NETFLIX’s Hemlock Grove Review

All 13 Episodes of NETFLIX’s Hemlock Grove from director Eli Roth are now online for streaming so guess what I am doing this weekend? I am sure that many of you will be joining me in checking out the series and I encourage you to share your thoughts on the show not just with me but with the community at large here by leaving a comment.

NETFLIX has not done very well with the release of Hemlock Grove with some pretty negative reviews hitting the web before its release but this has not dissuaded me from checking it out.  I checked out Hemlock Grove on NETFLIX tonight for two reasons.

  1. I do not give a crap what critics say about horror movies or TV shows since very few understand the genre.
  2. It costs me nothing and required no effort to do so… why would I not?

Subscribers of Netflix should make the effort to check out Hemlock Grove and decide for themselves whether it is good, bad or just ok considering the entry to doing so is FREE. Even if you do not have a NETFLIX Account you can get a free 30 days trial and check out the show with ease.

Hemlock Grove is from director Eli Roth and is Netflix’s second foray into original programming and they did not skimp on the extras. Each episode of Hemlock Grove reportedly cost $4million to make [ more details here ] and to put that in perspective AMC reportedly only spends $2.75million per episode on the Walking Dead. So Netflix definitely took the project of bringing Hemlock Grove to life seriously.

Hemlock Grove stars Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard and Penelope Mitchell and is a murder mystery that revolves around the residents of a former Pennsylvania steel town. When 17-year-old Brooke Bluebell is brutally murdered, any of Hemlock’s peculiar inhabitants – or killer creatures – could be suspects. Through the investigation the town’s seamier side is exposed, revealing nothing is what it seems. Beautiful, terrifying, and graphic, “Hemlock Grove” is unlike anything else in its genre.”

The first episode ‘Jellyfish In The Sky’ introduces us to all the key characters and also does quite a bit of time travelling to try and cover a lot of ground very quickly. From gypises, to creepy goth kids and mutants with psychic powers Hemlock Grove throws the kitchen sink at you quickly.  Honestly Hemlock Grove at times feels a bit rushed and cramped as they try to quickly introduce and explain the key characters but it also leave just enough unknown to keep us guessing for the future episodes.

Given the budget of Hemlock Grove I also kept wondering to myself did they spend that budget on the cast? The production value wasn’t horrendous but it certainly did not leave me mesmerized.

Early reviews had pointed to poor production values, bad acting and a horrible script as just a few of the problems with Hemlock Grove and at times I can not disagree. The entire opening sequence of Hemlock Grove for me fell flat. Throughout the pilot you have a mix of characters that are popping on screen fast and heavy and some like Famke Janssen and Freya Tingley deliver command performances while others turn in performances that fall very short from what I would call outstanding.

At times the dialogue is stiff and ridiculous and the production value a bit weak but at other times you can see the diamond in the rough that is trying to push its way out. I for one am going to be checking out Episode 2 of Hemlock Grove in a few minutes and see how the story of Hemlock Grove unfolds and although it has flaws overall its still better then most cable TV shows.

The first episode did the job effectively of connecting me with some of the key characters and leaving just enough cards hidden to make me want to tune in for more to see whether Hemlock Grove is just finding its groove or if its perhaps a bust and not worth watching further. I am willing to invest in at least two more episodes and hope that it finds its timing and the actors find their ‘groove’.

The Hollywood Reporter when they reviewed Hemlock Grove wrote;

Hemlock isn’t scary. It isn’t creepy. It barely makes sense, much less sense you want to decode.

They also went on to indicate that drug usage would not help your overall impression of Hemlock Grove. I can honestly say Hemlock Grove is NOT as bad as they made it out to be.  dmittedly Hemlock Grove is no Walking Dead but its also not a debacle and I think that horror fans should at least give it a try considering Episode 1 gives us such a quick glance at the world of Hemlock Grove you can honestly not pass judgement so quickly.

NETFLIX has chosen to release all the episodes at the same time so we don’t have to be lured back to a second episode so we can tune in immediately once again lowering my investment in the series and making it pretty hard to say no.

As noted I am giving Hemlock Grove at least 2 more episodes before I pass complete judgement and I think that the way that NETFLIX released the series will help with its potential success. If I had been made to wait for episode 2 I certainly would not have set aside the time but given that its just sitting there waiting for me to watch it I will.

Hemlock Grove is not perfect but its also not garbage and I for one will give it a shot for a few more episodes. What did you think of  NETFLIX’s Hemlock Grove? Sound off in the comments!

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