Your Dreams – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Tradition – | Review Score – 4/5
Not an Easy Person – | Review Score – 4/5
Beautiful Moment – | Review Score – 4/5
You Left Her – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Memories – | Review Score – 4/5
Too Young to Handle It – | Review Score – 4/5
Tuesday – | Review Score – 4.5/5
If you’re going to release a decent horror series, make sure you do it right; release it on Friday the 13th. In the case of Netflix’s deliciously dark French horror series, Marianne does just that. With decent pacing, some nicely worked scares and an unsettling atmosphere, Marianne takes the best elements from a number of different horrors and blends them together to deliver a frightfully good horror series. With elements of Haunting Of Hill House, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and Stephen King, Marianne is a deliciously dark cocktail of horror that continues to impress right through to its finale.
Creepy, disturbing and packed full of gore, Marianne wastes no time getting right to the horror and from the opening scene, this series really pulls out all the stops to deliver an exhilarating and unpredictable thrill ride. There’s some nicely worked jump scares here too and of course, all the usual tropes you’d expect from this genre show up but they’re introduced in such a way that you really won’t mind, given how effective the atmosphere is at bringing you into this frightful world.
The story revolves around famous author Emma Larismon, who finishes writing the last novel in her horror series which is popular the world over. Haunted by tragic events in her past, Emma heads back to her home town only to find out that some of the events from her stories are starting to come true. As she dives deeper into the truth behind this, Inspector Ronan starts to piece together the dots too, leading to a climactic showdown with the evil spirit Marianne.
Oftentimes horrors suffer from inconsistent pacing and getting that balance right is incredibly tricky. Too quick and you lose the subtle atmosphere and world building while a series that’s too slow begins to feel stagnant and mundane. Thankfully Marianne manages to traverse this tightrope well and never stumbles in its 8 episodes that feels perfectly paced, peppered in with numerous jump scares and gory scenes to keep things feeling dark and sinister at every turn.
The creepy old lady is incredibly unnerving too and as we explore more of her past, the horror is fleshed out nicely to include more answers over just what her true intentions are, and what happened back in Emma’s hometown all those years ago. It’s worth noting that there’s some pretty unsettling imagery here too and one in particular that shows the Inspector reading an old book while pictures move behind him, really does well to emphasize the horror on offer here.
Aesthetically, Marianne has some really nicely implemented edits and cuts that help give this series a distinct visual flavour. Each episode begins with a famous quote from an author and throughout the series, a changing scene is accompanied by pages turning while flashbacks are handled by pages turning backward. It’s subtle, no more than a second at most, but it’s unique enough to tie into the entire premise of the show without feeling like a cheap gimmick.
Marianne may not be the next Haunting Of Hill House, but it does have a good crack at reaching those illustrious heights. The show has a good pacing as well as some surprisingly effective scares peppered in its 8 episodes. The characters are generally empathetic and the old lady incredibly unnerving. If you fancy yourself a scare and are itching for a decent horror series to dive into, Marianne is well worth the plunge and does well to maintain its appeal right through to its climactic end.