Hulu's HELSTROM show (2020)
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1 hour ago, ashsaytr said:

:facepalm:

Was it just me, or did they spend a large portion of the panel talking modern social situations and less about the show? Not to say those topics are not super-critical.

But this is that first leap-off to ease people into the show and what to expect of the story.

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Following the release of the Helstrom trailer at Comic-Con 2020, Marvel fans have had one question on their minds: how does the new Hulu series relate to the MCU as a whole? The horror looks wildly different to anything else produced by the superhero studio and was commissioned before Kevin Feige took over production of Marvel's TV shows.

 

Elizabeth Marvel, who appears in the series (and has a remarkably fitting name to boot), has recently spoken about where Helstrom fits into the MCU. While the actor did not 100% confirm a connection to the wider Marvel universe, she did compare Helstrom to another series that is: Daredevil. 

 

"I think it is. I wouldn't say it's too scary or scarier than a lot of the territory explored in, you know, something like Daredevil or a lot of shows and movies that are out there can get dark, but it's just different," Marvel told ComicBook. "It's a different kind of story, a different kind of fear, a different kind of playing out of similar elements. But, you know, I spend a lot of time climbing on walls and flying. So there's still a lot of the same, the same sort of elements are used in this story. It's just to a different kind of purpose." 

 

She continued: "I think people will find satisfaction with some of the familiar of what they really love in this world. And then they'll be encouraged to open new doors and to whole different wings of this giant building of Marvel that they've never been in before, which I think is going to be really fun because I think that the Marvel world it's so huge, but it's been sort of kept in one centralized zone. And now we're saying, 'Come over here with us to this whole new section,' and I think it'll be a great pleasure for people to do that."

 

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In a matter of hours, Hulu will release all ten episodes of Helstrom and introduce Marvel fans to a corner of the universe they haven't seen in live-action before. Featuring Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon and Daimon and Ana Helstrom, the series dives headfirst into the horrors and mythology behind some of the spookiest characters ripped straight from the Marvel mythos.

 

Though Chris Yen is a character original to the show, he fits in very well with the likes of the Helstrom siblings. We recently had the chance to catch up with Alain Uy, the actor behind Yen, to chat about the show's darker tone, Yen's intentions, and the wonders of Netflix cooking shows. Keep scrolling to see our full chat with Uy!

 

For the uninitiated, Hulu's synopsis for Helstrom can be seen below.

 

"As the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, Helstrom follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), and their complicated dynamic, as they track down the worst of humanity — each with their own attitude and skills."

 

Horror & Chris Yen


ComicBook.com: Let's start off with the tone of the show. It's certainly a horror show, right? It's not like anything Marvel's done before. How in tune were you with the Marvel machine before you boarded the show?

 

Alain Uy: I've been a fan since I was a kid. I was indoctrinated into the world of comic books by my brother. He's a few years older than me, but he would always come home with just comic books. I remember, he would have cases of comic books with the sleeve, and the plastic, and he would be very gentle with it. I admired the artwork at first, it was just so beautiful to me. Then he let me borrow an X-Factor — that's what he was into, X-Factor, X-Men, Punisher — and I would just start reading.

 

I grew attached to dark Angel, Archangel, that character of the X-Factor, and I was like "That's so cool!" That's where the curiosity started for me, and then I eventually started collecting Wolverine. I remember the first comic book I bought was Wolverine number one, he was standing on top of a mound of bodies, and I was like, "That is so cool." Then it just kind of went from there, and I eventually found other interests. But yeah, I've been a fan and obviously with the MCU and everything else that Marvel Studios have been producing, you kind of get sucked back into that world.

 

So you play Chris Yen in Helstrom. You're reading the first -script and you see the tone and the subject matter and the content, what's the initial thought that goes through your head reading this -script, compared to all of the Marvel stuff you've seen or read before?

 

I think the tone is just that first initial scene really. You read it, and you visualize what the director, or what this eventually would look like, and it's immediate. You go, this is not anything that Marvel has done. There's a lot of nuance to it obviously, it's grounded in a lot of ... It ties into sort of a familiar, I don't want to say trope, but it's grounded in reality in the sense that it deals with family, but there are very horror, supernatural, type of elements to it.

 

Reading that first -script, you get brought into this world immediately, and you see the main characters as they are during that time of where they're at at this point. You see it immediately, and it's like "Okay, we're on this ride. All right, cool." We see Daimon, we see Ana, and we see what the potential of this world is going to be. I think that's what drew me immediately when I first read that first episode. I was like okay, this is the introduction to the world and I'm into it. It's scary.

 

So Alain is a very nice individual and Chris is-

 

Well I don't know. [laughs]

 

I'll start by saying who I am as a person. Obviously I love chaos, I love being in things that are unpredictable, and Chris is the opposite of that. He likes to be in control of everything. Chris has a relationship with Ana Helstrom, and that relationship is a very deep, long-standing relationship. We've talked about this with the show runner Paul, that Chris is in some ways the surrogate brother to Ana. He was there throughout her adolescence. All the stuff that she had to go through as a character, I went through it at the same time. I think I could say that we grew up in foster care, and it's that element of, who do I trust? Usually in situations, if you're going through the foster care program, there's a lot of landmines you have to try to navigate your way through, and trust is one of those things where you don't really develop that trust, and once you do latch onto somebody, you trust them all the way through. You kind of become their ride-or-die type of partner.

 

In this instance Chris Yen is someone who has come from a very difficult past, there's a lot of challenges that he went through, very similar to Ana, and then they found their way through life finding success. Dealing with antiquities. So I feel as if Chris is the type of person that is trying to run away from, or at least push himself as far away from, that poverty in some ways, and then now he sort of in some ways have grown attached to a lifestyle that he wants to preserve. I think in this instance it's a balance of, how do I maintain this world as is, while I'm also dealing with someone ... Not dealing, dealing is a bad word, but just maintaining this friendship and loyalty that I have with Ana. Which in some ways, there's a potential for chaos with her, and I think that sort of push and pull between the two characters, where I'm really the only one who could kind of check her, I'm the only one that she trusts at this point, when we first meet these characters, is integral to that relationship.

 

Potential for Chaos


You said it best, I think, "Potential for chaos" might be a good tag line for the show.

 

Yeah. There's a lot. Like we were saying earlier, in terms of the comic books and the universe that we're part of, it's a part of the universe, the Marvel universe, that hasn't been touched in the sense that it hasn't really been explored. It's a lot more mature, it's not something that, you may be reticent to have a 10-year-old watch. There's a lot of really deep themes that are dark themes, that are dark themes, that are being portrayed here, so potential for chaos is certainly a term you could use for it.

 

You bring up something interesting. The subject matter is obviously very dark. It's a pretty dark show, no matter which way you cut it. And each person reacts to that differently. How did you manage to keep the situation light on scene, or on set, and not get absorbed by all the subject matter?

 

Two ways, I think everyone has different approaches to the discipline, the craft. I always, for the first day on set, I always want to observe what everyone's process is, to be sensitive to that. I like to understand what Beth's process was, or what Sydney's process, and Robert Wisdom's process, and Tom's process, to be aware of what they do.

 

I like to keep things light on set. It is a very intense, or it can be very intense, in terms of the subject, in terms of the scenes that we're playing. So it really depends. Especially if you're getting your call sheet and you're saying, this particular day, the scene that we're shooting requires a lot of emotional preparation or what have you. That's when you kind of lay off a little bit. But for me, my approach has always been, do your work, obviously, be prepared, but I try not to get too far into it until we have to actually shoot. Keeping it light is certainly something I've always done. I love playing music before I go onset in my trailer, just to get the tone of the character. I created a soundtrack for Chris. That's how I sort of approach the darkness of being on the set, and playing these characters.

 

At the end of the day it was a fun set. It wasn't anything too crazy. We had a blast playing with each other, and playing opposite of each other. It was a lot of fun.

 

Absolutely. What was your go-to record or track?

 

Oh God, there is a track, I can't pronounce it very well, but it was in the Ocean's 12 soundtrack, where it was, Brad Pitt's character would always see Catherine Zeta-Jones' character, and it's a guitar song. The artist's name is Piero Umiliani, and I'm destroying his name. The track is called "Crepuscolo Sul Mare," I think. It's a beautiful track, and I've always felt that that track is in some ways who Chris Yen is. It's a sort of elevated, simple, "I'm going to sit and enjoy my wine and my cheese, and just think of beautiful things." While in the background of my mind there's some truths that I have to deal with, that I have yet to deal with. That's the kind of character I felt like he was. Or he is.

 

Helstrom hits Hulu on Friday, October 16th.

 

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I've watch the first two episodes. I think the problem some are having with this is 'Marvel' and 'dark'. This is darker than the Legion story, which was fantastic.

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Helstrom is now streaming season 1 on Hulu, and even though the series is downplaying its Marvel connections, there are still some significant lessons that Marvel Studios can learn from it. There's been a lot of debate in recent years about whether or not Marvel should venture into more horror-themed territory - or if such a thing was even possible under Disney. We know that Marvel will be rebooting Blade within the Marvel Cinematic Universe - but what form that reboot takes is still unclear. But Helstrom makes a compelling case for why it's time for Marvel to fully embrace horror, and all the genre has to offer.

 

Taking a look at the landscape of modern movies, there are two clear frontrunners when it comes to guaranteed profits: horror and superheroes; it seems like a no-brainer that the two should be truly combined into one. Television/streaming are also seeing more and more horror-themed shows growing in popularity, with wide-open lanes for bigger, blockbuster-sized horror event TV. Helstrom is a fine beginning, but it admittedly lacks the full production scale (and endorsement) of the Marvel Studios brand.

 

Clearly there's opportunity for Marvel-brand horror on both the big screen and TV, but what's the appeal?

 

Granted, combining superheroes and horror is an easy bet from a money-making perspective, but on the less cynical side there's another opportunity that a show Helstrom presents: the novelty of heroes with horror-themed powers. Fans have responded well to seeing heroes like Blade or Ghost Rider unleash the darker side super powers - but Helstrom leans into some much darker ideas of what it's like when heroes are fighting to harness evil power for good purpose. Audiences love stories about "complicated" heroes - especially those that invite terms like "dark" or "gritty"; Marvel can take those kinds of terms to new levels into both of those things (and maintain clear branding boundaries) with some horror-themed content.


Helstrom also offers some unique visuals when it comes to seeing things like demonic powers put to use in combat - and with a bigger scope and budget, Marvel could do something neither the superhero nor the horror genre have done one their own.

 

Finally, the other main appeal of getting more Marvel horror content like Helstrom is that Marvel Horror is in fact a entire potential universe of its own. In Marvel Comics, characters like Blade or Ghost Rider go hand-and-hand with Daimon and Ana Helstrom, and so many other characters that could (and will) debut in TV and movie projects, giving fans (and Marvel Studios) an entire set of crossover stories that don't have to really intersect with the main Avengers universe. There were already plans for Helstrom to be part of a new Marvel Horror franchise on Hulu; those plans were changed, so maybe Marvel Studios has plans for its own corner of horror? Blade is on the way, and hopefully it will establish the kind of tone horror fans are hoping for.


So Far, as Helstrom reviews and fan reactions are coming in (at the time of writing this), it seems like Marvel horror is a universe that fans would indeed like to see more of.

 

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12 hours ago, Bosco685 said:

I've watch the first two episodes. I think the problem some are having with this is 'Marvel' and 'dark'. This is darker than the Legion story, which was fantastic.

 

Do you think it's good?  Its on my want to watch list but that list is long and distinguished.

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1 hour ago, 1Cool said:

Do you think it's good?  Its on my want to watch list but that list is long and distinguished.

I'm up to Episode 8 (there are 10 total) and really enjoying the different horror/intense adventure themes throughout.

Where critics are ripping it the most is how it doesn't follow the 'Marvel -script' they have come to appreciate.

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6 minutes ago, Bosco685 said:

I'm up to Episode 8 (there are 10 total) and really enjoying the different horror/intense adventure themes throughout.

Where critics are ripping it the most is how it doesn't follow the 'Marvel ---script' they have come to appreciate.

doh!

Variety is good. The critics need to get out more.

That being said, who cares what the critics' opinion is - watch it if you like it. Remember, the only reason they ended up as critics is that they failed in the entertainment or journalism worlds to begin with...........................

Edited by kimik
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44 minutes ago, kimik said:

doh!

Variety is good. The critics need to get out more.

That being said, who cares what the critics' opinion is - watch it if you like it. Remember, the only reason they ended up as critics is that they failed in the entertainment or journalism worlds to begin with...........................

So right. That story Christopher McQuarrie told about meeting one of his critics was quite interesting.

Christopher McQuarrie: What the Director Learned After Meeting the Critic Who Wrote the Worst Review of His Career

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McQuarrie remembered the negative reviews he got for his 2000 directorial debut “The Way of the Gun,” which starred Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro. But one bad review stood out above all the rest since, for McQuarrie, it was written less an attack on the film but as an attack on the director personally. The director remembered a line in the review that read, “McQuarrie is like an SS Guard trying to build a kinder, gentler concentration camp.”

 

“It stayed with me for days,” McQuarrie said about the review. “I could not let it go. It was cruel and unfair and completely missed the point of the film. And it presumed to know who I was as a person.”

 

McQuarrie reacted to the review by deciding to meet the film critic who wrote it. The director wrote to the critic and asked him to lunch.

 

“I did not argue or rail,” McQuarrie said. “I wanted to understand what he thought I had done. I wanted to know how and why I had failed to make my point. It ended: ‘I offer you this opportunity to stop me before I kill again.'”

 

The film critic agreed to have lunch with McQuarrie. As they walked to the restaurant, the critic told the filmmaker that he was also failed director. McQuarrie tried to explain his intention with “The Way of the Gun” and admitted it did not come across effectively in his finished theatrical release.

 

“I walked away having learned something I say often,” McQuarrie wrote. “All angry, bitter, nasty criticisms have the same subtext: ‘You squandered an opportunity that should have been mine.’ I can’t say criticism never bothered me again. But it never had the same power. Angry criticism has even less. Because I have seen the angry critic’s pain.”

 

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Helstrom seems as if it’s Marvel’s forgotten son. After all, the word “Marvel” was literally dropped from the logo. In fact, the only evidence that this is even a Marvel character is it stating once that it’s Marvel in the opening credits. Funny enough, the show kind of works better with Marvel completely acting as if it doesn’t exist. I know you’ve probably seen the trailer – the posters. Everyone’s told you to toss this show away, so you’ve decided not to check it out. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. If you’re looking for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat creepy horror show that keeps you guessing, watch Helstrom.

 

Slight Spoilers
Helstrom was originally meant to be part of a Marvel world on Hulu called Adventure into Fear. We were going to have Helstrom, Ghost Rider, and others. The Ghost Rider project got axed and Helstrom serves more as a standalone series. Which, does make me a little disappointed. As much as I love the MCU, Kevin Feige has to realize that having variety within the Marvel universe is a good thing. Have your darker shows on Hulu and keep the more PG series on Disney+.

 

Now, Helstrom is no American Horror Story. There’s no gratuitous sex scenes or wild curse words thrown out. There are demon possessions, adult themes such as suicide, and blood. Not a crazy amount, but it’s there. Despite Marvel wanting to distance itself from Helstrom, you can tell they still watered down some aspects of the character. For instant, he doesn’t have a Pentagram on his chest as he does in the comics. Although, I believe; the show was well-made; I do wish they had a slightly bigger budget. I really wanted to see some crazy demonic, firey scenes that the show touched upon. I wanted them to completely let go. There are great scenes within the main characters and some cool fight scenes. I just wanted a little more.

 

The Show Kept Up a Great Pace
Still, I cannot say that this show didn’t keep me guessing. Any time there was a brief moment of happiness, I kept expecting something bad to happen – because it usually did. Unlike other Marvel shows, Helstrom rarely had a filler moment. Everything was working towards a mission and all of the characters served a purpose. I never felt bored and I enjoyed every character.

 

Interesting Characters in an Interesting World
Helstrom does survive on the assumption that everyone in the inner circle knows about demons and such. There’s really no outside “shock” moment – it seems everyone knows about these creatures. Even though Ariana Guerra’s Gabriella Rosetti is introduced to this hellish world, she doesn’t seem all that mortified by it. But, I didn’t really mind – I actually liked not having the cliche character who simply squeals the entire time because everyone else is so calm around something supernatural happening.

 

All of the additional characters are great too. Robert Wisdom as Caretaker, June Carryl as Louise, Elizabeth Marvel as Victoria/Mother, and Alain Uy as Chris Yen really helped make this series as special as it was. I know the popular thing right now is probably to drag on Helstrom, but I really enjoyed it. I want to see more of Damian, Ana, and everyone else. And with the way they ended the season, I really am dreading Marvel announcing they’ve decided not to move forward with a season two. It was so intense and the perfect season finale reveal.

 

Rating: 4/5


Go watch Helstrom and form your own opinion – it’s the perfect Halloween show to satisfy your Constantine, Supernatural and Lucifer cravings.

 

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Finished Episodes 9 and 10 last night.

Although the last episodes can feel anti-climatic after all the intense story buildup, it actually makes sense the journey has to come to a season end.

  • Episodes 1-8: 7.5/10
  • Episodes 9-10: 6.5-7.0/10

I think the show is worth the watch. And it ends on a cliffhanger setting up Season 2. But I doubt we will see that come about with Jeph Loeb and Marvel TV gone. A shame. The character introduced in the end by a famous X-Files actor made it interesting.

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I watched the 1st episode last night and it was ok - 6/10.  Felt like it wanted to be Supernatural but the funny parts felt very flat.  Some decent gore and the pacing was ok but just felt a little off.  It was good enough for me to keep watching and I'll probably finish it by Halloween.

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Okay, I'll give this a shot as well.  I'm doing The Sopranos for the 5th time and am in season 4 and need a break.  This should do!

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11 hours ago, ChasingKingKirby said:

 Not quite scary enough to be horror and not quite “cape” enough to be a superhero series

I was reading an article with the showrunner where he pointed out they wanted to go full Helstrom to match the comic book content. But because Hulu is majority-owned by Disney, they would not allow those portions of the source material to be shown.

Even when Daimon Helstrom's symbol flares up, you'll notice it doesn't go full pentagram but rather some zig-zag design.

Daimon_Hellstrom.jpg.e210e86eee10264ca68abf4b0de4ee55.jpg

Helstrom_pentagram.png.eeab6fe227c5847ea0c2bf3e55bb8a4a.png

That's where the Disney family for these shows can at times become an inhibitor with the darker characters and source material.

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On 10/20/2020 at 3:11 PM, Bosco685 said:

So right. That story Christopher McQuarrie told about meeting one of his critics was quite interesting.

Christopher McQuarrie: What the Director Learned After Meeting the Critic Who Wrote the Worst Review of His Career

 

“McQuarrie is like an SS Guard trying to build a kinder, gentler concentration camp.”

Quite possibly the worst line of film criticism I've ever read.

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