Helstrom: Demons and Darkness

As soon as we watched the trailer, we were immediately interested in watching this new streaming show on Hulu. Starring Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon as Daimon and Ana Helstrom and based on a Marvel comic, the pair unite in the series to hunt the worst of humanity. One of the best features was the dark humor and detailed worldbuilding with both protagonists having a deep and rich background and vivid personalities along with equally mesmerizing secondary characters.
In “Helstrom”, Damien and Ana are the children of a serial killer who had taken Ana when they were children, leaving Damien with their mother, Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) who ultimately must be institutionalized. Damien is then raised by the head of the psychiatric hospital where Victoria is kept, Louise Hastings (June Carryl). Damien grows up to be a professor of ethics at a college while Ana eventually gets away from their father and runs an auction house with her partner Chris Yen (Alain Uy) and is watched over by caretaker Henry (Robert Wisdom). Damien aids the church in exorcisms with the help of a new partner, novitiate Gabriella Rosetti (Arianna Guerra). Ana and Damien are reunited when they discover their father is back from the dead and they must hunt down the worst of humanity along with attempting to save their mother from madness.
If you are familiar with the comic, some elements of the series won’t come as a surprise and neither will it if you pay attention to the details of the story. The plot gives the viewer enough hints to figure out quite a few of the details of the story but there is enough action, twists, and suspense to keep the viewer engaged. Both Daimon and Ana have a rich background and detailed backstory that helps both characters be interesting and enjoyable. I especially love the growth in both characters and their sarcastic, dark wit. Both are very honest about who they are and their intentions toward each other and their mother. But it is through their unwilling interactions with each other that helps each change and help them fight the evil they encounter.
Beyond the main characters, the secondary characters are equally fascinating. I truly loved the character of Chris Yen. Despite his lack of desire to be pulled into the supernatural aspects of Ana’s world, his strength and love for Ana are part of what enable him to be such a strong character and help her and Damien. Louise Hastings plays the part of the wise teacher but she also has her flaws and weaknesses which make the character deeply engaging and sympathetic. The Caretaker is enjoyable and well portrayed. His willingness to see beyond the origins of Damien and Ana is what I like best about the character. Victoria, their mother, is strong even in what seems like weakness and the portrayal is brilliant.
The worldbuilding is fantastic. Not just the rich characters but also the design of the various supernatural elements and the origins of the Helstrom father. The various demons are well thought out and the references are not the standard fare that viewers normally see in paranormal shows. The plot does not build the Catholic church as the ultimate authority of good and does not bill either Damien or his sister as evil. In fact, their fight of evil is what makes them such complex characters, neither perfectly good nor evil. The blend of paranormal elements with the questioning of morality, of what makes good and evil, is what makes this show so unique.
If you like wicked paranormal with brilliant, dark humor and demons, this is the show for you. It is complex with rich characters, both the protagonists and secondary characters as well as the bad guys. Nobody is portrayed as black and white and everyone does questionable things in the pursuit of their agenda but the good guys keep trying to help. I love everyone in the story and can’t wait for more.
Rating: 5 out of 5 possessions

Helstrom Trailer

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