Netflix has put four teasers for their upcoming horror series, Hemlock Grove online (behind their paywall and on YouTube) and though it’s difficult to tell just where this type of series may be headed from the somewhat vague, atmospheric trailers, it does have a stylish look and promises at least some of the blood and guts that horror maven, Eli Roth, is known for… though it’s doubtful it will scrape the barrel of gory torture-imagery that he effectively mined in the early stages of his career. Rather, it appears that the series, developed by Brian McGreevy (the show is based on his novel) and Lee Shipman, seems to revolve around the kind of sexy undead social dynamics that movies like Twilight and premium cable shows like True Blood pioneered for TV audiences.
Aside from the gory murder mystery elements, the show seems to revolve around a gypsy kid, Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron) who may, or may not, be a werewolf (“the monster within” alluded to in the trailers), and his entanglements with the local law as well as the powerful Godfrey family, scions of the local steel mill (the show is set in Pittsburgh, as in the novels). Roman (Bill Skarsgård), heir to what was once the Godfrey fortune… who might also be of the shapeshifting persuasion.
As with their steller House Of Cards series, Netflix will be showing all 13 episodes of Hemlock Grove on April 19th (and thereafter) for Netflix subscribers. The series includes a fine cast with Famke Janssen, Penelope Mitchell, Dougray Scott, and the always interesting Lili Taylor in lead roles. If successful, Hemlock Grove would continue to prove Netflix has the chops to take on the cable industry and premium players such as HBO and Showtime. It will certainly prove to Wall St. that Netflix has staying power beyond its traditional DVD offerings and streaming of older content while also freeing Netflix from constant licensing negotiations and the sky high rates charged for content redistribution.