Hemlock Grove Review, Episode 3: “The Order of the Dragon”

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Like many slasher films, the third episode of Hemlock Grove, “The Order of the Dragon”, features a girl making out with another girl. And like many relationships in my life, the girl that she is making out with is dead. What separates this from most slasher films is how it was shown: without any sexuality. Modern day slasher films, which often incorporate torture porn elements, attempt to make viewers aroused by death mixed with erotica. After all, slasher films are meant to excite and terrify. Unfortunately, neither happened here. What happened instead was a girl, the at-first-cute-now-annoying ‘novelist’ Alyssa Sworn (Emilia McCarthy), thinks her friends are tricking her with a dead body, so she kisses it. Turns out she was right. The body was dead, and that’s it. I still can’t figure out why this happened, but it was a nice change from the usual business.

What I have said in the past two reviews is that the plot is lacking/non-existent. What happens in this episode is that it changes ever so slightly. A glimmer of plot begins to emerge. Some things have been revealed (yes, Peter IS a werewolf), and some more interesting mysteries have been created. Things are looking up from the previous episode, which was quite le turd.

There are still issues with this show, but it is possible for them to improve. The more weirdness, the better, and it seems like they are trying to add more and more, which is good. The editing is still poorly done, like in the previous episode, but it seems like it is not as bad. The acting is still pretty good. The writing is better, lines seemingly more and more natural.

The show is best at creating a unique atmosphere of ‘hey, all these creatures? Yeah, those exist,’ and making it seem real. This episode did not loosen up on that, but the plot did not suffer from it. In fact, it got much better. More magic was done, and things happened. Parts are quite tense, in fact.

Also, I feel the need to mention a gratuitous scene that’s been sticking with me. Roman, the rich kid I mentioned in an earlier review, sees a girl in his class and decides ‘Oh, girl! Time to eat her out!’ Not too weird for a teenaged guy, right? Well, what made him decide to commence the cunnilingus? He noticed her tampon, indicating that it was her time of the month. Let’s just say there… was blood.

Lots of it.

Hopefully the glimmer of improvement I’m beginning to notice will pick up and everything will begin to make sense.

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