Requiem (2018) "Quality mystery drama with an occult twist."
Requiem will not disappoint the fans of small-town mysteries and supernatural drama.
First season of 6 episodes.
Running time approximately 6 hours.
Where to find it? Netflix
If you like mysteries, thrillers, small town drama and the supernatural or just happen to enjoy even one of those things, Requiem may well be a worthy of your attention this holiday season. With a healthy dose of the occult thrown in for good measure.
Created by the Australian TV-writer Kris Mrksa for New Pictures/BBC and first aired earlier this year, Requiem starts off with an older Welshman jumping off of his mansion's roof and a woman in London cutting her own throat in front of her daughter, Matilda. Matilda is an award-winning cellist, traumatized by the death of her mother, her only living relative, on the eve of her breakout tour in the United States.
While going through her mother's things she finds a mysterious box filled with newspaper clippings and photographs. The clippings recount the story of a tragedy that struck the small Welsh village of Penilynith 23 three years ago when a toddler called Carys went missing, never to be seen again. Matilda travels to Wales to find out more about the missing child and her mother's connection to the case. Along with her goes her friend and musical partner Hal (Joel Fry), who thinks Matilda needs to make the trip to Wales to get over the trauma of losing her mother.
In Penilynith they meet the characters that habit it and leave no stone unturned in order to understand what happened to Carys and why Matilda's mother had such a keen interest in the case, rattling a few skeletons out of their long-closed closets along the way. As expected, as the pair dives deeper into the secrets of the town, waters start to turn murkier and darker.
Now, from this setup the story can go only so many ways. The best part of Requiem is the fact that it manages to bring in a few unexpected turns while still skirting the familiar path of the million other small-town mysteries. It also does something not many movies or TV-series successfully accomplish: it finds a balance between schlock and respectable mystery/thriller. The six episodes of the first series play out much like a good trashy supernatural thriller that keeps you engaged with a well-crafted story that is not afraid to go absolutely insane if it so chooses.
The first few episodes are a bit heavy on the exposition and the series takes its time to get us to know the characters. But even if the first episodes take a bit of patience, the plot picks up quickly and does not release its grip on the viewer before the series finale.
Now, while I will not spoil anything of the plot (as the mystery unravelling piece-by-piece is kind of the idea here), I will say that the series finale left me wanting more. The series creator Mrksa originally visioned this as a two-parter, so let's hope the second season happens - the setup for it is one of the better ones. Having said that, the first series stands well on its own and is a complete story in itself. So fear not: second season or not, this one works.
When the solid writing and directing is combined with the extremely believable characters and performances from all of the actors (many of whom are well-known British bit players), Requiem is well worth your TV-watching time this weekend. With a running time of around 6 hours, it can binged quickly enough (only a bit more than two The Avengers flicks and we know you keep rewatching those) and enjoyed as a self-contained story.
So, if mystery thrillers with a small-town vibe and a dash of the supernatural are something you could imagine yourself enjoying, add Requiem to your Netflix queue and take a trip to Penilynith with Matilda and Hal. Bring your own robes