FROM Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Long Day's Journey Into Night

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There is just something so satisfying about an atmospheric thriller that lives up to the hype.

Often, trailers for stories with bloodied creatures and jump scares end up giving away all the goods in said trailer. Leaving the audience vaguely satisfied, as the nail-biting horror experience they were expecting falls well short of expectations.

FROM Season 1 Episode 1 is not that experience. From is chilling from the opening frame to the close. It's a moody, slow mystery that pulls you into its orbit and never lets you go. This is the horror series you've been missing from your life.

Looking Out - FROM Season 1 Episode 1

The From pilot is fabulous.

It has everything you want in a pilot and doesn't bog things down with long-running commentary to set up all the players and the season-long narrative. Instead, it drops you into the action relatively quickly and then slowly fills in some things along the way.

We don't need an eerie voiceover telling us about the horrors that await. Dropping us right into the town and immediately setting the stage for what's to come was a brilliant move.

The players come into focus throughout the hour, with Harold Perrineau's embattled Sheriff Boyd Stevens being the first person we get our eyes on. He's dirtied, sweaty, and looks like he's in desperate need of a bath and a razor.

He's ringing a bell, with townsfolk milling about just before night settles in. Everything seems "normal" if you ignore that the town is dilapidated, with rundown buildings and junked-out cars with blown tires littering the streets.

Boyd Looks Back - FROM Season 1 Episode 1

But within minutes, we know what we're in for.

This isn't a regular town, and these aren't ordinary circumstances. There is something evil in this town, and it's directly tied to nightfall, as we see doors locking, windows covered, and talismans with mysterious writing hanging next to doors.

This unnamed town is haunted in a way that leaves a young mother and her daughter dead in a gruesome fashion after the young girl commits the awful sin of opening her window at nighttime.

We get a glimpse of a little marker that lets us know it's been 96 days without incident, and this first incident in over three months feels like it's going to be the start of many.

Lauren and Megan seemingly die by the hand of a little old lady who floats in Megan's window and convinces the little girl to open the window. The death is off-camera, but the aftermath is in your face, and let us know this series won't be hiding its brutality.

His Town - Tall - FROM Season 1 Episode 1

People are dying, and people are dying in a vicious, animalistic manner. And they're not going to just talk about the brutality; they're going to show you the carnage.

The visual of a room covered in blood, from the wall to the floors, is shocking but wholly necessary for the audience to grasp the gravity of the situation.

We don't know these people. And through the first few minutes, we can start to piece a few things together based on the limited interactions we get, but everyone could be overreacting to whatever threat is out there for all we know.

After all, it has been 96 days since there was an issue.

But these early deaths show us this is a threat to be taken seriously.

Paying Respects - From Season 1 Episode 1

Boyd is very clearly the Rick Grimes of this operation. He's the leader, though we don't know if that is by choice or something he actively wanted. Harold Perrineau brings a quiet confidence to so many of his roles, and Boyd is no exception.

He's a man to be respected and somewhat feared, and it would appear this town is in desperate need of that kind of leadership.

Inside the town, we also meet Kristi and Deputy Kenny, along with Kenny's dad. We hear just enough to know they'll be essential characters at some point. Still, the pilot isn't meant just to set up the inevitable Kenny and Kristi romance, as much as it's interested in introducing the whole scope of the series.

One of the more fascinating pieces of the town is a big country house that reminds you of the home from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, and it's a place where Boyd apparently isn't welcome, though it's the place his son lives.

That begs the question of why the Sheriff of this here town wouldn't be allowed at this residence. There's a backstory here we aren't privy to yet, but it feels like it's going to be important in understanding the mechanisms of how things operate in this world.

Driving Around - From Season 1 Episode 1

The town feels mild-mannered, just full of people walking around aimlessly and existing, but that's about it. The brief interludes at the house show people living. There's art, gardening, laughter, and playing.

It's like the house on the hill is the fun, hip place to be, and the town is this uptight entity looking to ban the music and the dancing.

Khatri: Hey, Ellis. There's be an accident outside town. We could use your help.
Ellis: What?
Khatri: The RV with the family it collided with another car. Your dad's already out there.
Ellis: What hold on? Another car, what are you talking about?
Kenny: Will you just get in? We don't have a lot of time.
Khatri: Ellis, it'll be dark soon. He's your father.

There is a LARGE divide between Boyd and his son Ellis, and it's the kind of fractured family relationship that will undoubtedly play out throughout the series. Why are they estranged? Why is his father not welcome in his home?

A good pilot will foster good conversation and elicit a series of good questions. And that's precisely what we have just from the aspects of the town, saying nothing of our introduction to the Matthews family.

It's clear from the second we meet them that the Matthews clan will end up in the town. And they slowly make their way there, getting lost after a wiped-out road leads them on an endless loop.

Paramedic Kristi - From Season 1 Episode 1

It's here we learn that people aren't getting teleported into this weird town or waking up from a dream in their own version of hell. They're simply driving to unknown destinations, and they end up there.

It's an interesting tactic by Boyd and Kenny to let them drive around and around, making their way through the town over and over again until they deem they're "ready" for whatever kind of initiation process comes next.

Clearly, considering the number of people that live there, they get newcomers often enough that they've developed some kind of welcome to your nightmare package for all the arrivals. But the RV crash derails all their plans and the panic sets in quick.

For as languid and unhurried as the hour feels, things get a bit chaotic during the last minutes, with the townsfolk trying to help the family (and the victims of the second car), with an obvious threat looming around them in the form of decreasing daylight.

Boyd: Look, we don't have a lot of time to talk about this.
Jim: We're not leaving anywhere.
Boyd: Please, listen to me. These woods are not safe after dark. Hey, you want to stay? That's fine. But you? You can barely stand and your daughter needs to get back to town. Hey. Hey!
Jim: Yes.
Boyd: I don't wanna bury any more kids.

From may be at its best in those final moments, with everyone quickly losing the calmness in the face of the absolute insanity of their everyday lives.

Ellis Calls Out - From Season 1 Episode 1

Everyone is scared but wants to help and is not at all willing to leave anyone out to die a horrifying death. And it's frantic in those final moments, with Ethan, in grave danger, Kristi trying her best to stabilize his body, and Boyd trying to stabilize the RV.

Then you have Jim, who's confused as all hell about what's happening and concerned for his child.

Can you imagine what would be going through your head when your son has a bar sticking through his legs, and the town sheriff is most concerned with making sure the windows are covered?

They're coming.

Boyd

The creatures, who just look like ghostly figures, of course, come a haunting within seconds of the sun fulling setting, and the scene is eerie but not exactly scary per se. These people don't present upfront grotesquely, with gnarly wounds or sharp fingernails. They don't carry weapons.

But we saw what happens when they get inside.

Sara Reacts - From Season 1 Episode 1

And it's that knowledge that makes them one of the more terrifying monsters you'll see on television today.

Loose Ends

  • All the characters make some kind of impression, but I'm most interested in learning more about Sara of all the secondary ones. Why did she kill Toby? It would appear she's maybe mentally unwell, or perhaps someone sent her there to kill Toby? Everything about Sara is OFF.
  • I can already tell Jade will be the most annoying and obnoxious man that has ever gotten stuck in that town.
  • We were robbed of seeing the rest of the welcome package, and that's a shame! Now they'll probably have to yell at these disbelieving people instead of calmly talking to them after slashing their tires.
A New Day - FROM Season 1 Episode 1
  • There is no clear indication of what year it is, though I would assume present-day based on the cell phones and Toby's car, but that begs the question just how long have some of those people been stuck there?

This first hour was suspenseful and entertaining, and it left us with a ton of questions to ponder moving forward. We've only just slightly grazed the tip of the iceberg, and I imagine the first season will be a lot of world-building and peeling back the layers of this fascinating tale.

Typically, I'm not too fond of a slow burn because it has to be done flawlessly to keep the audience invested, but this pilot gives me hope that From can pull it off.

They are off to a tremendous start.

Please flood the comments with all your theories about the town, the inhabitants, and what you think is coming next! We should be in for an excellent season.

I'll be here each week, breaking it all down! Make sure you watch FROM online via TV Fanatic so you can chat with us this season! 

Jim Investigates - FROM Season 1 Episode 1

Long Day's Journey Into Night Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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FROM Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Kenny: You think they're ready?
Boyd: Go head get the strip.

Boyd: Motherfucker. What I tell you, Frank?
Frank: It got late. And I didn't-
Boyd: You got kids. You nail the windows shut. You nail the motherfucking windows shut, Frank! Right?