From S01-S02 – Humanity Amidst Inhumanity

TV SERIES REVIEW – “From”, a show merging elements of horror and mystery, tells the story of a diverse group of characters who find themselves in a mysterious town from which they cannot escape, where monstrous beings, human-shaped horrors (or mutants) prey upon them. “From” strikes a balance between horror and humanity while being complex, confounding, and chaotic, thus rendering it profoundly effective. We watched the first two seasons, which could be dubbed as ‘Lost meets Silent Hill’, on HBO Max.



The series, which debuted in 2022, was among the most-watched shows on Amazon Prime on a weekly basis during its first season, under the parent company, MGM. Rumor has it that the series star, Harold Perrineau, is even potentially up for an Emmy. However, unless you’re already a fan of “From” and part of an active Reddit community or you closely follow Stephen King’s TV recommendations on Twitter, you might not have heard of the series yet.



This Sheriff Works in a Nightmare Town


At the center of “From” is Boyd, the town sheriff played by Perrineau, who does everything he can to maintain peace in this extremely frightening and physically threatening reality while trying to figure out how everyone can get out. Like any good crime series, “From” begins with a general, story-starting event: a new family arrives in town. Jim (Eion Bailey) and Tabitha (Catalina Sandino Moreno) Matthews, along with their children, Ethan (Simon Webster) and Julie (Hannah Cheramy), discover this mysterious town from the viewer’s perspective, as they, like many others, accidentally stumble upon this mysterious settlement. The small family, not without conflicts, is forced to accept their new situation and get acquainted with the other characters who have been stuck there for a long time, while the viewer gradually understands the essence of the series during the first few episodes.

To this, add the Necronomicon, children’s book author Enid Blyton, and a wonderful cast of characters, including Sara (Avery Konrad), a girl tortured and constantly urged to commit horrific acts by ghosts; Donna (Elizabeth Saunders), the tough, charismatic, striking hippie leader of the commune; and Jade (David Alpay), a billionaire software developer who initially can’t see beyond his LSD use but gradually pulls himself together and becomes one of the series’ intellectual main characters. These are just a few examples of many excellent characters, all held captive by this ghost-ridden village and many of whom, of course, will not survive the two seasons.

“From” is a complex and often confusing horror series, full of secrets and skin-crawling horror. In the forest, we encounter zombie-like creatures where the seasons change unpredictably, and the electrical wires deliver energy from nowhere. The threat from unknown creatures is very specific; residents are advised not to travel at night, as human-shaped monsters brutally kill them, and even daytime does not guarantee safety. The further the characters stray from the town, the thicker the shadows of the trees become, and the stranger the events. However, “From” is not just an abstract threat, but a very concrete danger to those who live there. Although we find stylistic elements reminiscent of David Lynch, this is not a surreal place like Twin Peaks, but a place where creatures and strange events have rational explanations, even if many mystical elements can be found in the series, from ancient protective talismans to teleporting trees.



People in the Center


As much as the central theme of “From” is a mystical and brutal horror, the real focus of the series is the human characters. We meet different people whom a small town won’t let go. This is not a Battle Royale series, although there are signs of this genre. Characters will certainly – and often – clash, but they all focus on survival and escape.

Everyone is convinced of their own escape strategy: for example, Jim tries to call for help with the radio; Father Khatri (Shaun Majumder) seeks a solution in God; Ethan thinks the whole thing is a mythological mission to be overcome. The strength of the series is that, despite the many horrors, it is able to find moments of love and honesty, and in general, despite the conflicts, the characters try to stick together. The international fan base calls themselves #Fromily, derived from the original English title, From.



A Silent Hill Atmosphere Looms


“From”, reminiscent of the Silent Hill video games, introduces humanity and community aspect into a genre often criticized for their lack. It’s unique on the television palette: a standout piece of “anxiety media”, but with a sensitive heart. It stands out at a time when it is obvious to many of us: “Yes, our real world is screwed up and meaningless. Now here’s an even worse surreal place where you can worry about the fate of sympathetic protagonists.”

“From” is not a perfect “television masterpiece”. It contains Stephen King’s cliches, and sometimes the events slow down and the whole thing turns into a sort of horror soap opera. In addition, those who are not fans of the Silent Hill video games, Twin Peaks, or David Lynch’s other creations may find it a bit confusing, as these surreal stylistic elements are also present alongside the Stephen King line. But if you’re up for all these, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. And if you’re looking for a truly scary, bloody, but stylish horror series, “From” won’t disappoint – we hope there will be more seasons after the first two.



From S01-S02

Direction - 8.2
Actors - 8.4
Story - 8.2
Horror elements and fear factor - 8.4
Ambience - 8.5



With its gloomy atmosphere, excellent character development, and rich mystical world, "From" captivates the viewer, although at times it is prone to slowing down and leaning towards a horror soap opera style, it nevertheless continues to deliver a captivating and well-crafted mystery. Its world is both deeply unsettling and curiously inviting, which compels viewers to continue exploring its labyrinthine narrative and uncover its secrets. The human drama at the center of the narrative grounds the series, and while the horror is persistent and often quite gruesome, the core focus remains the personal struggles of its vividly drawn characters. Therefore, despite its minor flaws, 'From' is an immersive horror-mystery series worth exploring for fans of the genre."

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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