DVD REVIEW: HEMLOCK GROVE SEASON TWO / DIRECTOR: VARIOUS / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: FAMKE JANSSEN, BILL SKARSGÅRD, LANDON LIBOIRON / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 20TH
When Hemlock Grove made its debut on Netflix in 2013, it certainly raised the bar for on-demand cult series, with its story of horror, the supernatural, and the downright weird, leaving us with many unanswered questions that series two attempts to put to rest in truly horrific style.
Based on Brian McGreevy's horror novel of the same name, Hemlock Grove certainly made its mark on Netflix, in part thanks to executive producer Eli Roth, with a plot that drew in classic horror with a thoroughly modern twist. With werewolves, psychic manipulation, and one of the most eyebrow-raising teen pregnancies that you've ever seen, playing a major part in the first series, you almost wonder how on earth they're going to top that with this second season.
Picking up from where we left off in the blood-soaked finale of the first season, the second sees the cast continue to struggle with not just their ever-growing list of enemies, but their own personal demons too, as we see Peter (Liboiron) and Roman (Skarsgård) come to terms with the monsters that they have become, and with Famke Janssen returning as Roman's bloodthirsty mother, Olivia Godfrey, it's certainly one hell of a horrific return.
It is however, a bit of a slow start to begin with, as we see Roman struggling to deal with not just his new-found Upir roots, but the unexpected return of his mother also, following 'that' bloody season finale, alongside Peters much unwanted return to Hemlock Grove, as the series slowly builds up to its gory conclusion. Compared to the horrific plot of the first series, it's much more about the characters struggle to deal with their (literal) inner monsters, more than the hidden mysteries of the town and a wash of blood and gore, although viewers that loved the horror of the first season won't be disappointed, as there's plenty of bloodshed throughout.
Whilst at times Hemlock Grove has it's cringe worthy moments alongside all the weird and the wonderful, making it so bad that it's good, there are plenty of redeeming moments in Season 2, in part thanks to the return of Peter’s cousin, Destiny as a major character this series, taking on some tense moments between the two characters.
It's certainly a much more welcome and matured series to the first, one that we can only hope they continue in Season 3. But for those fond of the series darker roots, there's still plenty of gore and ‘WTAF’ moments throughout, that made the first series so hypnotic. With a season finale that will leave you scratching your head even more than before, and wondering just how on earth they're going to start off its third and final season later this year when it returns to Netflix.