Netflixs Marianne Is More Hereditary Than Haunting Of Hill House, And Deeply Disturbing – Forbes

Posted: October 5, 2019 at 9:44 am

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I am usually fairly skeptical of Netflixs percentile match recommendation engine which frequently gets things wrong, but as soon as I saw Marianne as the lead of my personal homepage, I knew I was going to watch it. A follow-up tweet from Stephen King endorsing it only cemented my decision.

The Haunting of Hill House is one of my favorite Netflix originals ever, and if Marianne could match even a portion of its drama and dread, that would be worth my while. Instead, Marianne is far more creepy and unsettling than Hill House ever was, and while I wouldnt call it better, it is definitely a must-see for any horror fan, and something that brings to mind other horror features like Hereditary and It Follows than the This is Us with Ghosts vibe of Haunting of Hill House.

This is a French show, so that means subtitles on, and it follows the story of a young, famous horror author named Emma who turned her childhood nightmares into a best-selling book series. When shes called back home by disturbing events, we quickly realize that her titular villain, the long-dead witch Marianne, is not in fact a nightmare, but very real, and allegedly possessing the mother of her childhood friend. Marianne sends her care packages of skin and hair and teeth and its clear something has to be done.

Theres also a bit of an It vibe here, given that its one specific evil haunting a small town (Marianne, not Pennywise in this instance) and a group of friends the monster goes after using many of their greatest fears. But ultimately its on Emma to figure out what Marianne wants and how to get rid of her, but doing so does not come without its fair share of casualties among her family and friends.


Some of the horror imagery here, deeply disturbing scenes where Marianne inflicts harm on those shes possessing or on others, is easily as memorable as anything seen in Hereditary, which sort of heralded this new era of ultra-messed up, yet artistic shock horror that was continued most recently in Midsommar. Hill House, for all its scares, was far from bloody or gross, but here, Marianne is both unsettling and sporadically gory in a way that will sear itself into your brain for quite a while to come.

If theres a downside to Marianne, is that I think it gets less effective as time goes on. The show loses something of value when Marianne eventually leaves its central host of Emmas friends mother and moves on to other targets, given that Mireille Herbstmeyers performance as the puppet of Marianne is easily the most memorable thing about the series. Once thats gone, Marianne becomes a bit less menacing, even if she has new bodies to snatch. None really create the same unease and terror as Herbstmeyer.

I very much enjoyed Victoire Du Bois as Emma, and her relationship with her assistant, Camile, but thats yet another aspect of the plot that sort of fades away as the final episodes near. Quite simply, the end isnt as good as the beginning, though theres enough of a cliffhanger here for another season, if thats whats in the cards.

Despite its issues near the end, I would recommend Marianne to any horror fan, and I dont want to get too much deeper into it, lest I ruin some of its best aspects. I am really loving the idea of longer form horror series (that arent made by Ryan Murphy) that were seeing these days, taking the vibes of my favorite horror films and translating them effectively to longer tail stories. Give both this and Hill House a look if you havent yet.

Follow meon Twitter,FacebookandInstagram.Read my new sci-fi thriller novelHerokiller, available now in print and online. I also wroteThe Earthborn Trilogy.

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Netflixs Marianne Is More Hereditary Than Haunting Of Hill House, And Deeply Disturbing - Forbes

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October 5th, 2019 at 9:44 am