I’m a huge fan of horror TV shows, and I’m an equally huge fan of TV teasers that evoke excitement and anticipation for an upcoming product. (I know most of you are different and like really boring teasers, right?) And so it is with a raised eyebrow and downward turned mouth edges that I viewed the above teaser for Showtime’s upcoming monster mash-up Penny Dreadful, which looks to take over the genre void left by Dexter’s glorious absence. That said, I’m not particularly excited or anticipatory of what I see here.
From what we know about Penny Dreadful, which admittedly isn’t much, literary beasts such as Dracula and Dorian Gray are running amok in London at the end of the 19th century. But there hasn’t been any sign that either religion or satanic forces would come into play. Yet in the teaser above, we see Eva Green’s character Vanessa Ives praying in front of a crucifix on the wall – plus candles, since you can’t pray without candles – until she is apparently taken over by a most unholy spirit, as depicted by entirely white eyeballs and the on-the-nose quote, “We all have our demons.”
I’m up to my own eyeballs with horrors revolving around possessions and demonic forces, as cinemas have gotten bogged down in recent years with mid-to-no-budget exorcism horrors. Last year’s American Horror Story: Asylum seemingly took on every taboo the sub-genre had to offer, so I wonder why Penny Dreadful’s creators decided to go this route as well, especially when they have a rogue’s gallery of villains to attend to already. And that’s without mentioning FX’s upcoming exorcism drama from Eli Roth, or Cinemax’s upcoming exorcism thriller from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman.
Of course, there’s also a Dracula series on the air as well, so I don’t know why I was expecting Showtime to make something original happen elsewhere. With a cast that includes Josh Hartnett, Billie Piper, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Helen McCrory, Penny Dreadful will make its debut at some point in 2014. The first clip below should have you in (Frankenstein’s creature’s) stitches, and check out the first video production diary below, which delves into the background of the premise.