‘Curon’: Netflix tries unsuccessfully to replicate the fantastic formula of ‘Dark’ in this Italian teen series
Netflix is billing a lot of horror and fantasy genre series. In the weekly trickle there is everything, but from time to time some hits such as ‘Marianne’ and ‘Dark’ arise, which, one in horror and the other in science fiction, manage to demonstrate the delocalization of the production can bring great surprises from Europe. ‘ Curon ‘ is an Italian paranormal mystery series with only seven episodes created by Fabio Mollo and Lyda Patitucci.
A first season in which its proposal related to the fantastic, with a dark and sinister tone, made us think that we could be facing a self-claim of Italy as a gender factory that seemed to return to the inheritance of rural terror and the superstitions of Pupi Avati or even elements of folk horror. And although it cannot be said that this is not the case, the result is rather generic and not even its limitation of episodes translates into a condensation of production values or story arcs.
A real story
In the ‘ Curon ‘ storyline, a woman returns to her hometown with her two twin children and remembers that something horrible had happened 17 years ago. Her father, the owner of a supposedly cursed hotel, is not very happy about her arrival and the reasons will be discovered by the brothers when strange things begin to happen and her mother disappears, being forced to search for answers to the Curon mystery that,.
Located in South Tyrol, the town is famous for its curious bell tower, which stands as the visible symbol of the series. The tower was part of a Roman church located on an alpine slope, but in the 1950s it was decided to build a reservoir in the area, to unify the Resia and Curon lakes, forcing the people of the town to emigrate, since all the The area would be flooded, despite trying to avoid it, even asking the Pope for help. Today, the only sign of what was there is the old bell tower, which the water has not yet covered.
The bell tower has become a tourist attraction with thousands of visits a year, a very convenient factor for the proliferation of numerous legends in the place such as the fact that on some winter nights the bells are still heard ringing, despite the fact that they were removed of the same. A whole canvas to interconnect ghost stories and legends, a potential that authors of the genre such as Michele Soavi or the mentioned Avati knew how to take advantage of in some of their film stream but that the Netflix series wastes.
The most disappointing thing about ‘ Curon ‘ is that it is not too different from other recent series of fantastic with a young adult target audience that relegate their gender starting point to a cement more at the service of other subplots of bullying, family drama and youthful love soap opera that of the element of fantastic or terror, so they are not always well connected to the main plot, something that when balanced can achieve tension as well as emotional impact, such as in ‘ This shit is beyond me ‘ (I Am Not Okay with This, 2019).
In this case, an autopilot similar to that of other recent artistic failures such as ‘ NOS4A2 ‘, ‘ Locke & Key ‘ or ‘ Vampires ‘ is noted, in which the elements of the teenage TV series are treated with a template without too much care by the characters and they entrust everything to the letter of the conflict, achieving a monotonous echo of the same wickerwork as the mentioned series that goes by without vitamins and without soul. All of Daria and Mauro’s relationships with their new friends are interchangeable with what happens to the brothers in Joe Hill’s play.
The result is that the story soon becomes routine and monotonous, weighed down by white-label song scenes as the mystery is told literally without any connection to a higher level in the story and relegating the curse, the themes of religion. and worship until it finally becomes predictable. ‘ Curon ‘ has an intriguing premise but never take risks. It raises a tone similar to ‘Dark’ but stays in the reflection and ends up turning a matrix rich in superstition and history into a boring photocopy.