Trapped in a town in which one can’t escape? A nightmare with a nightmare for some. Add in the further complication that once the sun sets, you will be hunted down by creatures that can’t be explained, and you have a recipe for true horror. This and more is what happens in EPIX’s FROM. With a set-up that reminds a bit of Stephen King and the much-beloved series, “Lost,” the series’ mystery will draw viewers in. As a disclosure, this review is based on the first four episodes provided.
EPIX’s FROM features an ensemble cast starring Harold Perrineau as Sheriff Boyd Stevens, Catalina Sandino Moreno as Tabitha Matthews, Eion Bailey as Jim Matthews, Hannah Cheramy as Julie Matthews, Simon Webster as Ethan Matthews, Ricky He as Deputy Kenny, Chloe Van Landschoot as Kristi, Shaun Majumder as Father Khatri, Corteon Moore as Ellis, Pegah Ghafoori as Fatima, David Alpay, Elizabeth Saunders, Elizabeth Moy as Tian Chen Liu, and Avery Konrad as Sara Myers.
Based on the first four episodes, EPIX’s FROM starts out strong. The mystery built is solid. As is the horror. Starting off the first episode with ominous bell tolling through the town’s vicinity makes its horror leanings known. I’d expect nothing less with Jack Bender, John Griffin, and Jeff Pinkner involved. Given the prior involvement with shows such as “Lost,” “Fringe,” etc., there will be comparisons made with the show’s structure. However, there is excitement to be had here. If the series executes its mystery well to the end, it’ll be an instant favorite.
A smart mystery can’t carry a show. No, the performances must reel the viewer in, even when the mystery might overwhelm. In EPIX’s FROM, the ensemble does well. All of the characters we’re introduced to have different sides to them, presenting complications and nuances that make them necessarily human. This lends itself well when we get glimpses and pieces of the monsters. The humanity sets the two groups apart.
That said, humanity comes with darkness and, as I mentioned before, there are a series of complications. Human beings are nothing without their complications. Without them, it makes for a less interesting watch. And, while the creatives behind EPIX’s FROM need time to eke out the mystery, viewers will get a chance to dive further into the familial dynamics, drama, etc., that makes each character tick. The way this development is handled makes it easier to remember who is who. A great boon to any viewer.
A quick shoutout should be given as well to some departments as well. The art direction from Mike Ryan Hall combines well with the production design from Matt Likely. This mysterious town that the viewers are introduced to feels ripped out of time. However, wear and tear have taken its toll. Further enhancing this time-trapped quality is how Rachel Grant handles the costume designs. Clothing seems ripped from different eras, which makes sense given the scenario presented to the audience. What would you do with the clothes of the deceased? Well, you’d wear them. Little notes like these help sell the overall premise.
Overall, EPIX’s FROM shows a lot of promise. With just four episodes, the team has crafted a layered mystery that will sucker any viewer in. The performances from the ensemble hold you, with some characters who will make you tear up later on. However, with such a solid start on the mystery front, the show could go either way on delivery near the finale. Such is the struggle with mystery. I’m curious to see where the series goes from here.
The contemporary sci-fi horror series, FROM, premieres on February 20, 2022, on EPIX.
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