It will be three years since the premiere of ‘Marianne’ on Netflix and since then a good number of excellent horror series have appeared on the platform, such as ‘Midnight Mass’ by Mike Flanagan, but none has been as scary as this French woman, who managed to captivate and terrify viewers with eight episodes in a single season premiered on September 13 that achieved a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Directed entirely by Samuel Bodin, ‘Marianne’ maintains its episode-by-episode consistency very well despite having such a good pilot that it makes the rest seem subpar. actually have un very homogeneous level and is above many horror movies released in theaters today. The story of her in the fictional French town of Elden, and follows best-selling author Emma Larismon (Victoire Du Bois), who captures the terror of a witch in her books.
However, this character is not part of the fiction, since the writer herself has fought against Marianne since her childhood, so she travels to confront the events that terrify her and that are beyond her ability to understand, which takes her back to her dreary seaside town after finishing her book series by killing the heroine Lizzie Larck. The entity that appears to her in dreams since she was young, is revealed in several clues from her past that indicate that your witch could be more than just visions.
In the eight episodes we have time to discover little by little the miseries of the protagonist and the twisted secrets of Elden, focusing both on the mystery and on the character, played by the actress Victoire Du Bois, a very complicated young woman who is cin order to produce an unavoidable antipathybut with which we then suffer tension, fear and anger when we see their vulnerabilities and attempts at redemption.
A free buffet for lovers of the genre
The idea of an insatiable demon hungry for readers is relatively original, and is the macguffin while each episode serves as a space to develop stupendous horror scenes. Many may have been disappointed in the midway change, because the creepy expression on her first human host, Madame Daugeron (Corinne Valancogne), It is a nightmare made real image, an unforgettable and disturbing face, which leaves a mark in the depths of memory.
The series has many horror film elements of all kinds, from ‘The Exorcist III’ to ‘The Mist’ and John Carpenter’s ‘In the Mouth of Fear’, but it is full of references to the work of Stephen King, who tweeted his approval of the series.
“If you’re one of those sick people like me who enjoys being scared, ‘Marianne’ (Netflix) will do the job. There are touches of humor that give ‘Stranger Things’ a vibe. It also has (and I say this in all modesty) some of Stephen King’s work.”
If you’re one of those sickos–like me–who enjoys being scared, MARIANNE (Netflix) will do the job. There are glints of humor that give it a STRANGER THINGS vibe. It also has (I say it with all due modesty) a Stephen King vibe.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 26, 2019
Bodin, co-author of all the scripts, directs all the episodes, and for a reason they are full of personality, they are surprising, and rich in shots lasting a few frames, in which cloudy images barely last an instant, but they generate terror. He also has a tremendous ability to disturb with words and whispers, with the idea of knowing that evil is in frontbut not knowing exactly where or how he’s going to come after you.
A point and apart in the French terror of this century
Full of images, symbols and memories, ‘Marianne’ take risks, change the focus on the characters, change the villain, the allies… it is never repetitive and makes each episode feel like a movie thanks to the emphasis on its photography, which goes along with its unapologetic horror atmosphere and its good ability to balance what it shows to polish its elegant storytelling that never relinquishes the power of the sequences of the episodes. dreams. Recurring sleepless images including a hole in the ground and terrifying incarnations with googly eyes.
Bodin plays well with reality and nightmare, leaving recurrent prints that fit with a dream world related to witches that seems to come from the play ‘Dreams in the witch’s house’ of Lovecraft and sometimes ‘Lords of Salem’, although he is always playful in terms of his current horror proposal, rescuing variations and reinventions of well-known scares of James Wan brand terror, even surpassing some of his cinematographic works such as ‘Insidious 2’ or the disappointing ‘Malignant’.
Despite the fact that the story is not the most important thing, in the style of the most anarchic Italian horror cinema, there is plenty of mystery and a large amount of horror imagery, which makes ‘Marianne’ a generous, surprising, daring and unashamed series, probably thanks to its French touch, sometimes ridiculously smug, sometimes self-aware, playful and with everything we miss in the 90-minute format. ‘Marianne’ could have been a trilogy, but it works perfectly as a miniseries, without fuss to be terror without nuances nor fear of getting fully into the less domesticated fantastic.