The new Amazon Prime series titled The Devil's Hour is a confounding puzzle. I don't mean it in a negative sense because it's meant to be confusing. You constantly ask, "What the hell is going on?" Yet, you never feel frustrated or take it all as a shallow showboating attempt. Instead, we stay for the answers, the credit for which must be given to the filmmakers. They make us believe that they are not wasting our time. "It will all make sense," the series seems to say to us. Does it, though? I think I understood what happened, but I don't think I can explain it to anyone (the mumbo jumbo sounds better coming from the character's mouth). You and your friends have to watch The Devil's Hour if you want to have serious, nerdy discussions.
It would be futile to describe the plot, but I need words for this review. I am in no mood to give spoilers, so let's keep everything to a minimum and as vague as possible. Lucy (Jessica Raine) works at children's services. She and her husband have separated, which makes her a single mother. The name of her son is Isaac (Benjamin Chivers), and he is...different. There is something wrong with him, and no, he is not an introvert. He is devoid of feelings and acts like a robot. Tell him to punch himself, and he will do so without hesitation. Ask him if he's happy or sad, and he will say, "I don't know." He can, though, tell if you are happy or sad. He has knowledge about human emotions; he simply does not possess them.
It's not like Lucy is leading a normal life. Every day, she wakes up at 3:33 am (the devil's hour) after having weird nightmares. But do her dreams mean something? Are these so-called nightmares a vision of the past or maybe the future? Is there a fortune-teller or a time traveler involved? Is all this merely the work of a malevolent ghost? What about the kidnappings and the dead bodies? Is there a serial killer on the loose? Lucy's visions and the real incidents always differ. So is she merely seeing false outcomes? Is she hallucinating or experiencing déjà vu? Why is Isaac talking to empty spaces? Is he your usual creepy child who communicates with the spirits?
For most of the time (actually, until the final episode), you keep asking all these questions. The Devil's Hour saves the explanations for the last. In the meanwhile, it allows us to swim in the pool of doubts. The series really trusts the audience to stay till the end, and if you are curious and don't have a short attention span, you might just stick around. A part of me wishes the whole affair had been wrapped up by the end, like in a feature film. But then, that would have caused a rushed and underwhelming finale. I guess one can give The Devil's Hour a chance to run for as many seasons as possible. I am not sure if it will be renewed for a second run, but if it does, I will definitely be excited.
The Devil's Hour reminded me a lot of Netflix's Dark. The mood is the same in both series: Quiet, tight, and suspenseful. Still, the one important thing that separates Dark and The Devil's Hour is that the latter has a healthy amount of good lame jokes. Mike, Lucy's ex-husband, has a list of bad jokes that he uses to make Lucy laugh. Lucy makes funny faces or pretends to be a police officer to cheer Isaac up. And Isaac's literal reading or impassive response to jokes becomes a source of humor itself.
Some scenes are cut in such a way that they jump forward and backward in time. This style ties up to the core of the series, which plays with time in an interesting manner. Lucy and Ravi (Nikesh Patel), a detective, are visually linked to each other. For instance, in one of the scenes, the two of them - in different locations - use stairs at the same moment. We eventually get to know the reason behind this connection, and you see why they were attracted to one another. The Devil's Hour clarifies your queries and then raises some for the potential second season. Some might complain they didn't feel attached to the characters. That they didn't care what happened to them. Fair enough. But for me, The Devil's Hour always remained on the level of a thriller. I saw it as something made for a mindfuck - and not dramatic - experience. As far as I know, The Devil's Hour succeeded in its intentions.
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