A smart, sexy reinvention of classic genre characters for a new age brought to life through transportive old-world touches in 1890’s London setting & methodological performances, P.D.’s a horror binge junkies will guzzle down like Dracula. 8.7/10.
Plot Synopsis: Many people are familiar with classic literary characters like Dr. Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. “Penny Dreadful” brings those and other characters into a new light by exploring their origin stories in this psychological thriller that takes place in the dark corners of Victorian London. Sir Malcolm is an explorer who has lost his daughter to the city’s creatures, and he will do whatever is needed to get her back and to right past wrongs. His accomplice, seductive clairvoyant Vanessa Ives, recruits charming American Ethan Chandler to help locate Sir Malcolm’s daughter and slay some monsters. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) is one of the series’ executive producers.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Positives: WILD opening scene abduction instantly drawing the viewer into the horror and transportive fervor, stunning symbolism-rife opening credits alone examining some of the predatory design/attitude parallels vampires share with animalistic brethren, unbelievable performances – this is top-tier acting pedigree and some of the most sensational, method acting-steeped line delivery I’ve ever seen in the genre infusing bloodsucker schtick with illustrious Shakespearean elegance – led by Eva Green’s methodological prowess in a career-defining turn well-supported by her underlings and extremely-complex rolling script of mysterious intrigue and weighty themes echoing its classic literary bases like mortality, suffering, the after-life, etc. good vampiric VFX and overall-stylism, ultra-dark tone, the sheer levity of nostalgia and such iconic classic characters like Frankenstein and Dracula revamped will smack a goofy grin on any genre junkie’s face
Negatives: Pretty unimpressive fight choreography & action sequences – bizarrely feel a bit amateurish and lose the thrill of the world-building and dark-toned realism also hindered by some clashing humor in parts
Official CLC Score: 8.7/10