June 10 arrives on Netflix “First Kill”, A teen horror series written and produced by the writer Victoria Schwabbased on his short story contained in the collection Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with fresh bites. The show, which mixes teen drama and horror, is yet another story with Shakespearean tones about the impossible and contrasted love of two young people with a decidedly different past and history, which draws on a long series of productions of the past, but bringing too much little innovation despite the interesting premises. We have previewed the series and this is our opinion.
It’s time for the first kill for the young vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) whom she sees in her schoolmate Calliope (Imani Lewis) the perfect victim. Unfortunately for Juliette, Calliope is a demon hunter of famous lineage. Both realize that it will not be easy to kill the rival and that the real risk is to fall in love and lose your head …
Victoria Schwab for some years she has been known in the young adult literary scene as a prolific author of fantasy and horror novels. Among the most famous productions of her we remember: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRuethe series This Wild Song, Evilthe series of Magic and other titles particularly appreciated by young readers around the world. First Killshort story contained in the collection Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with fresh bites, still unpublished in Italy, it is the first test as a screenwriter for the writer who decides to adapt one of her stories into a series in eight episodes lasting just over 45 minutes. If that on paper can be a story queer successful with strong horror qualities, the same cannot be said for its television version.
First Kill constantly tries to emulate some of the horror serial productions that have made television history such as Buffy, Witchesand the most recent the Vampire Diaries, Supernatural And Teen Wolfcompletely losing sight of its originality despite some plot premises not to be underestimated starting from the protagonist duo. Juliette And Calliope they are the first homosexual couple to star in a TV series of this kind aimed at a young audience. With a definitely attractive plot and two protagonists of the genre, the success of the product should almost have been taken for granted but it is not. If on the one hand the countless slips of the screenplay mean that dialogues and situations are for the most part decontextualized and sometimes meaningless, the staging is on the verge of acceptable.
With an elementary direction, a really fake use of special effects and a fluctuating editing, the whole series is made up of too many lows and few highs that could make you lose interest in continuing the vision. The action scenes are tired and limping, not very dynamic and lacking that feeling of adrenaline that they should convey, the few demonic creatures that are staged are poorly made almost as if you were in front of a series b product. Note on the soundtrack which consists of truly enjoyable pop music tracks where pieces of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Carrie Underwood and other.
Despite the potential of the two protagonists, this is exploited in the most linear and predictable way possible. More or less explicit references to Shakespeare they mark yet another laziness on the part of the production to find unoriginal narrative tricks to tell “impossible” love and passion. The adults themselves, the parents, despite being present and (theoretically) important, not like in other young adult productions in which they are completely absent, are characterized by a very unripe construction that makes them childish and devoid of any authority. The secondary characters are almost completely non-existent or forgettable.
First Kill unfortunately it is a great missed opportunity. Born from the pen of Victoria Schwab, beloved young adult author, cannot keep alive the interest that a story like this could have aroused. Although the protagonist couple lives an unoriginal love story, the development would have been original if managed differently. Little chemistry between the characters, events that follow one another in a disconnected way, flat dialogues and too obvious and obvious script ideas, make the first season of First Kill a too subdued production that could not be appreciated risking to remain a first – and last – season.
First Kill comes up Netflix on June 10. Here is the trailer for the series: