Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
One of the biggest hurdles a show like Curon has lies with its marketing. Dubbed as the Italian version of ‘Dark’, Netflix’s latest mystery drama is unfortunately the next in a long line of casualties that will almost certainly disappoint after getting audience expectations up to an all-time high and failing to deliver. We’ve seen it with many successful shows over the years, including all those mystery box shows at the end of the 2000’s, dubbed as the next Lost and never really taking off.
More recently, a whole slew of fantasy shows have tried (and largely failed) to grasp what Game Of Thrones had in its heyday. While Curon itself isn’t necessarily a bad show, it’s not a particularly outstanding one either and unfortunately this will almost certainly lead to large portion of viewers left disappointment when the final credits roll.
The story itself gets off to a pretty good start, with a brief glimpse of the past as a violent incident involving Anna’s Mother sees her killed by a figure that looks strangely like Anna herself. This image haunts her for years and now, 17 years later, Anna returns to the town of Curon with her two children, Daria and Mauro, after breaking up with partner Pietro and looking for greener pastures. Unfortunately things are not as simple as they first appear and as they stay in that very same hotel Anna’s childhood nightmares emanate from, thumping in the locked door upstairs, coupled with Anna’s disappearance, prove to be the catalysts for what follows.
With half the town submerged in water, lots of shadowy figures and hints that something afoul is going on involving entities moving in the shadows, Curon combines elements of The Shining and mystery dramas like Dark with a distinct teen-drama vibe that just keeps bringing more questions into the fold. That final point is probably the most important to bear in mind before you jump into this as Curon does such a good job raising questions that it forgets to answer any. By the time the finale fades to black, you ironically end up with more questions than you did whence you started – and the show ends on a cliffhanger for good measure too.
The characters themselves are good enough watch through though but the second half starts to unravel and become more of a familial drama than an outright horror or mystery ensemble as it presented early on. Siblings Daria and Mauro do well to keep you invested in what’s happening while exasperated Anna puts on a pretty convincing performance as this Mother struggling to make sense of her life.
Props to Curon though because when it comes to set design, production and general cinematography, the show does an excellent job utilizing many tricks of the trade. There’s lots of interesting imagery involving wolves, which ties in both thematically and narratively with what happens, while the dark scenes are lit beautifully. They conjure up just enough of a spark to light a character face or two while blanketing the rest of the scene in darkness to keep the uneasiness high. One scene involving a wolf inside a cave is arguably the highlight of the entire series and this ties in with the excellent sound design too.
Of course, if you go into this blindly you’re likely to have more joy than those who have followed the marketing over the weeks. Dubbing this show as the next Dark is a massive misstep and to be honest, Curon is likely to be a casualty of its own pre-hype. Despite that though the show does have an enjoyable enough mystery at the heart of this one but the lack of resolution at the end and the disappointing climax – complete with a big cliffhanger – may be enough to turn people away. It’s not perfect, it does have a few misfires along the way, but if you’re in the mood for something a little bit thrilling and a whole lot weird – Curon is worth giving a go.