic

We start off fresh and supple and plump, then we rot in a way that is both repulsive and sad. We live in wandering buildings made out of meat waiting to spoil, entire rooms full of the clutter that were our lives, dealing with the asphyxiating quality of our remaining time closing in on us, the rats inside our walls always gnawing at the wiring. The only question is if the attic or the foundations will go first.

Natalie Erika James' Relic takes that knowledge and smudges it across the screen at an imperceptible creep. For most of its 90 minute run, the ugliest image she shows you is an old lady brushing her teeth, or staring back, or picking at herself. It still unsettles, making you wonder if you should have called more often or lived closer as you push yourself back into the seat without noticing. It's The Babadook for anyone who has even contemplated caring for an elderly relative.

#horror #robynnevin #emilymortimer #bellaheathcote #natalieerikajames

I have a bunch of things I've seen which I'm unlikely to do a full write-up about (even if a few of them deserve it). With that in mind... here is what is probably the first of a series of one-line reviews.

Blackfish: you have to be a sociopath to work at Sea World management.

The Foreigner: a Jackie Chan / Pierce Brosnan movie that is not quite good but is more than its trailer would suggest, even if that has no right whatsoever being a compliment.

Mr. Robot, Season 2: It's still discount techno Fight Club, even if Rami Malek is mercurial and Christian Slater gives the best performance of his career, but can anyone tell me why do I keep doing this to myself?

Warrior Nun: Sense – this series makes none.

See You Yesterday: Tween inner-city fridge-logic Black Lives Matter Butterfly Effect, because it doesn't even reach Primer knock-off status.

Cobra Kai, Season 1: Dad Movie – The Series (so much so that it might prompt me to write a whole piece on Dad Movies).

Uncut Gems: holy shit, Adam Sandler can act!

#mrrobot #warriornun #cobrakai #seeyouyesterday #uncutgems #adamsandler #oneliners

Hill House

The Bent-Neck Lady, a recurring specter in Mike Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House, buys the mini-series a deep reservoir of goodwill.

Flanagan's single-minded focus on family pathos hasn't always overcome the weakness inherent in its material – Before I Wake had a somnambulist pace, and Doctor Sleep was chockfull of clichés. Now, finally, gets a field to let it bloom in The Haunting of Hill House.

This latest adaptation gets some very loosely inspiration from Shirley Jackson's novel, from which it cribs the title and some of the character names but little else. The story is no longer about a bunch of strangers gathering to investigate supernatural claims but a family pursued by an irredeemably evil manor.

The Bent-Neck Lady is one of the ghosts that keeps coming back for the Crains, the first one we see and one of the many apparitions pursuing the family even after they leave the house. She appears first to Nell Crain, the youngest daughter and, seemingly for a moment, the protagonist.

The story doesn't stay with Nell. Each family member gets an episode, so we get a full guided tour of how Hill House has systematically wrecked their lives for decades. We see the family both when they were growing up in the house, the five Crain offsprings merely children, and almost three decades later when another tragedy brings them together, and they have to find a way to talk to each other again.

This narrative style allows Flanagan to pull perspective tricks. It takes time for us to figure out who is an unreliable narrator and who sees things we don't, a distinction that becomes cloudier when the specter haunting some of the family members might be mental illness or an addiction. Flanagan also takes advantage of the structure to experiment with narration. One episode, for example, is all long takes and no cuts, exacerbating the tension and drama going on.

We revisit scenes, sometimes seeing them from a different character's eyes and sometimes through fresh eyes ourselves, examining new information about them. There are background details to unsettle you but that you don't need to spot. It's not the usual “painting moves in one scene, guaranteed to come after a character on the next one” thing, but a much more subtle approach. It keeps us on our toes, waiting for the one that will.

There is one ghost we viewers do see, over and over: the Bent-Neck Lady. Her unexpected and sudden recurrences feed a morbid curiosity in us. It is also an example of what the series does very much right: by the time we get more clarity on it, half-way through the series, we realize that everything before has been not only mood-setting, but perfectly choreographed escalation.

You need to trust it. It builds up, and builds up, and builds up...

And then it is all over you.

The tension is not only watching the spring get tighter, and tighter, but knowing that even with some surprise releases, there is still a lot more coil to spring on you.

Bly Manor

Hill House, in turn, bought ‌the follow-up The Haunting of Bly Manor some goodwill of its own. Hill House wasn't perfect – one of its stories bore little connection to the plot at large, and it had its moments of fridge logic – but it did its job well. With Bly Manor, the team returns to apply the same structure to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw.

I should have stopped watching when I realized there were multiple directors, with Flanagan only doing the first episode.

Hill House wasn't a faithful adaptation, but it was better written, better handled. Maybe it's on Flanagan. Perhaps it's because it had more material to go on. Bly Manor doesn't have either and, on its trying to stretch the servings to last nine episodes, it ends up watering down the soup.

So we get again the bit where everybody has their chapter, which feels much less relevant here since we are not seeing how the same event affected a family – we are merely going through why is this specific individual damaged in their special way. Some of the stories feel forced, shoehorned merely for a twist that they keep telegraphing and might as well be lampshading.

The series format allowed Hill House to breathe but causes Bly Manor to feel stretched to the point of transparency. Unsure what to do with its time, the story proceeds to explain every single possible bit of the haunting, dispelling any sense of intimacy that James' original story had. For instance, in the original story, Miles had been expelled from school for an unspecified, terrible offense. That dreadful secret behind the expulsion? We get an entire episode, and it boils down to Miles intentionally being a cunt.

Don't you know explanations go counter to dread? Dragging something into the light only diminishes it.

That's before we get to the acting. Several of the Hill House cast members return to Bly Manor, and by King Hamlet, you'd swear this was their first acting job. Victoria Pedretti, who played Nell Crain before, is nothing short of annoying and doesn't seem to be a particularly good choice for the emotional range that the story ends up demanding of her. I can't say if Nell is the only character she can play or if she needs more consistent direction, but I'm chalking her memorable performance as Nell up to Flanagan for now.

Those are not even its worst offenses – its main crime is that it's as dull as a sack of family tombstones. The second to last episode spends 56 repetitive minutes elabotaring on its convoluted mythology, which not only is mind-numbingly tedious and could last a tenth of its run but manages to get everything to make even less sense. That's not enough for them. We need yet another episode that is little but a walk towards a foregone conclusion, the writers fridging a character because they can't find another way to get out of the mess they've made. Then we get the surprise reveal that everybody figured out was coming six episodes ago.

I want to say that there's a good series to be found here, at half its length and with a single, talented helmer. I'm not sure I can convince myself that's the case. As it is, Bly Manor is little but a reminder that sunk costs are sunk costs, the time spent is no longer yours, and sometimes you should drop a story early on.

#mikeflanagan #victoriapedretti #carlagugino #katesiegel #annabethgish #timothyhutton #horror

Poster for The Perfection

The Perfection did something few movies have managed to do lately: it escaped its own trailer's gravity well.

Not entirely, mind you. There is enough on the trailer that I wouldn't recommend watching it anywhere close to the movie. But for once, we get a preview that is not the best 90 seconds and all the major plot points. Not in any way that you'd know before seeing the movie.

A young cellist who stopped playing because of a family illness meets the younger, just as gorgeous, much more successful performer who replaced her in her mentor's attention. The one that made it. Hell hath no fury.

I don't want to say too much. Imagine if Damien Chazelle had chosen to make Whiplash as a tarted-up, trashy B-movie, and that gets you in the ballpark.

It has character in spades, something that neither director Richard Shepard's Matador nor Dom Hemingway had. (Dom kinda tried, in its own “Nick Hornby as seen through too much Guy Ritchie” sort of way, but describing it like that makes it sound better than it was.)

The Perfection makes up for it. It's a got prurient fixation on escalating situations, complicating build-up after build-up, faking out a release before ramping things up again, a fractal Venus flytrap of a garish plot. I hadn't seen anything aim for that blend of well-manicured and crass in recent memory.

It can verge on tawdry, sure, but if you're going to do exploitation, you might as well do it in style.

#allisonwilliams #loganbrowning #richardshepard #stevenweber #horror

Main characters from extraction

You don't need to waste your time with Extraction. Children of Men did the fake long takes better, and for all of Extraction's bruises and stabs, Charlize Theron had it tougher in Atomic Blonde.

Yes, I'm talking up a movie that I originally wasn't too impressed with. Extraction is the kind of aggressive mediocrity that can cause you to lower your standards. Its phony suicidal sentimentality as the single driving reason for its unshaven hero to keep pushing forward does not help.

Can we stop with the whole dead-kid-as-a-motivator thing? Universal as it might be, the flipside is that it tells us nothing about your character other than “they're sad someone died”. Worse, it's lazy.

There are few better ways to kill good will than laziness.

#action #samhargrave #chrishemsworth #davidharbour

Poster for Color out of Space

It is a rare adaptation that captures the original's feeling so well that it convinces me I need to re-read the original story as soon as I can. It hasn't happened once before with H.P. Lovecraft adaptations – not until Richard Stanley's wonderfully disturbing Color Out of Space.

And you know what? I wasn't giving it enough credit. I expect it to be mostly a movie where Nicolas Cage gets to do some Nicolas Caging, this time against slimy horrors instead of hell bikers. I smirked when it took the movie less than two minutes to name-drop Arkham, thinking it was only that long because they had to show some credits before our unseen narrator started soliloquizing. His words had a familiar feel, a half-remembered sensation of old, dusty smells filtering through library stacks. They were the same words that open Lovecraft's short story and one of the many direct parallels the movie has with its source material.

It shouldn't have surprised me. It's an adaptation, after all. But, to be frank, I was expecting this to be one of those “inspired by” jobs. It is instead a faithful adaptation, updating only some minor details. If you have never read the original story, a meteorite lands in Nahum Gardner's farm, and the color that expands out of it begins consuming everything. In the original, a surveyor hears the tale from a crazy old man who was around when it happened, decades earlier, at the end of the 19th century. The movie instead involves the surveyor in the story instead of having him receive it second-hand, modernizes the names (Nahum becomes Nathan), and there's a daughter delightfully named Lavinia.

While the visuals are an iridescent magenta-tinted cousin to The Thing, with a scene that directly references the first time we glimpsed that particular horror, its story beats are straight from Lovecraft's tale, as is its style. It takes its time. It spreads its spores into your mind. It lets them germinate, expand, until it has wholly infected your attention.

Much more subtle how it gets the more unpleasant aspects of Lovecraft himself right, without rubbing them in your face. The Gardners are conservative and old fashioned. They call the caretaker a “hippie reprobate” (immediately telling you why Tommy Chong is in the cast), yet Nathan refers to him as “their squire” (a line only Cage would be able to deliver with a straight face). Both parents make remarks about how their daughter Lavinia dresses, never saying she looks like a whore but having it painted on their faces. They disapprove of Ward, our hydrologist narrator who their daughter has a crush on, and you get the impression that they are just as uncomfortable with the idea of teenage sex as they are with Ward being black.

Fascinating as the adaptation is, what surprised me the most was that it made me realize something I never had in the thirty-plus years since I first encountered Lovecraft: how much body horror there is in his stories. Granted, a lot of it is the flat-out racist “parents fucked the wrong kind of people,” which is likely why I hadn't spotted it – I'd mentally filed it as a metaphor for his fear of anyone who wasn't the right shade of pink. There is, however, the recurrent theme of bodies turning against themselves, whether because of their horrible parentage, a character's choices, or an outside influence. Edward Derby's terrible fate in The Thing in the Doorstep. Doctor Muñoz in Cool Air. Wilbur Whateley's misshapen form, his unnatural odor, and rapidly dissolving corpse. Even Peaslee's possession in The Shadow out of Time, where both his body spends years out of his control and Peaslee ends up trapped in a monstrous, ancient shape.

Color Out of Space brings these elements to the front and, in representing story elements in a way that would be right at home in a 1980s Cronenberg movie, made me finally spot this pattern. I don't think I've ever been as perturbed by the representation of someone suffering a disease since the image of Zelda in the initial Pet Sematary adaptation, emaciated, twisted body crawling out of her attic bed and towards her sister.

It's not perfect. There is a subplot that never gets developed, and hangs there like a vestigial finger stuck to the movie's wrist – you could extirpate it and end up with a much shapelier creature. But that's as much as I can complain about, and the more I think about the movie, the less relevant it becomes.

Now Richard Stanley wants to follow this up with The Dunwich Horror. The last thing my mind needs is his take on the story of the Whateleys' sexual habits and horrid descendants. Nicolas Cage as Old Whateley, though...

Sir, may I have some more?

#horror #nicolascage #richardstanley #hplovecraft #joelyrichardson #madeleinearthur #elliotknight #tommychong

Dark Fate poster

Terminator – Dark Fate did the Star Wars series one better because it had the courage to move on from people named Connor.

That might come across as a little rich, seeing as how the movie finally brought back 64-year-old Linda Hamilton as Sarah, after she hadn’t appeared on a single one of these in the almost three decades since Terminator 2. It does it for context, though, and pulls off a great bit of character repurposing.

Yes, she enters the movie as the Action Bitch, who calmly gets out of a truck and starts blasting quips and rockets at a killing machine. That bit alone on the trailer almost turned me off the whole thing. But she’s also an aimless old woman who has seemingly done nothing in thirty years but sit around, drink, and wait for the next signal telling her where she needs to go blasting. She succeeded in Terminator 2, averting the future where Skynet killed most of the planet and only her son John could save us.

Her success also made her irrelevant.

Killing machines still seemingly rain out of the future, though, because we suck as a species, and if we don’t manage to blow ourselves up, then by Oppenheimer we will build something that does it for us.

So it’s some other girl, this time around, called Dani Ramos. Dani also has a bodyguard from the future, Grace (cyborg Cameron Howe, because God bless Mackenzie Davis, but even Arnie has more range). Grace is better and meaner than Sarah ever was – partly because she has gone through an actual war, instead of just training, but mostly because she’s not all human (“augmented”).

Gotta hand it to them. Sarah Connor, pushed aside from history by her actions, resentful it’s not about her anymore, full of assumptions that make her something of a know-it-all asshole, is not a play I’d have expected them to take.

No major spoilers there – this is like the first twenty minutes of the movie. After, most of it is Dark Fate doing a masterful job of untying the knows that the series has tied itself into, while doubling down on the “unstoppable horror” tropes that the original Terminator movie handled so well. Not only is the new Series 9 killing machine nigh impossible to kill, as you’d expect from a terminator, but it skin can walk away so that it can come at you from two sides. When its skeleton gets up, it does it like something possessed; its cranium has the shape of a half-brained zombie’s.

Dark Fate respects its pedigree, though, full of references to the old movies’ good bits. The skinless arm, the old-timey red vision with big white lettering, the eye, a dog just chilling. They fit. You don’t get a single wink or nudge. You could miss them, if you ain’t looking, but the jokes land.

But you know what? All that would be fun but irrelevant without it doing its core job. You didn’t get Dark Fate for the funnies, or the discourses on finding purpose, did you? You wanted an action movie.

Dark Fate is a damned good one. One of those where you can tell where everybody is during the fights, and where they may end up when the next punch lands. Because, unlike what seems to be the majority of movie directors out there, Tim Miller knows that action works better when you anxiously anticipate what people you like might be thrown against.

Spatial awareness – what a concept!

One of the great things about writing anonymously is that I get to do anything I want. If this will turn into an action movie shitpost blog, extolling the virtues of movies that are two parts explosions and one part references, so be it. It’s not like there is any movie festival going on right now.

Eventually, we are going to get back to more serious stuff. Some documentaries about the state of the world, or the abuses of the Church, or something political. For now, humor me on this. Watch this fucking movie, because it’s both a better sequel and action movie than most other pro-forma shit out there.

And, for everybody involved in the series, please stop here. The last three movies ranged from mediocre to terrible, with quality steadily decreasing. This one raises your success ratio to 50%. It was a nice bow to wrap around it. Quit while you are ahead.

#terminator #darkfate #timmiller #mackenziedavis #lindahamilton ##arnoldschwarzenegger #nataliareyes #gabrielluna #action

Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep

Near the climax of Mike Flanagan's mash-up Doctor Sleep, Rose the Hat, the story's main baddie, walks the hallways of the Overlook Hotel looking for her prey. The hotel is still alive, famished. As she steps into the elevator hallway, it unleashes the vision it used to terrify Danny and Wendy Torrance with – torrents of blood, flooding the hallway, threatening to drown her.

She slows down her stride, stares at it, amused. It's a curiosity, not even worth turning her body towards it. She smiles, more intrigued than scared, and continues walking.

It couldn't be a better representation of how the horror genre has moved on in the 40 years since The Shinning came out in 1980. Scenes that used to be impressive, outrageous, are now commonplace. The Shining itself has become a staple, the baseline.

Still, Stephen King wrote a sequel, so someone would end up adapting it. Might as well be Mike Flanagan, who recently did a fair job of adapting King's Gerald's Game.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: I wish I could like this movie more than I do. I do. I almost managed to convince myself after watching it that it was above mediocre.

I don't even want to blame the crew. This movie is a collection of thankless jobs.

For starters, it's made forty years after The Shining came out, so you can't assume viewers have seen it. You need flashbacks to that contextualize what is going on for people who just wandered into the multiplex. You'll need to repeat scenes from the classic if you want to be on the safe side. But that means you'll need to re-enact so you can use the same actors to connect last movie's events to our current story.

And then, there were significant differences between the King's source material and its adaptation by Stanley Kubrick. King's sequel follows up on his book's ending, not the movie's, which King hated. Flanagan, though, can't disregard Kubrick's masterpiece since – let's be honest – it's what may bring most people to his movie instead of sending them to the paperback.

So what you get is a mash-up of both, the equivalent of a $50 million fanfic-slash-cosplay production, where Flanagan recreates scenes from the original, or tries to get actors who are a good twenty years younger than The Shining to pass for Shelley Duval and Scatman Crothers and so many others (no attempt at mimicking the inimitable Joe Turkel, fortunately), and melds the endings for both the movie and book into a single body. For fans of the original, or even anyone who has seen some of the oft-repeated clips, it sinks deep into the uncanny valley.

Then there's the power escalation and misery inflation.

That's not their fault. It is King's. Stephen King's writing has gone downhill with the years, and, since things that used to impress us no longer do, he has resorted to bumping up the world's wretchedness and the power factor of the characters.

You can't just have good old Danny, whom Dick Hallorann described as shinning like nobody else he had ever met. We get Abra, a girl who is an order of magnitude more powerful than anyone Dan Torrance himself had ever encountered. A haunted building is not enough of a threat. But that's not enough. We need The True Knot, a troupe of traveling psychic vampires, each with their unique abilities and whose leader, Rose, might be stronger than Danny and Abra put together.

A recovering alcoholic who is a threat to his family is no longer enough of a problem. King's book, on full-on misery inflation, gives us no less than two characters whose background includes his now requisite child abuse (much more stark on the original than what the movie suggests). Danny has grown into a violent alcoholic, because... it's in his blood, I guess. Not enough? How about a toddler dying from neglect (or violence)?

The True Knot are not just psychic vampires – they feed on children who have the shine, the same psychic ability Dan and Abra share. But you can't merely abduct and murder children for their power, can you? You need to torture them, make them die a long, painful death, because... um... fear purifies the “steam” they release, making them tastier? Whatever. We need children screaming.

King spent too much time trying to shock readers and not enough creating a real sense of dread, and that leaks into the movie.

Gerald's Game, I wrote back then, had some masterful scenes filled with anguished discomfort despite its duct-taped tacked-on ending. Nothing quite like that here. The most memorable moments come when the members of The True Knot die, their death rattle a gurgling groan like Gmork drowning on his own blood.

Most of the fun here comes for us movie and horror nerds. We get to enjoy Flanagan's attempts at blending both ancestors into a single alternate timeline, trying to walk both paths simultaneously with results that, if you know the original material, can be endearing. We can get some amusement by recognizing faces from Flanagan's troupe (Katie Parker, Bruce Greenwood, James Flanagan, Carel Struycken), most of them hanging out in the background. There is a brief moment where Kyleigh Curran, who plays Abra, has fun aping a young Ewan McGregor. Rebecca Ferguson's Rose The Hat is a delightful predator, a boho panther sashaying her way into devouring you.

Slim pickings, though.

Flanagan has gotten good at being good enough in the near-decade since he made Absentia. After Gerald's Game, his Haunting of Hill House made me believe he was on the verge of breaking out of the prison of decent and move on to great. He'll need to pick better material first.

#mikeflanagan #stephenking #horror #miseryinflation #ewanmcgregor #rebeccaferguson #kyleighcurran

The Innocents promotional image

There are pieces that you should write up-front, the moment you have consumed whatever content you meant to talk about.

This piece is one of them.

It has been months since I saw The Innocents, and I’m afraid I’ve lost the scent. It was tenuous, to begin with, and by now, it’s little but a shadow of a thread.

The Innocents is an archetypical slow boil story – part nordic thriller, part BBC series leaning towards young-adult fiction. It gives you glimpses early on of what its central conceit is but doesn’t straight up tell you its set up or background. It expects you to put in the time to find out. You have got to sit with it.

I’m not sure why I had the impression that this was some low-key modern super-hero thing. Probably the promotional image of two teenagers running away from something, what looks like a winter sky behind them, the boy dragging the girl along.

Which, funny enough, is how it starts. But it is only a minor spoiler to say it’s a women’s world – men are merely along for the ride.

The couple is Harry and June. They are in love. John, June’s overprotective, stern, borderline violent father, wants to move the family to some remote island on their birthday. Harry and June run away. It doesn’t take us very long to find out what John’s motivations were, what June doesn’t know she’s capable of, and why Harry is in well over his head. It will take longer to find out what is going on with the other small group of people, somewhere, on a farm, whom the story goes back to every so often.

Switching settings could create the impression of a sprawling tale. Instead, the series keeps its focus narrow, firmly on these people, and keeps tightening its circle as it progresses. Playing in a more constrained setting causes mistakes to more obviously emerge (which is why so many stories are in such a rush to drag you to the next ride in the amusement park before you have time to think). To its credit, The Innocents keeps its plot constrained to a few players, having the discipline to spend its eight episodes exploring their relationships and using a handful of characters to flesh out its mythology.

Does the mythology hold up? I can’t remember. I think I had objections, quibbles, but left no notes about it. I’m also the type of guy who complained for an entire season of Into the Badlands because nobody wiped their swords between cutting down an army of mooks and putting the weapon back into the scabbard. The fact I don’t remember is a recommendation.

I remember its tightening noose as characters who had been dancing around each other stumbled towards a collision. I remember the feeling of senseless tragedy, affecting people merely because they were around. The petty behavior, the infatuation with the new you, the narcissism inherent in liking others like yourself. It all added up to it being more family tragedy than teen thriller, a good chunk of it spent watching friends and loved ones crumble.

I can no longer say if it was good, but I can say it was different. I appreciate different.

#guypearce #nadinemarshall #percelleascott #laurabirn #sorchagroundsell #tvseries