Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Equinox feels like a blend of feature film Midsommar and German Series Dark. With a mystery encompassing the entire series, revealing flashbacks and light bites of horror, this Danish series certainly has a lot going for it. Equinox demands a fair amount of patience to get to the good stuff though, with an ambiguous ending likely to make or break your experience with this one.
The story itself is essentially split between 2 separate timelines. In 1999, Astrid’s sister Ida leaves town on a Graduation Bus with a class full of students never to be seen again. Including Ida, 21 students in total go missing with only Amelia, Jakob and Falke inexplicably surviving whatever happened.
Cut forward 20 years and Astrid continues to be haunted by her sister’s disappearance. Working at a local radio station, she receives a strange, garbled call: “It’s me, Jakob Skipper. I know why she disappeared.”
This spine-chilling revelation serves as the catalyst for Astrid’s investigation as she heads back to Copenhagen and begins digging up what really happened. As Astrid follows the breadcrumb trail, speaking to numerous different witnesses and suspects, faint whispers of a cult, satanic demons and a hidden family secret threaten to turn her world upside down.
Alongside this methodical investigation are revealing flashbacks that reveal what happened to Ida (and a young Astrid) interspersed across the 40-50 minute episodes.
There’s some lovely editing to cut between the two timelines here; smooth tracking shots that seamlessly overlap fades from one scene to the next. These work beautifully as Astrid retraces her sister’s footsteps and digs up painful moments she’d rather not return to.
There’s a couple of light jump scares here too but mostly it’s dressing for the suspenseful and moody score oozing through all 6 episodes. In fact, the music in this show is easily the stand-out element, leaning into that suspenseful feel Dark had in abundance.
As mentioned before, Equinox is a real slow burn thriller and at times perhaps a little too slow. You need to have a good amount of patience with this one and it’s advisory not to binge through this.
In fact, Equinox is one of those rare shows where I actually wish Netflix had released one episode a week. You’ll undoubtedly have a number of different theories and ideas about what’s going on, which are quickly dispelled or reinforced by the next episode. Most of the joy with this show comes from trying to piece together what happened and I found myself intentionally spacing out these screeners across 2 or 3 days rather than ploughing through in one go.
Alongside the narrative work, Danica Curcic really stands out as the tortured and mentally unstable Astrid. Her portrayal of this sister struggling to move past Ida’s disappearance is given a lot of depth and complexity, working harmoniously with the aforementioned sound design to keep this one so engrossing.
Equinox isn’t perfect though and its slow pace will certainly turn some people away. You need to be prepared to have some serious patience to get to the good stuff and in a way it feels quite reminisce of those research scenes in the American remake of The Ring. If you’re invested in the story you’ll persevere but an ambiguous ending is another road block that may put some people off this.
Given the show only has 6 episodes, if you’re a fan of mysteries or mind-bending suspense, Equinox is definitely worth checking out.
Equinox drops on Netflix worldwide on the 30th December 2020!