Harold Perrineau stars in From as Boyd Stevens. Photo Link IMB
"Do you believe in Monsters?"
Donna Raines speaking to Tabitha Matthews, "The Way Things Are Now", From
From is one of those television shows that hooks you in the first five minutes and then refuses to let go. I binged the first two seasons in two weeks and then immediately re-watched them again because I couldn’t get the show out of my mind. I honestly think it is one of the best science fiction horror television shows that I’ve watched in years. From was created by John Griffin for Epix and stars Harold Perrineau, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Eion Bailey, David Alpay, Elizabeth Saunders, Scott McCord, Avery Konrad, Corteon Moore, Pegah Ghafoori, Ricky He, Shaun Majumder, Chloe Van Landschoot, Elizabeth Moy, Hannah Cheramy and Simon Webster. The first season of From premiered on 20 February 2022 and the second season premiered on 23 April 2023. This review will contain spoilers.
From is set in a town located somewhere in Middle America that traps anyone who enters. At night, the residents of the town are plagued by terrifying creatures, who smile and look human, that emerge from the surrounding forest to wander the streets and knock on windows and doors. When the creatures are let inside homes, they drop their human mask and transform into hideous monsters, who slash and rip their victims to pieces. Harold Perrineau, an American actor famous for his role in the television series Lost (2004-2010), stars as the main protagonist Boyd Stevens.
Boyd Stevens is a veteran of the Iraq War who arrived in the town with his wife Abby and their son Ellis. Immediately after arriving, Boyd accepted the reality of his new situation and stepped into a leadership position. He used his military training to help keep the residents of the town safe and started going into the forest to see what resources he could find. Through his hard work, life in the town improved, and Boyd became the self-appointed Sheriff and Mayor. He became so consumed with looking after the townspeople, he failed to notice that his wife’s mental health was deteriorating, which leads to a terrible tragedy unfolding in the centre of town. After her death, Ellis blamed his father for failing to help her, and the two of them became estranged. Harold Perrineau delivers a fantastic performance in From as Boyd Stevens. I am really rooting for him to figure out how to get everyone home safely.
I really liked the character of Donna Raines who is played by Elizabeth Saunders. Donna is the leader of Colony House which is a large house located on a hill that overlooks the town. The residents of Colony House are different from the Townspeople in several ways. They act like a commune and have chosen to make the most of the present instead of longing to return home like the townspeople do. Donna cares deeply for the residents of Colony House and has worked hard to set up a system of rules to help keep them all safe while they live under her roof. The reason I like Donna so much is I can’t remember ever seeing a TV show feature a plus-sized woman in a leadership position before. Donna is a confident, fiercely protective, no-bullshit kind of character who doesn’t tolerate crap and gets things done.
Jade Herrera (played by David Alpay) is a wealthy software developer who struggles to adapt to life in the Town. He responds with disbelief and laughter when he is told that he cannot leave and that the forest is filled with monsters. He becomes convinced that everything he has been told is a prank set up by his best friend. It takes a while for Jade to finally accept the reality of his situation. After coming to grips with the truth, Jade puts his intellect to work and tries to use logic to figure out the mysteries of the Town. He soon discovers that the more he looks for answers the harder the mysterious forces that lurk in the Town push back to punish him. Jade really grew on me as a character. David Alpay does a great job bringing him to life with just the perfect amount of snark, arrogance and privilege.
I really disliked the character of Jim Matthews who is played by Eoin Bailey. Jim Matthews is a former amusement park engineer who gets trapped in the Town with his wife Tabitha and their children Julie and Ethan on the same day that Jade arrives. Jim is very protective of his family and suspicious of the other people who live in the Town. Jim reacts with scepticism when Jade and his wife Tabitha both tell him that they have experienced horrifying visions ever since arriving in the Town. He is rude and dismissive of their experiences because he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. He is convinced that there is a scientific answer to everything that is happening and is determined to go to whatever lengths necessary to prove that he is right.
The most fascinating character on the show for me was without a doubt Victor who is played by Scott McCord. Victor is a deeply traumatised man with a haunted look in his eyes who has seen a lot of terrible things. He has been stranded in the Town for decades after he arrived there with his mother when he was a young child. After she died a horrible death, Victor somehow managed to survive on his own for years. He now lives in Colony House where he spends his time drawing pictures like a child would and eating tinned peaches. Victor is such a tragic character. He’s a grown man but still a child in a lot of ways. I was halfway through my second re-watch of the show when I realised that the children’s drawings we see in the opening credits were done by Victor and are clues about all of the horrifying things he has seen. I can’t wait to discover more about this mysterious character and his tragic backstory in season three.