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Devil In Ohio (Netflix)

Just out a couple of days ago in the UK is Devil In Ohio, a YA thriller mystery series in eight episodes about a girl who turns up in hospital having escaped a pursuer in a cornfield. When giving her a check-up, they find a pentagram has been carved into her back and she has clearly been through a horrifying ordeal. She just won't speak. Her Doctor, played by Emily Deschanel, decides to take her home for a night as she is being released from hospital and has nowhere else to go. Cue the introduction to the Doctor's family, who we have already met by now - a husband and three daughters. Each of these has their own shit going on and we are invited into each of their lives to witness the affect this new arrival has on the family as a whole.

Mae, the mystery girl, soon comes out of her shell, which was handy as sitting watching her do a mute act for eight episodes would have been incredibly tiresome. One night in the family home turns into many nights as her Doctor, and now foster parent, does not believe she is safe to be left to her own devices. It becomes quite clear, albeit already obvious to the rest of us, that she has fled from a satanic cult, the leader of which was her own father and his plans for his daughter were indeed dark. The interconnecting story of the husband, who is trying in vain to sell the house he's built up the road and the school-time shenanigans of the daughters, now joined at the school by this mysterious, but popular new arrival, carry on regardless. How Mae gels with other sophomores is unusually easy, as viewed by Jules, the daughter in the same year, but they become close friends nonetheless.

The whole thing is bloated and stretched to fill its runtime, with not overly accomplished performances and even less impressive scripting. It's good enough to be the equivalent of elevator music, that you know is there but don't really pay too much close attention to, as it is so unchallenging and predictable. Saying this, I was as bored about as much as I was scared by the whole thing, so while it remained engaging more than not, it wasn't because it put the willies up me, which it never achieved all the way through. The final episode was a bit of a mess, if I'm honest and I was left wondering why this all needed to be crammed into an hour when they'd largely wasted the previous seven with purposeless exposition and irrelevant storytelling.

At best, it could have been worse, but after delivering the likes of Flanagan's Hill House, Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, you can truly the see that Netflix should do better.


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