Them: Exploitation Or High Art? The Series Can’t Decide

Them

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

My, my it has been a minute since a horror series has actually given me nightmares and bothered me psychologically outside the show. This is a very powerful show for a lot of reasons, it will scare you both in terms of supernatural horrors and very real ones as well, it will sicken you and make you angry.

In case I wasn’t clear, I think this is one of the best new horror TV series in the last few years, as not only does it have something to say, but it also fully executes its premise to a strong degree as well, it flourishes under its large undertaking.

The themes and messages don’t feel in your face or lecture like, as they are expertly woven into the wider story, though as you are watching it you are given an education on very real world evils that happened and are still happening.

I think across the board the acting is top notch, the only weak spot I could find would be the little girl who gave a few very bad performances at times, but hey I won’t labour the point about child actors not being very good.

I have seen a view reviews comparing this series to the work of Jordan Peele and basically saying something to the extent of this show steals from or rips off his work. Now, though I can see how both share similar ground I would argue that what we are witnessing rather than a copying is the formation of a new socially focused horror sub-genre that all of these works belong to. I also think this series does enough to clearly separate it from Peele’s work.

My one complaint would be that this series often crosses a line, now this is personal to me, I don’t need to see a dead dog’s corpse multiple times shot with a close up angle as well, nor is it necessary to have a prolonged rape scene and show it multiple times throughout the show as well, for these reasons I would say the show often ventures into bad taste. Furthermore, during some of the latter episodes the show seems to revel in the violence that is occurring on-screen rather than acting to condemn it. I can understand why creatively the show would cross this line, in both cases, and choose to do it the way it does, but personally I found it off putting.

Overall, an impressively strong horror series

Pros.

The acting

The scares

The social commentary

Consistency throughout

Cons.

It does fall into bad taste on a number of occasions

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