First Kill: review of the Netflix fantasy series

On Netflix from June 10, 2022 the vampire teen-drama series based on the story of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Victoria “VE” Schwab. When Shakespeare does a frontal with Twilight.

When you think that the big and small screen’s interest in vampires has faded, with a consequent shift of attention to other evil or supernatural creatures, a film or a series always comes like a bolt from the blue to disprove that sensation. Evidently the quintessential bloodsucker, son of folklore, popular legends and great horror literature, he is by his very nature destined for eternity. If anything, it can momentarily disappear from the radar of audiovisual production for a limited period of time, but certainly not to go out of fashion or even worse to become extinct. Judging by the number of imminent and future film and serial projects, the “vampire” fever that struck an entire generation of girls and boys between 2008 and 2016 with the acclaimed saga of Twilight it’s back to being contagious. She seems to have figured it out first Netflixwhich with the release the June 10, 2022 from First Kill has added a new title to its catalog of romantic vampire-themed TV series.

First Kill tells a troubled love story between a vampire and a monster hunter

Based on the New York Times bestselling author’s short story of the same name Victoria “VE” Schwabpublished in 2020 within the anthology Vampires Never Get Old: Tales With Fresh Bitethe show created, written and produced by Felicia D. Hendersonwho is also showrunner, consists of eight episodes of variable duration (from approximately 42 to 60 minutes) in which the team of directors formed by Jet Wilkinson, Amanda Tapping, Erik La Salle And John T. Kretchmer brings us to the retinue of Juliette, the youngest of a powerful dynasty of vampires, and Calliope, a girl who has just arrived in the city, who will turn out to be nothing less than a young vampire hunter. Both are assigned to kill the other, to commit their first murder, but the two will fall in love, turning against their respective families.

A clever mix of plots, dynamics and variations on the vampire theme already passed on the big and small screen

First Kill cinematographe.it

Judging from the synopsis, it is easy to guess what the ingredients that make up the recipe of this vampire teen-drama series might be, starting with the love story contrasted by the Shakespearean aftertaste on and around which the narrative and dramaturgical architecture takes shape supports it all. The one conceived by the American writer for her book and transposed by Henderson is nothing more than a rather clever mix of plots, dynamics and variations on the theme that have already passed through the screen previously, thrown and mixed in the pot to obtain a minestrone of things already seen and feel like serving an audience for the occasion young adult. What you meet in First Kill it’s a story Twilightwith a mood in full style the Vampire Diaries and derivatives (The Originals And Legacies), a pinch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a generous dose of Romeo and Juliet which sees instead of the rival families of the Capulets and the Montagues, one of vampires and one of monster hunters. To pay the price of a forbidden and no longer clandestine love, this time it will be up to two high school students played by Imani Lewis (Calliope “Cal” Burns) e Sarah Catherine Hook (Juliette Fairmont), two young actresses grappling with their first roles on the small screen.

First Kill is a fantasy-flavoured teen-drama with multiracial and LGBTQ+ themes

First Kill cinematographe.it

And here comes the other package of elements that animates the project, with an LGBTQ+ touch to make it more catchy the story to the multiracial character to further support the path of open mind and awareness of the youngest, entrusting one of the two main characters, that of Calliope, to an African-American actress. The purpose of the broadcaster and the authors with these moves is probably to raise the level and depth of the arguments put in place, projecting the figures who populate the series into the new millennium compared to their predecessors. In fact, the protagonists are vampires with social networks and Instagram accounts as well as pointed canines and super speed. These steps are clearly aimed at bringing teenagers even closer and increasing their popularity. Let’s see if these few targeted moves will be enough to do it enough to convince the producers of the big N to put a second season in the works. At the moment there is no news about it, because fate is all in the hands of the subscribers and the number of views that the inaugural season will reach.

First Kill is a meatloaf of ingredients put together at random to act as bait and “capture” as many teenagers as possible

First Kill cinematographe.it

The authors of the scripts apparently believe it given the scenarios still open at the end of the final episode, which suggest future developments. As far as we are concerned, if the curtain finally fell on First Kill we wouldn’t even shed a tear. What we hope will be the first and also the last season has already shown all those limits that do not bode well in a hypothetical second. The series, net of the aforementioned moves that reshuffle and update the trend in question, fails to involve the viewer, who finds himself dealing with a meatloaf of ingredients put together at random to act as bait and “capture” more teenagers possible. It does so by calling into question themes and styles of teen-drama, bildungsroman and identity research, but without that emotional boost and narrative depth that writing should make available to stories like these. On the acting contribution, on the martial component (see the unspectacular choreography), on the poor quality visual effects (the creation of the Gul and the shambler) and on the packaging, we prefer to spread a pitiful veil so as not to rage further.


Direction – 2


Screenplay – 1.5


Photography – 2


Acting – 1.5


Sound – 2


Emotion – 1

First Kill: review of the Netflix fantasy series – Cinematographe.it