Friday, 23 May 2014

Grimm: La Llorana

"It's always the good ones who are taken."

At last we get an episode based on a non-European myth, namely the La Llorona myth from Mexico City. In fact, it's interesting that the Halloween episode should be so Mexican themed and effective because of it; this is both the scariest and best episode so far. I know, vaguely, about the Mexican day of the dead, but I'm -reminded of how little we Europeans know about faraway Latin Americans. We tend, I think, to just see Latin Americans as colonial Spaniards and sit bemused at the American habit of referring to Latin Americans as a non-white ethnicity, "Hispanic", which certainly doesn't exist in Europe. All of which is to say that I probably didn't get all of the cultural references this episode but I definitely enjoyed it. It is also notable how superbly shot this episode is.

There is so much creepy imagery here, from the lady in white calmly walking into the water to our first glimpse of her horrifying face; for once this is not CGI, and is absolutely terrifying. Add the fact that the mysterious lady seeks to catch and sacrifice children and you have dark, fairytale horror that may not be German but is nevertheless reminiscent of the dark, pre-Disney Grimm tales. I note, too, that the weeping woman lives to strike again; this is but a temporary victory.

As well as this we have a lighthearted B plot with Monroe (who really does Halloween) and some trick-or-treating kids. Juliette`s plotline is intriguing, however; she is acting as translator, being part Spanish, and has some interesting chats with the missing boy`s grandmother. She sees Juliette`s scratch and comments, correctly, "You were very sick. You don`t remember it." This will have consequences.

The adversary, for once, is not a Wesen, but this Halloween episode of Grimm is possibly the finest so far.

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