Television’s supernatural renaissance is in masterful hands with France’s Beyond The Walls.
By
Jeremy Cassar

28 Oct 2016 - 9:42 AM  UPDATED 14 Mar 2018 - 3:04 PM

Thanks to, in part, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and the French franchise Les Revenants (The Returned), fans of darker genres are in collective ecstasy over television’s recent love-affair with all-things spooky.

Horror, and particularly intelligent supernatural horror, is proving the next great trend in global television production, and we don’t hear many people complaining. 

Not that it needs further fanfare, as this is one show that grabs you from the opening titles, but here are a few of the many reasons it should move near the top of your to-watch list.

The sexy opening titles

Yes, that perhaps sounds like something a network executive would say in an effort to take focus off a shitty product, but in this case the opening credits, made memorable by a crooning female vocal, distract you from whatever you’re doing and instantly lull you into the perfect mood to watch an unpredictable horror.

The winning set-up

Married Lucy moves into a new apartment alone, for yet-to-be-known reasons.  On that same first night, a man who’s been dead for thirty years is discovered upright in an armchair in the huge decrepit house directly across the road.

Here’s the creepy part: Lucy is called in to the long-dead man’s will reading, where she discovers she is the sole inheritor of his estate — his house.

Creepier still, and the man had devised the will thirty years before, stipulating that police should enter the house on the exact date Lucy moved in.

Shudder.

Lucy, our protagonist

Like their cuisine, the French sure know how to tease us by divvying out teensy bits of meat at a time.  But also like the cuisine, those teensy bits are rich and satisfying.

We meet Lucy while she’s trying to give the impression that she’s moved into the apartment with her husband —complete with the fact that she still wears her ring.

Hang on, does she also have a kid somewhere? If so, where is it, and her husband? What the shape-shifting house is going on?

Forget humans, there’s a shape-shifting house!

If you’re one of those viewers who checked out the animated Monster House but felt it was too cartoonish, you’re in luck.

Lucy quickly discovers that the dead man’s abode is less a stack of wood and steel and brick and more, well, alive. Before you get jealous at the fact that your house doesn’t move of its own will, know that Lucy’s fascination with the place might not lead to the most serene of circumstances.

Visit a parallel universe without ever leaving your home

Although you could consider this a spoiler, it’s definitely not, as the creators have included the house’s portal into another universe in the show’s logline. I don’t want to give too much away, but just know that this parallel universe is far more interesting —and exponentially more unsettling— than the one in which Lucy spends most of her time.

It continues France’s televisual boom

Like the aforementioned Les Revenants, France is coming out of left-of-field and blowing away the competition. Throw in the delicious Versailles, the mind-blowing Trepalium, and the rebellious Kaboul Kitchen, and it’s hard not to lay the red carpet down for France’s bourgeoning industry.

Like we’ve already mentioned but it’s worth mentioning again, with the French, the golden age of television is in good hands.

Enter spook territory with Beyond The Walls streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

 

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