If you ask me, I think Netflix played it safe by releasing four episodes as an entire first season. Watching all episodes feels like watching a single animated horror film.
To lay it out on the table, Netflix’s Castlevania is ultra-violent and a mix between graphic gore and dark comedy.
In horror writing, there
are two simple rules that every writer seems to abide. First is that you don’t
kill the kid. Second is that you don’t kill the dog. I don’t know about the
latter but Netflix went all out with the former.
The show is all about manipulating the fears of people and turning it against others. It’s an age where people are afraid of technological advancements and are seen as works of the devil. In the world of Castlevania, it makes sense that the people in power (which happens to be the Church) are paranoid of things that could undermine their authority. So they do all they can to make their followers fear change.
It just occurred to me
that Castlevania doesn’t only feel
like a two-hour horror film, it also has the air of an epic fantasy book.
You’ve got your hero, Trevor Belmont, chilling out in an iconic pub scene that thrives in epic fantasy stories. He’s an underdog with a background that becomes obvious later in the story. And the whole setting generally feels like something you would read if books and horror were your thing.
Despite the storytelling,
the show doesn’t stray too far from the video game series it was adapted from.
Trevor travels around, talks to NPCs (sorry, people), and accepts quests from
them every now and then. Saving an old man, rescuing civilians, and partaking
in some platforming from time to time.
anything, Netflix just proved that a Castlevania
game that plays like Uncharted or Assassin’s Creed could become a smashing
success. When you finished all four episodes, you’ll pray that Netflix is far
from finished with the series.
There were things that could have smoothed things out better, but because there are only four episodes, I don’t think the team behind this had enough time. It is still a brave effort to deliver a fine piece of storytelling with excellent animations and action scenes.