From review: Gory horror from the people who brought you Lost is clever but lacks any thrills
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 26
Watching people trying to survive isn’t as gripping as you’d think (Picture: Chris Reardon/Epix)

From is an effective, spooky horror series that specialises in an impending sense of dread – both in terms of the story itself, and the fact that the show feels destined to go off the rails at any given moment.

This is because the premise is destined to be dragged out until it is taken kicking and screaming to cancellation – it’s from some of the executives behind Lost who, well, have form for this kind of thing.

Is it fair to judge a TV show on the sins of the father? Perhaps not – but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The set-up is clever, if familiar. We find ourselves in a sleepy American town where the local sheriff Boyd Stevens (Harold Perrineau) is walking down the street ringing a bell to tell everyone to get inside for the evening. Strange, huh?

Well turns out they have a good reason because once night falls some monstrous creatures emerge from the woods looking to munch on the local residents.

This is not ideal, obviously, but unfortunately for the townspeople once you’ve entered this unnamed town, you cannot leave. A bit like Hotel California, then, but with more chomping.

There’s something lurking in the woods (Picture: Chris Reardon/Epix)

There are some decent performances littered amongst the corpses. Perrineau is convincing as a sheriff clearly worn down from trying to protect the town as his own personal life has gone to pot.

A new family rolls into town and their adjustment to the purgatory they find themselves in drives much of the plot in the opening episodes.

And the idea of splitting the town into two camps – one who take an almost religious-servitude to the rules of survival and those who indulge all their vices because they know the end is near – is an interesting wedge to drive through future issues.

Although, ominously, that is also a little bit like Lost…

It’s gory stuff. The monsters themselves can be staved off with a strange talisman and by locking the doors and windows. That may sound simple enough – but the monsters can take the form of your nearest and dearest, dripping sweet poison into their victim’s ear until they relent and let them in.

They walk – never run – and have a disturbing smile that turns into teeth and claws before leaving the body a slashed-up mess.

The problem with From is its weird inertia – even as it picks up in the first two episodes, no-one seems keen on changing their situation (and there’s precious little explaining).

Survival is simply the order of the day, and while that’s fine, it doesn’t lend itself to hugely exciting television.

Worse still, the early clues that something more is going on are somewhat on the generic side. There’s the weirdo who is hearing voices and working against the other residents. The creepy child who sees more than he is letting on. Weird runes that scream, ‘oh no, it’s going to be some form of cult, isn’t it?’ in bold letters.

There’s enough here to recommend making the journey, then, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you want to go home early.

From is available to stream on NOW.