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La Révolution Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Marilou Aussilloux, Coline Beal, Amir El Kacem
The French Revolution has been explored on screens both big and small over the last century and change. From variations on the story of Marie Antoinette and romances set against the backdrop of the revolution to war epics and dramas, many areas of this period have been covered. But what if it it was done through the lens of horror? That’s exactly what is imagined by La Révolution, a series now streaming on Netflix.
Opening Shot: A glum, snowy landscape. A ransacked carriage sits empty, bodies strewn around it. Behind it, a smoking palace.
The Gist: France, 1789. We begin in a snowy, war-torn town where a man runs for his life from a masked rider on the back of a blood-soaked horse. He does his best to defend himself, but he’s hit by bullets and drops to the ground. The rider dismounts and approaches, finishing the job, and finally beheading the man. They pull down the mask and we meet our killer – a young girl named Madeleine. Years earlier, Madeleine explains what began this hell and how the dead started to come back to life.
The inciting incident for this twisted turn of events seems to be the murder of a 16-year-old girl named Rebecca, who finds herself fighting for her life below ground as a mysterious figure stalks her in the darkness. Just as she reaches for a locked door, she’s yanked out of sight, later deemed devoured by a deranged cannibal. While peasants and villagers begin to whisper below, the Montargis family continue to live large above it all. Countess Élise seems withdrawn from this life of luxury, choosing to keep her distance from the partying, and is pulled away one evening when her younger sister Madeleine has a violent fit. She later recounts her dream (she saw Rebecca’s murder) to a doctor, who suggests she needs to be institutionalized – an idea their gruff Uncle Charles seems to agree with.
Meanwhile, a doctor named Joseph spends his days doing research and working with prisoners, and is fascinated when he encounters the man convicted of murdering Rebecca. Things are not as they seem, and it soon becomes clear that there’s a lot more to the story than the police would like them to know. The dead may not really be gone, and more than one killer is on the loose. Things are only just beginning.
Our Take: It’s been a minute since a period drama or alt-history series did things with a scary twist, and La Révolution will make you wonder why it took so long. This era and horror seem like a match made in heaven, a sort of spooky gothic soap that combines mystery, romance, politics, and scares and creates something extremely entertaining in the process. It scratches exactly the sinister escapist itch I’ve been craving, something that requires some attention but not too much thought. Like on any good period series, the cast is very hot (even the grimiest members), the settings perfectly dreary and eerie, the potential for frights and steamy nights endless.
There may be some folks bothered by the self-congratulatory nature of the show’s social positions, but if you’re watching La Révolution in the hopes of experiencing some profound political commentary, you should probably look elsewhere. Find a nice docuseries or dedicated period drama, not a bloody alt-history romp that involves young girls beheading men in the snow. It may trivialize certain aspects of a very serious part of history, sure, but pretty much every era has received that treatment at this point. The French Revolution is strangely a perfect match for a horror twist, and that’s all La Révolution really is trying to be: a twisty, terrifying take on an oft-explored historical period. Why waste time trying to force a show to be something it isn’t?
La Révolution certainly kicks things off by juggling a lot of stories simultaneously, but it doesn’t ever feel overwhelming. The creepy cannibal theories combined with police coverup, royal involvement, forbidden love, brewing political unrest, and a doctor who seems to be catching onto everything before anyone else does all make for a compelling pilot. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes us, even if it involves me watching some of the more gruesome scenes through my fingers.
Sleeper Star: We don’t see too much of him during this episode, but Laurent Lucas (who you might recognize from Raw, Julie Ducournau’s cannibal flick) fills the shoes of villainous uncle Charles de Montargis so well already. There’s something unsettling and mysterious about him – it appears he might have quite the role to play in this series, perhaps even darker than we might anticipate from the pilot alone.
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