From Dusk Till Dawn – another Netflix hit?

Posted: March 19, 2014 in watching
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Netflix have created a TV series of From Dusk Till Dawn, the crazy gangster vampire film. Having just watched the first episode, it seems to be doing the same weird thing the film did, which is to give us a crime drama at the start and will move on to the other stuff later, rather than mix the two smoothly together.

I don’t have a problem with this in principle, but it creates some problems with audience expectation. Viewers looking for horror and supernatural mayhem may get turned off by this first episode, which revolves around a stand-off at an isolated roadside store. Those who find themselves enjoying this interesting crime drama may get annoyed when it goes crazy later. Or maybe everybody will go in with full knowledge of the original, and it’ll work out nicely. Who knows?

It’s a weird thing to make in many ways, but Netflix have proved that they know what they’re doing with drama, and even supernatural drama. House of Cards is astonishingly good, and Hemlock Grove showed that they could do a decent version of urban fantasy. The supernatural element is much better foreshadowed here than in the From Dusk Till Dawn movie, and it looks like the central characters will run into the vampires for more reason than just accident. Kudos to the show’s writers for building a smoother setup than their source material.

One of the great advantages of TV streaming services like Netflix is that they have the confidence to make interesting TV. The fact that they’re dipping into genre drama is a great thing for those of us who want to see gangsters fight vampires. And maybe if we’re lucky, next time Netflix will try mixing up their dramas in newer ways. After an evening of House of Cards and From Dusk Till Dawn, I would love to see the supernatural hit Washington next time. Who’s up for vampires in the White House?

Anyone else been watching any of the Netflix original shows, and if so what did you think?

  1. Not directly related to the end-question, and I haven’t watched any Netflix originals or read the books I’m about to plug, but there’s a series about ‘the President’s vampire’, by Christopher Farnsworth. I think the vampire is a Secret Service agent or something similar. So there’s a precedent already…

  2. G.B. Koening says:

    I wish I had the time! I think Kevin Spacey is a brilliant, and from the few bits and bobs I’ve seen of House of Cards, it looks brilliant as well.
    I thought the premise for the film From Dusk Till Dawn was good, but I feel it faltered a little in its execution (but any film that employs John Saxon you’ve got to give a little credit!).

    The series sounds much better. Wiki says it was created by Robert Rodrigues; writer, director and producer of the Mexican Trilogy , if that’s the case, it’s got some good legs to stand on.

    And hopefully, since it’s television, it can make better use of pacing due to its serialized nature.

    Sadly, I’ll have to enjoy it through DVD collection somewhere down the line… 🙂

    • Apparently Rodrigues is using this opportunity to expand upon the mythos he imagined behind the original, and to flesh out the characters. Fingers crossed that’ll deal with some of the original’s problems – the first episode certainly lives up to the tone of his Mexico films.

      And if you’re a Spacey fan then you really should watch House of Cards as soon as you have the time. Even by his standards it’s an awesome performance.

  3. […] From Dusk Till Dawn – another Netflix hit? […]

  4. Dan says:

    I didn’t like it. I thought the first episode actually just demonstrated that the first 10 minute scene in the liquor store in the film was judged correctly – it taught you a lot about the characters fast and showed the nature of the world they were operating in (sans vampires). To see it dragged out to 45 minutes just killed it for me.
    Its sad, I always loved the final matte painted shot of the film where the bar is the top of a pyramid. It spoke so loudly of cooler things going on and a depth and a history that really excited me, but I don’t think I can put the effort in with the tv show.

    • I actually enjoyed it. I’ve got pretty hooked on crime dramas lately, and I’m enjoying the strained relationship between the two brothers. It probably helps that this time they don’t have Quentin Tarantino acting. I love the guy’s writing, but this version of the character is much more sympathetic, in a terrible, terrible way.

      Honestly though, after four episodes they’re still nowhere near the pyramid, so it’s probably best that you didn’t stick with it for that – you’d just be four times as frustrated by now.

  5. […] think I’ll stick with From Dusk Till Dawn for my supernatural crime adventures – whether it’s the medium of TV or the way that […]

  6. […] already there and combining it in new ways. When you put together vampires and gangsters you get From Dusk Till Dawn. When you combine superpowers and food you get Chew. When you combine a pop song and a solemnly […]

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