Intelligent and intimate, French TV drama Les Revenants is a MUST-SEE for all supernatural fans. The original version created by Fabrice Gobert is your best choice as it is far superior to the American version in terms of atmosphere, poetic mood and performances. Not just another zombie story, this series takes us on an emotional journey of loss as terror creeps into a small Alpine town. Within the first few minutes of watching, a school-bus filled with children plunges over a precipice. After the screams and cries for help die down, it is obvious that no one survived.
Miracles in the present
What seems like minutes later, we see one of the children from the bus appearing on her family’s doorstep, unharmed and unaware of what happened to her. Brace yourself; we discover it has been four years since the family buried their daughter, who died in the tragic bus crash. However, the girl has returned from the dead and did not age at all! Little by little, more townspeople begin to emerge from the dead, with no recollection of their passing. Time has stood still for all of them in terms of age as well. A mixture of emotions, from shock to exuberance washes over the families, as nothing can explain what has transpired.
Messages from the past
Shadowing these wondrous homecomings is a series of gruesome murders taking place in the town, closely resembling the works of a past serial killer. If this wasn’t enough to unnerve you, strange things begin to occur, such as the sudden lowering of the local reservoir’s water level revealing countless dead animals. People from the village (both the living and the returned) start to notice unexplained marks on their bodies. Is there a connection between the current murders, the dead coming back to life and the reservoir situation?
Misery for the future
Les Revenants will capture your attention on many levels; to watch such a bittersweet journey that reunites the living with the dead is truly powerful. How would you react? Would you spend time questioning them, or move forward accepting the miracle? Moreover, it is clear that this quaint little village has more past demons than its residents would lead you to believe.
With each episode, I was compelled to form a different theory explaining the reason for the recent murders. An unsettling feeling throughout the story creates a sense of dread. You will be obsessed with this unique horror story, as it is beautifully executed. Again, the original French series is the must-see version for its exemplary acting performances, distinct cinematography and brilliant storytelling.
It is said by some that a homecoming unites the past with the present to create the most pleasurable memories. Unfortunately for the people of this French village, homecoming yields pain and chaos, with little light at the end of the tunnel.