Home Sweet Home
Released on Friday the 13th, Netflix’s new horror series Marianne is the perfect show to binge and is chock full of creepy and scary moments. The first series doesn’t waste any time getting to the action, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come in this one.
Episode 1 begins with Caroline woken up by her mum who is creepily extracting her tooth with a knife and telling her it’s for Emma.
We then cut to Emma herself reading an extract of her last horror novel to an audience. People aren’t happy with the ending, but she explains she wants to leave the story of Lizzie open. She later goes on to do a book signing and it’s here that she notices Caroline, a girl Emma knew from 15 years ago. Caroline tells her that her mum believes she’s Marianne and has asked to see Emma. The author shrugs it off though, replying that Marianne is a fictional character in her book.
Caroline persists, telling her she believes her mum has done bad things to her dad. Before she can get a chance to continue, Caroline gives her a skin pouch containing a tooth and also shows her her chest which has multiple strange scars on. She begs her to come back home to Elden because she’s scared for her life.
Emma later has drinks with her assistant where she explains that she used to have nightmares about Marianne as a kid but since writing her novels they’ve stopped. After falling asleep back at her house, she has a nightmare about the witch for the first time in years.
The next morning, Emma heads to work and finds a distressed Caroline there. She tells her that she needs to carry on writing and that Marianne will go after her parents next. Unable to cope any longer, she hangs herself from the staircase. After this incident, Emma decides to go back to Elden to check on her estranged parents, with the help of her assistant Camille. Before visiting her parents, both girls decide to go and see Caroline’s mother.
Mrs Daugeron invites them inside and mentions that both herself and her daughter are big fans of Emma’s books. She starts acting very strange, calling herself Marianne and telling her to keep writing as the more people read her stories, the better she feels. After watching her wet herself and acting even more creepy, the girls scramble out of the house, followed by a screaming Marianne. She tells Emma to write or she will visit her parents next and that she never leaves empty-handed – a common phrase used by Marianne in the novels.
Emma and Camille rush to her parent’s house to find the same skin pouch on the door handle. After a rather awkward moment where Emma stumbles upon her parents having sex, they decide to stay for dinner. She mentions she met the priest and he wasn’t happy to see her, to which her father exclaims that she shouldn’t be surprised with what she did in the past.
During the night, Camille wakes up to use the bathroom when someone tries to get in. As she heads back to bed, she sees Emma’s mum, naked and vomiting on the floor. Suddenly Emma’s dad arrives, with similar scars as Caroline, and slaps Camille, telling her “this is not us”. The burglar alarm then starts to ring, waking up Emma. She rushes downstairs but only to find her parents naked and smiling, heading out into the darkness of the night. As she runs after them in the woods, her dad suddenly appears and shouts for her to write, causing her to faint and hit her head on the floor.
Marianne delivers a very strong first episode, one that sets the scene perfectly with plenty of tension, creepy moments and disturbing scenes. Caroline’s mother, calling herself Marianne, definitely steals the show here and her maniacal conversations made me feel very uncomfortable while watching.
The editing is done quite well too, with multiple long takes and aerial shots. The most original element here is the page turning whenever the series changes scene or setting, with flashbacks also showing the pages being flipped backwards which is a nice touch. There have been many horror series on Netflix and I haven’t felt this uneasy since The Haunting On Hill House. Marianne gets off to a promising start here, promising plenty of scares to come after a strong opener.