6th: Dracula (2013)
I think this show was probably grossly underrated because it had too few in common with the idea of Dracula that was built up among the years, but if you will give it a chance, you`ll see just how much potential it has.
Although it`s entirely different from Bram Stoker`s version, the story takes place in the same Victorian London, that the crew managed to exquisitely recreate for us to enjoy.The story has been re-written with a unique spin on that is mostly likely to disappoint Stoker`s fans, but that doesn`t mean it`s not worth exploring the possibility. No one would`ve been interested in yet another remake of the power hungry, blood drinking, demon.
A new version
This Dracula appears to be sophisticated, educated and unreasonably charming, but don`t worry, he is not tamed. Underneath he remains the calculated and ruthless killer that we`ve learnt to accept and love.
He introduces himself to the world as Alexander Grayson, an American Industrialist, however his true intentions are not as noble as he claims them to be. He is naturally there for revenge, and it soon turns out in a game of cat and mouse in which he soon discovers he has as much too lose as his enemies.
When you intend to rewrite one of the most famous vampire stories of all times, you have to make sure you have all the resources to back your plans up. As you will see, each member of the cast has been carefully chosen and their approach on the characters is without fault.
Rhys Meyers portrays his complex character with such ease that it will leave you with your jaw dropped. He totally replaces the concept of the heartless vampire by showing us his warm, loyal and protective side.
Jonathan Rhys Meyer
We all expect a lot from the actor who played King Henry in the Tudors and not even the critics of this show can deny that Rhys Meyer has really outdone himself. He surrounds his character with an aura that emits such sensuality and passion that he becomes unpredictable.
You`ll never know what he has in store for you and one of the best examples is the way he brings his character to life, the cold-blooded vampire is overwhelmed of a joie de vivre that drives him to take decisions that we`d never expect.
Oliver makes probably one of the most handsome Jonathan Harkers we`ll ever be given to see. Just like in Dracula`s case, he also wanted to completely reinvent his character as to not be a simple and harmless participant.
He takes his role and twists it around until he ends up standing on the same level as his rival from where he fights him as equal. Oliver is also able to exteriorize his character`s internal conflict to the point where you can no longer tell the difference from you and him.
Jessica De Gouw
Jessia De Gouw delivers a stunning performance both as Dracula`s long departed wife Ilona, as well as the present-day Mina Murray. We all know of this age-old love triangle, but in this case, Mina is no longer just a passive victim that others have to take decisions for. She is very much in control and this series is the perfect example of how she can influence the other 2 parts, a side of the story that none of the other Dracula inspired movies have explored to this extent.
To support the exclusivity of this idea we have Jessica admitting during an interview: “I never really felt the pressure of playing a pre-existing character, because I knew I would make it my own, and an audience would either like it or not.”
5th: Hemlock Grove
From the producers of House of Cards comes another recommendation for those passionate about the horror genre. If you were disappointed by all the latest supernatural teen movies out there, this show will remind you what you loved about them. You might think that you`ve seen all there is to see about vampires and werewolves, but this series takes a whole new turn when it comes to their powers and limits, not to mention the werewolf transformation will be the best you`ve ever seen.
The plot moves mind-boggling slow, allowing time for each story line to develop to its full potential, but you`ll rarely ever come upon a show that leaves you yearning for more the same way Hemlock Grove does. Trying to guess what will happen next is useless as the script was written in such a way that will keep you glued to the TV until the very end.
We find ourselves in the down of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, where 2 teenage girls are found brutally killed. When Peter Rumancek is accused of those murders he starts a quest of proving his innocence and at the same time, unconsciously disturbs the waters of the until-recently ordinary town.
You`re probably thinking that you`ve heard this line before, but you have to give it a chance to see just how much potential this show has. Each episode takes you on an emotional roller coaster and you`ll be eager to watch more and more in order to see the story unravel right in front of your eyes.
How does the magic happen?
You`ll find out that Hemlok Grove has a deliciously captivating cast, every episode having been written in such a way that will allow their characters to manifest at their fullest. Once you see their performance you will not be able to detach yourself from their story. The acting and characters are unrivalled and probably most of this show`s success is owed to them.
Even if you don`t know him, you`re probably familiar with his brother, Alexander. Bill is walking into his brother`s footsteps and plays Roman Godfrey, the vampire of the small town of Hemlock Grove.
He might just be at the start of his career, but after having been nominated for a Guldbagge Award in 2011, I think we can expect a great deal from him in the future, as he makes a name for himself, following up into his family’s legacy of tall, brooding Swedish vampires.
Landon Liboiron has probably saved the reputation of teen werewolves all over the world. You probably know Landon from his role as Josh in Terra Nova, but soon another tag will be attached to his name, that of Peter Rumancek, a mysterious character that moves to Hemlock Grove.
You won`t remain impartial to his 1.8 m tallness, shaggy brown hair and magnetizing eyes, or the way he likes to represent himself in the show, and I quote : “Yeah, ‘werewolf’ is pretty racist. I prefer ‘sexy man-beast’.”
Despite having been acting for a few years before she landed her role in Hemlock Grove, she is probably best known for her character, Letha Godfrey, Peter`s girlfriend in the show. With a solid base for her career, we can only sit back and watch her ascension from here on in the popular TV series The Vampire Diaries and a recent movie, The Curse of Downers Grove, released just last year.
4th: Penny Dreadful
This is one show that even the people who avoid the horror element in their lives will be able to fall in love with. Penny Dreadful is one of those weird, scary and most alluring shows you`ll ever see and it will have you wrapped around its finger before you even realize you were in danger.
You`re probably thinking there`s no need for yet another horror TV show about ghosts or whatever else supernatural, but I think you will be willing to make an exception for this one, as it brings together some of the most intriguing characters of legends, such as Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Van Helsing.
You`d think, that with all these strong characters, disaster is just waiting to happen, but all pieces fall together perfectly, making this story one of the most fearful and entertaining experiences you`ll have. I wouldn`t be surprised if after watching it you`ll be suffering a serious case of goose bumps.
How does this puzzle look?
The characters are so vastly different that it couldn`t have been easy for John Logan to bring them all together in the same room and avoid bloodshed at the same time, but the success of this show is certainly strongly connected to his dedication, as he personally wrote the scripts for all episodes.
He manages to write the story in such a way that all characters depend upon each other and just when you think you have it all figured out, he throws in another piece that will completely have you disoriented.
In the center of it all is Vanessa Ives, a medium that is definitely no fraud, and directly connected to her is Malcolm Murray who is trying to find his long lost daughter with the help of Vanessa.
As they advance in their quest, they encounter stranger and stranger creatures and with each step forward they take, another character falls into place.
Why do you recommend this show?
If you are a fan of this genre, then you definitely should not pass it. This sophisticated version of Supernatural takes the macabre to new depths. It takes all the characters you have heard of and twists them in such a way that, even if they stick to the original stories, you discover new sides of them that you didn`t think were there.
The cast does such a realistic interpretation of the age that you find it easy to travel by their side in 19th century London. The only fault of this show is, of course, that it ended too soon, leaving us trapped in a most teasing cliff-hanger.
You probably couldn`t have found a better actor for the role of Ethan Chandler, an American sharpshooter, whose charm and undiplomatic behavior are like catnip to the ladies. Josh Hartnett`s theory on fame is probably what made it so easy for him to bring to light his character`s kind and thoughtful nature and to highlight the strong sense of morality that surrounds him more than any other character of this series.
Regarding fame, Hartnett said, “I know what it’s like to be in that whole world. I was up there for a couple of years, and it was uncomfortable. I think trying to stay at the top is a shortcut to unhappiness.”
With Harry Treadaway`s performance as Frankenstein we can say good-bye to the whole dangerous, mad scientist idea. This time he is perceived rather as a gentle soul who`s only fault is being too fascinated by the string between life and death.
When Treadaway was given a piece of the character`s speech, he claimed he had been completely caught up in the role (to AccessHollywood.com he states, “That sort of instantly grabbed me when I read that.“). After this he went to great lengths to learn as much as possible about his character, and after seeing his performance it`s crystal clear his efforts paid off.
Probably no one thought possible that another performance of Dorian Gray would appear that will stand a fair chance in front of Ben Barn`s, but there is a possible rival now, and his name is Reeve Carney. The mesmerizing way in which he acts this role will leave you unable to look away from the screen.
There`s a certain something in his moves, the delicate hand gestures, the way he looks and addresses his conversation partner, that trigger an almost hypnotic effect on the audience. If this keeps up, he`ll surely force the previous Dorian Gray to give a run for his money.
There is no space for poor performances in this show, but no matter what, no other actor is able to steal the spot light from Eva Green. She plays the female lead character Vanessa Ives, a mysterious, seductive and formidable beauty that keeps her secrets well hidden.
The team behind the show has built such an exceptional world filled with mystery around each corner and it is this environment that has become her oyster and allowed her to carry out a performance that leaves you paralyzed with expectation. Her complete control over her body gestures, as well as her lips and voice are positively haunting. Even if Green should not be the focus of a certain scene, she sure knows how to totally own the moment.