The Order: Hell Week, PT 1

Following on the heels of the successful Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and The Haunting of Hill House, The Order is the latest Netflix supernatural chiller. The Vancouver-based horror-fantasy show promises a college-based battle between werewolves and an ancient order of dark magic practitioners. Think of it as a Riverdale-style variation on Underworld. All ten episodes are now available for your binge-watching pleasure on Netflix.

Less Than Magical Start for The Order

The Order’s first episode, Hell Week Part I, is shockingly dull television. Within the show’s opening minutes, we’re introduced to Jack Morton, a townie accepted to the prestigious Belgrave University. But Jack and his grandfather, Pete Morton, are more interested in the school’s secret society, The Hermetic Order of The Blue Rose. All the show’s promotional material tipped its first hand – The Order are necromancers. But the series seemingly hopes to throw in some family drama with hints that the death of Jack’s mother may be tied to The Order.

Most of Hell Week Part I alternates between Jack’s efforts to pledge into The Order and basic table-setting for the series. Major supporting characters are introduced. A couple of minor characters are killed – off-screen. And not much else of interest happens. In the episode’s closing moments we get the anticipated werewolf reveal. The fact that you knew this story twist was coming doesn’t really help.

Hell Week PT 1 – No Bark, No Bite

To say that Hell Week Pt 1 is a flat pilot episode is an understatement. While it’s too early to declare The Order ‘dead on arrival’, the series creators don’t seem to have a clear target audience in mind. Horror fans will be disappointed by the lack of … well … horror. In this regard, The Order fails to create any sense of atmosphere or suspense. Conversely, teen audiences who loved MTV’s Teen Wolf or Riverdale won’t find much steamy melodrama either. Unlike Netflix’s guilty-pleasure stocking stuffer, You, The Order is more generic than trashy.

It’s Not Too Late to Pledge The Order

Yes, Episode 1 of The Order is a dull ordeal that may have you wishing for any other hazing ritual. And there are some clear warning signs for the series. First and foremost, the young leads – Jake Manley and Sarah Grey – don’t exactly light the small screen on fire. The dialogue is also pretty hamstrung. But on the plus side, the veteran cast that includes Sam Trammell (True Blood), Matt Frewer (Dawn of the Dead), and genre favourite Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) are always worth watching. We’re also talking about wizards battling werewolves, so it has to get better, right?

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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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