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Les Revenants

Twin Peaks, The Walking Dead, anything talky from French Nouvelle Vague, Mogwai music, creepy kids movies as recently introduced in this blog, The Mist … if any of this appeals, then Les Revenants (“They Came Back”, or “Rebound”, as it will be called in UK tv), an original production of the French Canal +, is the thing to see. The eight-episode season 1 opens with the accident of a school bus, killing all or several of the children. And then we are dropped into the actual story, with teenager Camille coming home and scaring the living daylights out of her family.

I hesitate to give away the core premise of the show, as it is only divulged over the first couple of episodes, and it’s fun to go along with the cleverly constructed script, and allow oneself to accept the reality of the small French town with the same speed that town’s inhabitants do. I would recommend to read as little as possible about it before watching. What can be said is that the writers deal quite excellently with taking quite an extraordinary exposition and throwing it into normality. Must be my fable for Stephen King, who is the master at confronting small-town normality with completely-and-utterly-not-normal disturbances. Les Revenants does that with the help of stylish production design, stunning location, great actors and disturbing soundtrack.

I am not quite sure I like the information that there will be a second season. Almost all the way to the end, I was convinced that there is a way of dealing with the story in a satisfyingly abstract and open fashion (that’s where the Twin Peaks reference comes back…). They chose otherwise, let’s see how they live up to the challenge. In any case, this first season was a great example of very French tv at its best, something that admittedly I have not seen in a very long time.

Revenants Soundtrack by Mogwai

Spoiler alert: Wikipedia for (too much) background

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