Monday, January 20, 2014

Web Series Review: Storytellers

Web Series: Storytellers
Episodes: 6
Rating: 3.75/5 stars- intriguing, but...

Synopsis (as found on the Kickstarter page):

STORYTELLERS is Skins meets Are You Afraid of the Dark? – the summer before they leave for college, a group of unlikely friends gathers around a campfire to tell scary stories, and what begins as joking fun grows steadily more frightening. As the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, our group of storytellers ultimately discover more than they bargained for about their world...and each other.
Part coming-of-age story and part episodic horror series with plenty of light touches of comedy, STORYTELLERS plays with familiar tropes and archetypes in fresh, unexpected ways. Following a Skins-esque format, the series will have seven episodes, with each of the first six centering around a specific member of the group, leading up to a final episode bringing all of them—and their stories—together.

I don't personally watch Joey Graceffa on YouTube, but a friend had told me about this web series he was making, knowing that I like to watch web series, so I had checked this out before the web series launched.

At the time, I was pretty intrigued, the idea of a story evolving into reality, centred around six characters who each have a different supernatural/horror element coming into play. I liked the elements they had chosen, and it sounded intriguing.

So after like months, the web series finally launched (I had no idea it launched until my friend sent me the link actually...) and I clicked into the first two episodes and was quite impressed with it. It had a good set up of atmosphere, and it was scary not from say jump cuts, gore or like anything on that- it built on the suspense and fear of the characters, which built the suspense for the audience likewise. I was left wanting a little more background information, but I figure that would come with the next episodes.

As the weeks progressed, I grew increasingly frustrated with the series- there was no background information being given, instead more and more questions came up, and there were just no answers. I also wished the episodes were a little longer, just so they can add a few things to add more dimension to this series. There are a couple unbelievable points in this series in my opinion, which I won't say to not give away spoilers.

Then the finale episode launched, and first of all, my initial reaction was: "WAIT. This is the finale? I thought it was 7 episodes."

Then my frustration finally snapped as the cliffhanger came in and no questions were really answered.

We know nothing about the superpowers, and all the "supernatural" elements that each episode is based on is somewhat weak. The first two were solid, but it weakened as it went on. I don't see how the Finn episode affects Finn in any way or has a psychological fear element. Celia's wasn't really related to nightmares or fairytales. Blazer's was really minimally paranormal sci-fi.

I think my main frustration is that this series is that it was marketed wrong to me; I went in with all the wrong expectations.

As a whole, with no expectations whatever, the series is fairly strong, although the cliffhanger and lack of explanation between the two story lines is irritating, the cast is strong- everyone plays their character quite convincingly, and the shots are beautiful and realistic.

My only true irritation with this is how it's obviously marketed so a season 2 will be made, because everyone will want to find out what happens. While I understand that's the point, it slightly irritates me. There's a difference in a cliffhanger and just plain holding back information. I agree that they had a limited budget, although I'm not really sure if that's what really caused the series to cut off there.

I'll probably end up watching season 2 if it gets made... because it really does leave you wanting for more.


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