Lovecraft Country, it puts black characters at its centre will leave you hooked shook

The 10-episode series subverts the traditional trappings of the horror genre by finally making its heroes black – following on from the Jordan’s Get Out and US – and putting severe racism at the centre of the story.

You could say it’s a timely show given that it airs following a summer where the Black Lives Matter movement was finally given the amount of discussion it has always deserved. But this would have been relevant a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and basically any time since TV was whitewashed at its incarnation.

HBO know their way around an addictive series but there truly is no show like their latest offering, Lovecraft Country, which even has Jordan Peele, the maker of Get Out, on the books as a producer and Misha Green, the woman behind the feminist TV show, Underground, as the show’s frontrunner.

Based on Matt Ruff’s novel, Lovecraft, the series coming to Sky Atlantic this Monday follows Atticus Black (played by Jonathan Majors – INTERNET, GET READY FOR A NEW CRUSH) as he’s joined on a road trip across 1950 American by his friend Letitia (Birds of Prey and former GLAMOUR UK cover star, Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to track down his missing father.

Along the way, they not only contend with monstrous racism but actual legit monsters who hunt them down at every turn. It’s a true reality-meets-fantastical-fiction with the monsters becoming metaphors for the discrimination these assembled characters face as they run into suspicious cops, racist rallies, a sweeping period home owned by a murderous white family and otherworldly creatures with a thirst for blood.

At times, the attacks on them appear to be an example of gaslighting at the hands of the white dominated communities they meet along the way, with the characters left wondering if the events actually happened at all. Everyone they meet could be a monster in every sense of the word.

Race informs every scene and narrative arch across the series and at its centre is Jurnee Smollett’s Letitia who is not only discriminated against due to her race but her gender, too. But this is not the horror story you are used to, she is not a woman of colour who is simply killed off the quickest; she is the beating heart of this show.

In Lovecraft Country and in the hands of Jurnee, a woman of colour is finally placed in the centre of the story; she doesn’t need rescuing, she will rescue herself as the high-kicking character we have long needed. With Jurnee at the helm, you will not only be jumping out of your skin at the random and shocking appearances of monsters, you will be screaming and whooping for an empowered woman.

Lovecraft Country is quite the trip, it’s basically Stranger Things on acid and at times you won’t quite believe what you are seeing. It is a show that needs to be seen to be believed, any plot spoilers wouldn’t even do this justice as you will question everything you see and even your own reality by the end of it. So just strap yourself in for the trip of your life, it’s going to get your pulse raising, your palms sweating and engender many sleepless nights.

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