Marianne Season 1 Review: Writing Your Own Horror Story

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 13, 2019 (Last updated: November 15, 2023)
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Marianne Season 1 - Netflix Series


Marianne Season 1 has the strength of a firm lead character and a steady premise, and while the horror elements are not scary, the story progression is effective.

If anything, Netflix series Marianne Season 1 makes up for that thrill-less ChambersWe’ve needed a new, original horror series for a while, and with Light as a Feather not cutting it on Hulu, this French series is what we needed. Season 1 is only 8 episodes and rarely provides an overlong chapter, ensuring the investment is worth it.

The lead character, Emma Larsimon, is enticing. She’s a best-selling author that hides alcohol in soda drinks and coolly blackmails her assistant to follow her wherever she goes.  Emma is confident in who she is, reading the last lines of a chapter in a book opening, while at the same time announcing she is done writing horror. Emma is the Doctor House of authors, and it’s abundantly clear that the story is setting up Emma for a reality check. Marianne never attempts to keep the mystery at bay, flashing horror images on the screen from the offset, setting the scene, and presenting Emma’s original material.

And that’s crucial to the plot — where does Emma get her ideas from? The entire premise is that Emma has written the books based on her nightmares. In the opening episode, she describes how she used her writing as a tool to fight the nightmare witch Marianne, and created a new character to fight the evil. It’s all ironic that as soon as she decides to stop writing horror, her stories become a reality.

Marianne Season 1 is well-written, and although the “shock value” is predictable (like Chambers), the jump scenes are there to provide value to the plot. Emma’s first venture is to visit her home town, which becomes more of an investigation after an old friend unnerves her. The music is loud in parts, minimally reminding me of the original Suspiria, where the soundtrack takes hold of the scene.

Marianne Season 1 is hardly ground-breaking horror for Netflix, but it is directed with imagination and well-cast. I doubt horror fans will grumble, and it’s worth the binge over the weekend.

Netflix, TV Reviews
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