Horror and sci-fi is going through a revolution over at Netflix. The streaming platform has essentially heralded the post-modern phase of these two genres, bringing in human values, emotions into a genre that was all about high concepts and cool moments, just a decade ago. Their latest offering, The Innocents, is an endeavour to create a more human story in a much-loved premise – a common person with supernatural powers being hunted across the world.
A young girl, June, isn’t happy with the life she’s living. She has a boyfriend, Harry, but her step father has plans to take her away from civilization the moment she turns 16. June and Harry decide t turn the tables on the step father by eloping that night. However, their lives, and others’, take a terrific twist when June is revealed to have a supernatural gift – something that makes her valuable and very dangerous.
It’s difficult to make a straight up sci-fi in 2018. Audiences have been there, done that and seen whatever a new series promise to – so content creators must go that step ahead and experiment. When that experiment works, we have series like The Innocents.
The Innocents can be described differently. For the YA crowd, it’s a love story with supernatural elements. For the sci-fi fan, it’s a brand-new sci-fi franchise with romance put in. For the typical horror fan, it’s a sweet revival of the mad scientist trope.
What’s Wow: Creators Hania Elkington and Simon Duric create a potent concoction of love, bonding and some conventional sci-fi that has its roots in folklore – just the right kind of sci-fi. They succeed in creating an emotional tale that’s portrayed brilliantly by the cast.
Sorcha Groundsell as the main protagonist and one of the titular characters, June McDaniel gives a riveting performance. She is set to be the heart of the franchise (the end already hints at a second season) and she has the poise and heart to take this franchise ahead.
Percelle Ascott has got a role of a lifetime and dives deep into creating Harry, a young man who thought he was ready to become a man -but after the events unfolding, his determination is increasing.
The two characters have a warm, poignant chemistry that’s reminiscent of so many teen love stories we’ve seen -but the real zinger is the supernatural element – so near, yet to far, for both.
The other main arc of the series, the island where a doctor is treating other people who share June’s superpower (!), is different from any other mad scientist arc we have seen. Elkington and Duric have succeeded in giving a human angle to it all, which always keeps it grounded.
At the end of it all, The Innocents has enough material to make at least three spinoffs and several sequels. With the series having a great sci-fi premise and an equally potent human touch, this one is a series to follow closely.
What’s Blah: Nothing.
Parting Shot: A good sci-fi addition to the Netflix inventory.
Cast and Crew:
Cast: Sorcha Groundsell, Percelle Ascott, Guy Pearce,
Creators: Hania Elkington, Simon Duric
The Innocents is now streaming on Netflix