It’s been one hell of a year for the genre. While the box office hasn’t been kindest to horror in 2011, cable televion has proven to be insanely fruitful. In addition to the continuation of long-running programs like Supernatural and Dexter, 2011 saw the launch of fresh programming such as Death Valley and American Horror Story, two standout series’ that offer completely unique views and approaches to terror.
While it’s tough to argue with anyone who lays claim to American Horror Story being the best genre effort on televion today, it’s equally as challenging to debate the greatness of The Walking Dead (despite the direction AMC has opted to travel versus what’s been displayed in the ongoing comic run) or the distance with which Ghost Hunters separates itself from the rest of the paranormal pack. As I’ve said before, it’s a fine time to be a horror fan, especially if you don’t have $20 to shell out to cinemas on a weekly bas (there is a lver lining to all the shitty horror films to hit the big screen lately after all!).
While every show I’ve hitherto mentioned is fair if not far better, one of the year’s biggest surprises must be the new sleeper, Grimm. Fans of clasc Brothers Grimm work should adore this show, but that’s part of the beauty of it: you don’t have to bolster a timeless library to enjoy this contemporary take. The acting is warm and endearing, the modern spins fit the original tales quite well (at this point) and we as viewers get a taste of just about everything the mind can conceive of.
While I’m already hooked on the kooky qualities of the series, I must confess a bit of disappointment in regards to the special FX work. There are shots that look absolutely brilliant, but for every treat we get, we’re also fed a few embarrasng transformation scenes. Practical effects work isn’t always really practical, but I think Grimm could benefit from more of the “real deal” and less of the electronic imagery. I don’t expect to see The Walking Dead level of mastery applied, but a slight shift in favor of some actual makeup would go a long way in the direction of drawing digital haters into the fold.
My criticisms of Grimm are too minimal to continue the negativity. Grimm brings a slew of fun monsters to the small screen, some humor that often plays on subtlety, solid performances, and most important, absolutely brilliant source material to tap. Grimms' Fairy Tales have seen so many screen adaptations it would be nearly imposble to acknowledge every effort, but we’re talking about stories so chilling and so influential that you’ve probably seen at least half a dozen Grimm variations without even realizing exactly what you were witnesng. Timeless tales are just that: timeless, and now NBC has plenty of time to remind audiences why the Brothers Grimm will be remembered and referenced until the genre no longer breathes.