The Innocents is one of Netflex’s newest original dramas and I got super sucked in by the atmospheric trailers showing people shapeshifting and suggesting some kind of secret organisation and powers and all the supernatural stuff that I love. What I got was something rather different from what I was expecting and I’m not sure that was really a good thing.
Teenagers, June (Sorcha Groundsell) and Harry (Percelle Ascott) have got a lot in common. They both feel like they’re trapped. June’s step father, John (Sam Hazeldine) is controlling and won’t let her out of his sight and Harry spends a lot of his time looking after his disabled father, Lewis (Philip) while is detective mother, Christine (Nadine Marshall) works. They decide to runaway together on June’s sixteenth birthday. When they encounter Steinar (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), a Norwegian man who claims to know June’s absent mother, Elena (Laura Birn) something very strange happens and the two realise that being young and broke is the least of their worries.
Meanwhile in a remote Norwegian forest mysterious doctor, Ben Halvorson (Guy Pearce) is conducting experiments with three women who all have special “skills”.
My feelings about this series shifted all over the place through the eight episodes. There were times I was absolutely gripped and dying to know what would happen next. I was also mesmerised by the incredible Norwegian scenery and I am now desperate to go and stare at a lake in some remote village. I thought Sorcha Groundsell had exactly the right kind of outward sweet fragility mixed with inward strength to play June and I loved her relationship with her brother, Ryan (Arthur Hughes).
On the other hand sometimes the endless coincidences and the ease with which some characters accepted some of the more bonkers happenings of the series perplexing. The balance of what parts of the story warranted extra exposition and what didn’t was off and I was left with so many questions:
- Who was June and Ryan’s real father?
- How did Halvorson find Runa?
- How did Kam pay for her massive flat in London?
I never bought the supposed electric chemistry between June and Harry, possibly because Percelle Ascott just isn’t a very good actor and the ending fell absolutely flat. I am not a person who needs a perfectly tied up ending but I just couldn’t see what the point of any of it was and Halvorson’s motivations didn’t ring true.
I can’t recommend this one because it just has too many faults. Not Netflix’s best.