Platform: Hulu Plus on Roku
Starring: Louise Fletcher (supporting), that odd-looking dude from True Blood.
Here's something that sounds like a lot of fun. A young woman is tormented by the death of her younger sister. She seeks comfort at a spiritualist community named Cassadaga and eventually finds herself at the mercy of a sadistic serial killer named Geppetto. There's a lot going on in those previous three sentences, so take a breath and let's see where this takes us.
We begin with a boy who likes to wear dresses and play with marionettes. I'm going to go ahead and assume this is young Geppetto. His mother beats him, rips the dress of of him, and then cuts it to shreds with a pair of scissors. The boy reacts...well, I'm not going to tell you how the boy reacts. Except to say that it's probably not what you think, and it's WAY more disturbing than what you think. Let's leave it at that. Please.
Our main character is deaf, except I'm not really sure why the filmmakers decided to maker he so. She talks perfectly fine as she wasn't born deaf, and she can lip read, so there isn't a lot of sign language involved. Frankly, the only time you will notice that she is deaf is when she or someone else mentions it. Odd choice, if you ask me. There's even a scene where she visits a medium to "hear" from her dead sister. Which she does. By placing her fingers on a old Victrola phonograph. She can read lips AND hear from the beyond with her fingertips. This is one handi-capable deaf person.
That visit with the medium didn't turn out so well. She starts experiencing some heavy "from beyond" shit almost immediately. Ghosts, maggots, greenhouses filled with weed. Her new boyfriend is there to help out as much as he can, until some family court stuff intervenes.
But that's boring, so let's jump to Geppetto. He's one twisted fuck. While pretending to be a handicapped man, he lures joggers by throwing his voice like a ventriloquist. He then saws off their limbs, only to re-attach them with artificial joints so that they resemble human marionettes. Oh...and then he kills them. Nice, right? Oddly deaf girl and this insane serial killer are on a collision course. His victims and her dead sister are leading her toward her date with the madman. Not nice of those ghosts, if you ask me.
The whole deal, frankly, feels like it could have been an episode of The X-Files or Fringe. I'm pretty sure Fringe was able to wrap up their serial killer/marionette story in one episode. This, while fine, just took too damn long. Mostly by adding a bunch of stuff that really didn't need to be in the mix in the first place. Final analysis: Too much time spent on oddly deaf girl's visions and not enough time spent on Geppetto.
Verdant Dude Rating: 2 out of 5 pumpkin ales