Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Positively Terrifying: Marianne

Long-time readers of this blog know I'm a Francophile, but that has nothing to do with why I love Marianne so much.

Marianne Poster
First and foremost is Marianne herself. The imagery used to depict her is sometimes constant but also in flux, and it leaves you in a perpetual state of destabilization, which is exactly the mood you need to be in for horror to be effective. And each of the iterations of Marianne - the blinded one, the crazy spooky face, the face in the shadows, and the supremely perfect Madame Daugeron are all creepy in the best possible way. The kind that makes you want to look away, because you might actually be scared for real. I never second-guess myself when I'm in the shower unless my mind turns to The Woman in Black, but now Marianne resides there too. That lingering sense of her hauntedness is a testament to how well this show is executed.

Part of the success of Marianne on screen rests on the judicious use of her. In the first episodes, I was especially captivated by the split scenes that inserted her as her name was mentioned - it was like a subliminal message, in that you couldn't truly see her unless you stopped the frame, but it occurred just long enough for you to know that something else had appeared. Again, the effect that the show and its superlative editing have on people brave enough to watch in the dark is a triumph in a time of cheap scares.

Everything about this show is well thought-out and well-plotted, feeling intimately tied to France's history with witchcraft but also feeling fresh at the same time, digging deeper to bring new imagery and framing to the fore.

Mireille Herbstmeyer in Marianne (2019)
Come on. How is she not scary? 
I sincerely hope there's more to come from this creative team. This story is finished at the end of the first season, but it makes me excited to think of what else may be in store. I'll just have to buy dry shampoo-it's fine.

K. Rating: 5/5

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