Monsterland

[4 stars]

Hulu’s new anthology series returns horror to its roots. Sure it’s full of shocks and disturbing images, but the stories are about people. The horrors we encounter in the series are all reflections of, or serve to highlight the monsters in us.

Because it’s an anthology, I’m not going to enumerate any of the specific tales. However, I will say that they consistently surprised me, taking plots in unexpected ways and they were willing to look into the deepest, darkest crevices of the human psyche without apology. This makes the episodes as intriguing as they are disturbing to watch. And unlike Black Mirror, you’re forced to confront the revelations within context of our real world.

Helping along the success are a host of solid acting and creative directing. The show took chances with unknown and lesser-known actors as well as approaching the story-telling in unexpected ways. The series is also very cinematic, feeling like a series of hour-long movies rather than a bunch of loosely related episodes.

Monsterland may sound like a timing mismatch (like Brave New World or Utopia were) but because it is horror, it had just enough mental distance to keep me watching. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something with a unique and new voice, not just in the genre, but in television.

Monsterland Poster

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