I recognize that with that title and co-starring Peter Capaldi, part of me expected that at any moment the characteristic sound of the TARDIS from ‘Doctor Who’ would sound. It is also true that we had not seen the actor again on television (well, we heard him in ‘Watership Hill’) so I wanted to see him in action again with ‘The Devil’s Hour‘.
Created by Tom Moranthis Amazon Prime Video miniseries takes us through the story of Lucy, a woman (Jessica Raine) who wakes up every night at 3:33 in the morning, the so-called hour of the devil, after suffering a series of nightmares (premonitory in some cases) that feel like echoes of a past you never had.
This adds to an already difficult life having to take care of a mother with Alzheimer’s and her son, a child unable to feel (and transmit) a single emotion and that he is disowned by his father (Lucy’s ex). His life will be hopelessly intertwined with that of a stranger (Capaldi) whom we only see chained for reasons that will be revealed to us later.
Between thriller and horror
With these ingredients, ‘The Devil’s Hour’ is presented in its first two episodes (those provided to the press will be six in total) as an intense thriller that navigates between the psychological and the terror which is ideal for these days before Halloween.
This is achieved by a script determined to play with the specter of evil. With that blurred line, and even ambiguity, that can exist between human and supernatural evil. The viewer comes to wonder if we are facing a gloomy serial killer or something else, before the Devil personified. Something that ‘Evil’ plays with a lot.
all this with a slow cooking with which Moran has developed the plot. However, it gives the feeling of being somewhat more concerned at times with creating the precise atmosphere (which it achieves, although it is a bit overloaded at times) than with avoiding falling into certain redundancies and the occasional cliché.
Nor does it avoid falling into those traps not so much of the genre but of the miniseries, with a first episode much better than the second. or refraining from making (or offering) disclosures. It’s not that your server wants the carrot anymore, but it does cause some feeling that you’re not going anywhere with the story.
A brilliant cast
On the other hand, the series has a brilliant cast that makes those flaws here and there that we meet dissipate enough. Jessica Raine manages to avoid (I would even say elevate) falling into clichés with her role as a suffering lady. Capaldi, for her part, manages to convey a lot only through dialogue (normally we only see him from behind or out of shot).
Ultimately, I think ‘The Devil’s Hour’ is a frankly solid miniseries that stands out in its good mix between the somewhat conventional psychological thriller and the horror genre elements that get us absorbed in Lucy’s story.