SWAMP THING S1/E1 Review

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On May 31st DC Universe debuted its latest show Swamp Thing and it did not disappoint.

There is no doubt about it DC is entering the live action horror genre full force.  Right off the bat, the show lets you know where it stands as you can see the influence of not only horror but other medical/hospital based shows/movies.

From the get-go, I was getting vibes of the 2006 horror film Hatchet also based in the swamps of Louisiana.  At times the show does feel like stereotypical horror.  The acting isn’t great, the writing seems a bit flat with the humor but you can tell the show has heart and is trying.  They are fully embracing what a Swamp Thing show should be, a serious tense sci-fi extravaganza.  We even get a brief glimpse of DC legend Madame Xanadu. That can only mean the supernatural element that was so profound in Allan Moore’s run will be quick to follow.

The show really does a great job at combing elements from not only horror like The Walking Dead or The Crazies, but hospital-based shows like The Resident. The politics and drama of a show like The Resident are inserted nicely even with the over the top science aspect.  As soon as you are introduced to the Sunderland’s you know they are up to no good and not really what they seem to be.

We are introduced to Dr. Abby Arcane of the CDC who is investigating a deadly virus that is plaguing her hometown of Marais.  We get glances of Arcane’s dark past and what caused her to leave her hometown.  Arcane shortly meets scientist Alec Holland, who we learn is no saint himself.  Holland seems to think he may have the missing clues to what is really making the people of Marais ill.

From the moment Alec and Abby meet things start getting crazy and the show takes off.  The body horror in this show is really second to none.  You have not seen anything like this on the small screen that is for sure.  At times I couldn’t help but think of the classic horror film The Thing.

Yes, I just went there.

The special effects have certainly evolved since the 1980s but Swamp Thing is a wonderful display of disgusting bliss.  Seeing the Big Green on the screen was really something.  The CGI is fairly believable as you see branches and stems sprinting at a fast pace, it really translates nicely.  You will believe the swamp is alive and coming for you.

We do not have to wait too long to see the Big Green himself as Swamp Thing is indeed in the pilot episode and it was wonderful to see on screen yet again.  We have had a few interpretations of Swamp Thing in live action and this very true to the character.  Holland working in the swamp doing investigative research an accident and a giant explosion. This is a worthy origin tale for Swamp Thing as it hits the nail squarely on the head.

This show seems to be very faithful to the source material and the genres it has been influenced by.  While Doom Patrol still ranks as the best that DC Universe has to offer you can see all the potential that Swamp Thing has. No doubt in my mind that fans of Swamp Thing and horror are going to dig this show.  Part DC, part ER, part Resident Evil all fun.

Sit back turn the lights off grab some jiffy pop and enjoy the scares! – Pete Verra

GRADE: B+

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Senior BOF contributor covering the Bat-beat since January 2017. Co-host of the "Straight Outta Gotham Podcast." Peter has covered the red carpet premiers of BATMAN: NINJA and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN. Peter has interviewed various titans the industry such as producer Michael Uslan, producer James Tucker, stuntman Richard Cetrone, Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Loren Lester, Tony Todd, Will Friedle, Marie Avgeropoulos and Cress Williams just to name a few! Contact Peter on all social media platforms @PeteIllustrated!