Monsterland on SALTO: what is the horror series with Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable) worth?

Available on the Salto platform, the anthological series “Monsterland” paints an edifying portrait of contemporary America with a lot of desperate deeds and legendary creatures. But is the horror that we are promised there?

What is it about ?

In order to regain control of their destiny, individuals exhausted by life find themselves forced to commit desperate acts. Would they ultimately be closer than they thought to the monsters who come to haunt them to confront them with their greatest fears?

Anthology series based on the “North American Lake Monsters: Stories” short story collection written by Nathan Ballingrud.

Available from February 4 on Salto. 8 out of 8 episodes.

Who is it with?

Created by Mary Laws, who worked on the Preacher series and collaborated with Nicolas Winding Refn on the screenplay for The Neon Demon, Monsterland is an anthology that, like recent Twilight Zone: The Fourth Dimension or Amazing Stories: Fantastic Stories, puts in scene different characters and plots in each episode. The opportunity for series fans to meet a number of famous faces throughout this first season: Mike Colter (Luke Cage, Evil), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable), Charlie Tahan (Ozark, Gotham), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow), Ben Rappaport (For the People), Hamish Linklater (Legion), or Kelly Marie Tran (Sorry For Your Loss, Rose Tico in Star Wars).

Monsterland on salto: what is the horror series with mike colter (luke cage) and kaitlyn dever (unbelievable) worth?


Well worth a look ?

Real monsters don’t hide under the bed or in our nightmares, they are present inside all of us. From this cold-hearted truth, prevalent in cinema and horror literature for decades, showrunner Mary Laws paints a portrait of a contemporary America in distress and offers us eight episodes with a gloomy atmosphere, visually. sublime, in which follow one another lonely and desperate characters, who often terrible decisions will turn into horror. Proving once again that the human being is not necessarily born a monster, but that he becomes one over the course of events, his choices, or his actions. But those who hope to find in Monsterland something to spend evenings scary may well be disappointed because, unlike The Haunting of Hill House or Channel Zero in particular, this new horror series remains quite shy about the chills. Despite the very real monsters that intersect episode after episode the various protagonists in the four corners of the United States since each chapter has for title the name of a city, from “Port Fourchon, Louisiana” to “Newark, New Jersey”, by the way. by “Eugene, Oregon”.

Whether mermaid, zombie, angel, sadistic slayer who can literally change skin, or demonic trumpeter with razor-sharp teeth, the creatures of Monsterland are ultimately just a pretext. An extension, even a mirror, of these men and women filled with regret, fears, or a guilt that has become too great to be contained, who come from all social classes – from the waitress who struggles to make ends meet. end of the month to the businessman possessed by an unknown force. And thus echo, in a more or less subtle way, Trump’s America in all its decadence, but also in the divisions, especially social and racial, that it has deepened every day within society itself. . More grounded in reality and a notion of existential horror than most fantasy series in recent years, Monsterland has fun, from the short stories of Nathan Ballingrud – an author who cites Stephen King among his ultimate references – to scratch the surface. America today and the monsters that the climate of fear and hatred that swept through the country has inexorably created, or quite simply brought out. An interesting bias, but which does not always manage to convince as the episodes of this first season are uneven in their execution or in the power and relevance of their words.

Monsterland on salto: what is the horror series with mike colter (luke cage) and kaitlyn dever (unbelievable) worth?


Certain episodes of Monsterland indeed suffer from lengths, points of intrigue seen and reviewed, and a sub-text a little too “obvious” to really fascinate the viewer accustomed to horrific anthologies in the vein of Creepshow or Tales of the crypt. But the performances of the actors are all excellent – even in the “weakest” episodes – and fortunately some chapters of this anthology alone deserve attention to Monsterland. Like the first episode, which sees Kaitlyn Dever play a young single mother who is losing her footing and who, following her meeting with a mysterious killer played by a simply excellent Jonathan Tucker, will end up making a tragic decision that should without hardly make your blood run cold. We also remember “Iron River, Michigan”, worn by an amazing Kelly Marie Tran. “Plainfield Illinois”, which revisits the figure of the zombie in a very clever way to evoke the burden that mental illness can have on a couple and owes a lot to the shattering performances of the duo Taylor Schilling-Roberta Colindrez. And, finally, “Newark, New Jersey”, the “finale” of the season, in which the Luke Cage Mike Colter lends his features to a father who refuses to accept the disappearance of his daughter and whose existence goes. switch again when an angel with a “particular” aesthetic will burst into his life. Three episodes which push the cursor far enough away from the fantastic and do not leave you indifferent.

Ultimately, when truly successful, Monsterland works more like a heartbreaking drama, which questions us about the human condition and the sometimes very dark times we live in. And if we can regret that the horror is not really there – beyond a few well-felt tense sequences – the bewitching aesthetic of the series, its surprising monster gallery, and the very high level of interpretation are still sufficient to make it a recommended discovery. Who can look (almost) in any order since, despite its anthological side, a common thread exists through the character of Toni, played by Kaitlyn Dever, who appears in everything and for everything in three episodes. It is therefore appropriate, at least, to watch episodes 1 and 8 first and last. But, hush, we won’t say more.

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