[Then, you look at ?] NOS4A2 : A anti-fairy-tale well murky

© AMC

Lovers of fairy tales and the universe, bright and light, you can go on your way without delay. The title, NOS4A2 (pronounced ”nos-fer-a-tu”), refers to a classic of the genre, Nosferatu, a horror movie German that came out in 1922 and, one could expect yet another story of vampires, kitsch and sanitized. It is not so : the introduction presents to us the little Danny, a boy, solitary and encapsulated, whose life is going to switch to two minutes, due to a nasty character named Charlie Manx. It is difficult at this stage to make the link with the vampires, and his face ravaged, his eyes glassy and his teeth were misshapen, monstrous, in contrast with what one can expect to find when you are talking about monsters, blood-drinking. NOS4A2 takes us so by surprise in getting rid happily of all that takes us back to the cliché of the vampire, sophisticated, refined in his impeccable three-piece and living in a gothic castle in Transylvania.


Instead, this first episode sets the scene in America, switching back and forth between little Danny and Vic, a young teenager. Smart but she’s a dreamer, she dreams of a great school of art, wedged between his father loving, but alcoholic and a bit miserable, and her mother’s defeatist and angry. This home rests in an unstable equilibrium, in a life punctuated by disputes and money problems. Vic is isolated, and escapes in the middle of long trips on a motorcycle in the forest. Walks which lead very quickly to a slippery slope, where the inexplicable phenomenon begins to succeed….


Atmosphere murky, very well kept


This first episode was much, much, more questions than it answers. To tell the truth, it is just if the basics of the plot are asked. The contours of the story are still unclear, such that we know neither what to look for, or what to expect. This contributes largely to the big point of this first episode : a mood decidedly murky, heavy, that says just enough to get a bunch of questions.


The viewer, looking a bit dazed, and can only speculate on the exact nature of what he has just witnessed. A transcript effective of what we imagine to be the state of mind of the protagonists, suddenly embedded in a story that exceeds : that is-it really happened to Danny ? Why him ? What is the relationship with Vic and his family ?


And what of the terrible Charlie Manx, one of which will be unhealthy its whole weight on this first episode ? What are its motivations, where does it come from ? And even : what is it ? Among the many questions that remain unanswered, as only the episode following will clarify. It feels like a nice mixture of haste and apprehension, at the thought of discovering the dark designs of Manx… And the insanities that contain Christmasland, no doubt about it.


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