Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of watching the horror series Hemlock Grove based on the literary work of Brian McGreevy. It is a three-season series that has the viewer wonder where the story might end and which answer might surface.
Find Hemlock Grove
What to say about this unique series? Well, when werewolves find Hemlock Grove anything can happen!
Based on the book by Brian McGreevy and executively produced by acclaimed horror master Eli Roth (Hostel,) this Netflix original series revolves around the peculiar residents—and killer creatures—of Hemlock Grove.
Hemlock Grove is a dilapidated former steel town in Pennsylvania. The city is composed of people living in poverty and those who are incredibly wealthy—and everyone has a secret.
As sinister mysteries unfold, a seamier side of the town is exposed, placing suspicion on many and revealing that nothing is what it seems. — GOOGLE
Hemlock Grove is a fictional town in Pennsylvania where we meet a wealthy family with many secrets. The overall view of the city is quite standard and has nothing special until you see an old abandoned factory near the edge of town and a lake.
The wealthy family, Godfrey, is the wealthiest for many reasons, including biotechnology and genetic engineering. Their medical advancements are one of the most impressive around the globe. However, we know right off the bat that something is off about this family.
On the other side of town where mobile homes are, and one in particular near a bridge seems empty, we meet the Rumancek. A mother, Lynda and her son, Peter, move in their dead family member’s mobile home to start their life anew. Bohemian by blood from Hungary, used to travel and never stay long in one place, the Rumancek become the talk of the town.
Upon their arrival, a first murder occurs of the darkest and brutal kind. Some believe a big wolf is to blame, while others suspect a werewolf is at work. A young girl, showing attraction to Peter Rumancek, follows him back to his house and asks if he is a werewolf.
Intrigued, Peter humor her after she mentions being an author and investigating. He entertains her thoughts by acknowledging being a werewolf after she points out that his index and major fingers were the same length.
Curious when werewolves find Hemlock Grove…
The series mainly revolves around the friendship of Roman Godfrey and Peter Rumancek, continually facing obstacles. The dark nature of both creatures, Roman, a vampire of a wealthy family, and Peter a werewolf from Bohemian descent, continually force them to doubt one another.
However, both work quite hard to build their friendship as neither of them ever had a friend before they walked in each other’s lives.
Roman is a young adult, rich but also quite smart, smoking, drinking, and having sex with prostitutes—played by Bill Skarsgard had me wonder why he’d have to even pay someone for that, but moving along!
We find out that Roman resents his mother for how she treats her daughter, a seven feet tall tween with glowing skin upon touch, with a deformed face on the left side hidden by her dark brown hair.
When it comes to Peter, he shows much love for his mother and witch cousin, Destiny. His character is the entire opposite of Roman, but shares smoking and keeping to himself.
However, because Roman shows a somewhat curiosity toward Peter and his kindness toward his sibling, he asks Peter to show his werewolf self.
We now enter the part of the show where the friendship has test after tests. It all began when werewolves find Hemlock Grove.
In Hemlock Grove
The Godfrey is a wealthy family. However, Roman’s father is out of the picture after he killed himself, leaving behind a letter to his brother to stay away from his wife, Olivia.
Norman is a psychiatrist and uncle to Roman and Shelley, but also Olivia’s lovers for decades. Norman’s character plays a significant part in the series as a way to advance the story and make us understand Shelley, who cannot speak or express herself in ordinary manners.
Olivia often goes to Pryce for every need and demands she has as eccentric as they can be. However, Pryce also shows to be fond of Shelley and treats her like his daughter. He loves her so much that his life work is a tribute to his affection for the kind person that she is.
While I enjoyed the originality of the storyline, often I would find myself questioning myself, “What the heck am I watching?” Yet I kept going! It’s a series that has this one element that pulls you in and wants you to unlock the entire mysteries hidden in Hemlock Grove.
The choice of using Bohemians is quite different. I loved it. It has us see them in many different lights and life choices. We witness the best they offer to communities and the worst they can be.
We see some of their beliefs and how strongly they look over one another. I must admit, though, they are not under bright and kind light. However, Peter and Destiny redeem their reputation thousand of times over.
The choice to call the vampires, upirs, was annoying to me, although I understand the idea behind it. What I enjoyed the most was Roman turning into his full vampire-self and witnessing his full power.
The psychological journey Roman go through is heavy and dark, he needs Peter as his conscience, and it reflects so well in every decision he makes. Vampires are under an entirely new light in this show. It is not a typical view of vampires!
Meet Hemlock Grove
The series is quite intriguing and pulls you in not easy but through your curiosity. Forget about True Blood, Buffy, Vampire Diaries, and any other vampire and werewolf show. This is unique and a horror psychological drama. It is also graphic.
The darkness the characters fall into is vivid. The viewer finds itself wishing for Roman and Peter to find a way out of Hemlock Grove. There is no way out. It only gets worst as the story goes for all the characters involved from close or afar to the Godfrey company.
The small details that annoyed me besides using “upir” for vampires were the lack of clarity as to how the vampires got the infection. Not knowing for sure what their abilities make it hard to understand what could be their weaknesses.
The cool things I enjoyed: the transformations, either it were Peter or Roman. Their changes were epic! Finally, someone did a werewolf, right! It had an impression on me. I enjoyed it.
When In Hemlock Grove
If I could ask the author a few questions, those would be my top two: Was the character’s name Shelley because of Frankenstein’s Monster’s author, Mary Shelley?
I would also ask if the name of the werewolf was Peter due to Peter Stumpp, the actual historical werewolf of history?
The series is worth a watch if only for the quality of acting that is quite impressive. The darkness of the storyline is just enough to keep you going and wanting more.
The end is the end. When it comes, the viewer understands there was no other way to do it. It was a perfect ending for an ideal paranormal drama. All made possible when werewolves find Hemlock Grove.
A solid 8.2/10 from me!