Review – The Devil’s Hour (Episode 1)

Your spooky Halloween viewing well is far from dry, as Prime Video gear up to launch their new psychological-thriller series, The Devil’s Hour, on October 28. This mind-bending six-episode show is from the creative team behind BBC’s Sherlock and Dracula, having been created by Tom Moran (Wild Bill) and executive produced by Steven Moffat (Sherlock).

Lucy (Jessica Raine), works for an underfunded social services unit, cares for her ailing mother, and deals with her emotionless son being incredibly creepy in many ways. On top of this, Lucy awakens at 3:33am, every night, without fail, due to a recurring nightmare of which she doesn’t understand the meaning of. Weighing down on her, the freakish visuals of her nightmares lead to a connection to a series of murders taking place around her town.

Murders that are being investigated DI Ravi Dhillon (Nikesh Patel), a curious, yet subdued investigator with a penchant for a cigarette, but seemingly on when he’s at a crime scene. Ravi and his partner, Nick Holness, come across this set of brutal murders, but struggle to find evidence, and worse, explanation for why these crimes have been committed.

Pictured: Gideon (Peter Capaldi)

Enter our final player in The Devil’s Hour, Peter Capaldi as Gideon. Gideon is introduced to the audience in a non-linear fashion. As the episode tensely builds Lucy’s visions and the mystery behind them, the story adds another layer of mystery with a bruised and beaten Lucy sitting in an interrogation room, across from a restrained Gideon. Their conversations are mostly cryptic, talking about time, dreams, and things outside the realm of the normal world. While this first episode doesn’t reveal much of where this story, or the relationship between Lucy and Gideon will go, it undoubtedly hooks you with the uneasiness and uncertainty of what could be a volatile, and perhaps supernatural, reveal later in the series.

The Devil’s Hour is a well-crafted thriller. The tension booms through the air right from the opening scenes, utilising a healthy mix of psychological thriller and visual horror in Lucy’s dreams, but also through her son, who give strong Damien from The Omen mixed with Dahmer vibes. The first episode also reveals that Lucy’s mother seemingly has a connection with the nightmares and visions, shown through a distressing flashback to her past.

The relationship between Ravi and Nick sets a strong foundation, however, it is obvious that there is more to be revealed as the two investigate the murders. Their opposite personalities seemingly look towards deconstructing an interesting dichotomy between them, as Ravi is subdued and determined, where as Nick is the stereotypical, boisterous detective, looking to solve the case a quick as possible.

However, the crux of the show will fall on the relationship between Gideon and Lucy. The intrigue is there now, the only concern moving forward is whether the show will be able to sustain it and will the upcoming reveals work with or against the tone that has already been set. With this cast, and the crew behind it, signs so far point towards a creepy and disturbing thriller that will subvert expectations.

Directed by Johnny Allan, The Devil’s Hour is a visually engaging piece of TV. In a day and age of television series being on the technical level of blockbuster films, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But, what Allan does with this first episode is convey a trance like feeling, hooking the audience in with sharp cinematography and interesting lighting and blends of colours, almost forcing us to not understand what is real, and what’s a dream. This is also enhanced with an eerie and screeching score and soundscape that captures uneasiness above all else.

The Devil’s Hour’s first episode is a strong introduction to the series. The characters are as established as they need to be to keep the intrigue alive, and the overall mystery feels like it’s only just ramping up. This is solid viewing to add to your Halloween watch list!

The Devil’s Hour is streaming on Prime Video from October 28.

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Nick L'Barrow
Nick L'Barrow
Nick is a Brisbane-based film/TV reviewer. He gained his following starting with his 60 second video reviews of all the latest releases on Instagram (@nicksflicksfix), before launching a monthly podcast with Peter Gray called Monthly Movie Marathon. Nick contributes to Novastream with interviews and reviews for the latest blockbusters.

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