“From” maintained the audience’s interest with the performance of Harold Perrineau.
Television is cyclical. When a successful program ends, we immediately question what the next program, if any, can replace it. ABC’s puzzling mystery “Lost” ended 12 years ago, and the creators are still trying to figure out how to rekindle the dizzying, acrid, and (sometimes) frustrating tension that the series caused. . The latest effort is new EPIX series “Are from“Boasts to have so many associations with “Lost” (and alumnae) that viewers may wonder if this desire stands alone on its merits.
We meet the inhabitants of a town going downhill as they prepare to call it a day. Not because their job was done, but because town cryman/sheriff Boyd Stevens (Harold Perrineau) warn them: They must stay indoors before sunset. It is discovered that the town is being hunted nightly by mysterious creatures that look like real people, but are not. A vacationing family comes early into town, only to find out they can’t leave. The town took people there and trapped them there for reasons no one understood.
As mentioned earlier, the show’s creative team is very good at the thriller/mystery genre. Creator John Griffin wrote an episode of Jordan Peele’s “Twilight Zone,” while the first four episodes of this 10-episode series were directed by Jack Bender, director of several “Alias” episodes and producer. director’s performance, you guessed it, “Lost.” Bender has also worked in capacity production for several Stephen King film adaptations such as “Under the Dome” and “Mr. Mercedes” is another unshakable element of “From”: how much it feels like a King being torn apart, from the cinematography to the fact that it’s Eion Bailey, who plays town newcomer Jim Matthews , in the recent series adaptation of “The Stand”.
With all that set up, it’s hard to take “The Word” – even a word, a generic, descriptive title may seem derivative – and find the originality within it, and it certainly won’t. appeared in the first four episodes available to shoot. Like any good puzzle-box mystery worth its salt, the series resonates with its pilot – and by that we mean a lot of blood and blood – and spins things back to allows to build the rules of the town and the multitude of characters that live in it. The essential characters one would expect from a Stephen King/”Lost” hybrid like this are present and included: the reluctant leader who fears he won’t be able to protect others, the strange Boo Radley , who is deeply connected to the town’s mythology, a group of outcast hedonists, a Cassandra able to work in alliance with the creatures.
Chris Reardon / Epix
The sheer amount of characters makes the audience only really bond with two and it’s Harold Perrineau’s Boyd, the town’s leader, and Matthews’, whose family vacation sees them on a single child. The endless road always leads to town. Perrineau is always great to watch and he’s amazing in this lead role. He clearly has demons that the audience knows nothing about, and while he fears that he is not qualified to protect the town – a little girl and her mother died after 96 days. without incident, on a blackboard outside his office – he was calming down. Because Perrineau is such a dominant presence, it’s frustrating when the camera shifts to another character, many of whom find it too confusing for viewers to really stick with.
Bailey and Catalina Sandino Moreno, who play Jim and Tabitha Matthews respectively, are our guides through the strange world of “From.” They are so agreeable, a nice, generic family that we know is finally falling apart after some sort of tragedy. The actors are neither good nor bad in their acting, it’s their characters that feel so fundamental because they are outsiders who are brought in and learn things as they go. Others, like Scott McCord’s Victor and even Corteon Moore’s Ellis, Boyd’s later son, felt like they had deeper story elements but everything was intentionally left out. . By the time Victor’s connection to the town is given a little more insight, it only leads to more questions that audiences already know they won’t get answers to.
And like most of these horror movies, once the initial quirks happen and the two murders happen, the movie sets in motion to map out the town’s structure and intricate rules. . Jim learns about the creatures during a stressful night trapped in the RV with his injured son, but Tabitha learns about them through Donna (Elizabeth Saunders), overseer of Colony House, a housing community It is not clear where citizens “live the day”, whatever that means in this context. The discussion goes off-camera as the series doesn’t plan to offer a quick explanation to the audience for what we’re dealing with, although it looks like Jim and Tabby’s teenage daughter Julie (Hannah) Cheramy) recognized one of the creatures. So are they using the bodies of the dead? Who knows!
Chris Reardon / Epix
Jim and Tabby decide to stay – because what other option is there when the town lives by the rules of “Hotel California”? – lead to a discussion of where the couple will live. Class conflict between the town and the Colonial House is hinted at, but never explained. All we know is that wherever the group chooses to live, that’s where they have to stay. Why, consider locations that are about a block apart? Who knows. For a series bound by rules and structure, it’s hard to see what use these rules are for other than creating a world that resembles the cult world typically found in horror movies. about this horror movie. That’s one thing because all the other programs already do it!
What’s more interesting are some of the group’s situational psychology questions. One episode saw Boyd struggle with punishing the murdered girl’s father for not closing his windows. Aside from the questions that immediately pop up – like, considering his daughter’s age and how long they’ve been in town, how does she not know opening the window is a bad idea? – Boyd wondered if the punishment was appropriate for the crime. It’s an interesting topic but leads to nearly everything being connected to creatures. What about punishing old crimes in a town that no one can leave?
“From” maintains the audience’s interest because of Harold Perrineau’s performance. He believes in the character and so does the audience. But like many shows, it’s inspired/imitation, depending on how you look at it, it spends way too much time setting up its world and not pushing the story forward. If “Lost” is a sign, the real test will be whether this is a season-long wonder.
“From” airs weekly on EPIX February 20.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/02/epix-from-review-harold-perrineau-anchors-lost-retread-1234698803/ EPIX ‘From’ Review: Harold Perrineau Anchors Another ‘Lost’ Reread