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Review: EULLENIA (2018)

Billed as the first horror television series from Thailand, EULLENIA is aimed at the world market. And its makers have chosen a framework that should have worldwide appeal. Money and how it can be used and abused to destroy people’s lives.

Marcus Hammond (Alec Newman, A LONELY PLACE TO DIE) is an incredibly wealthy banker operating out of Thailand. He also considers himself a philanthropist, offering random strangers solutions to their financial problems. But this help comes at a steep price.

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In this first episode, Hammond and his Thai assistant Boo (Vithaya Pansringarm ONLY GOD FORGIVES, THE PREY) encounter Nam (Apicha Suyanandana) who has come to the city to try to earn money for her sister’s cancer treatments. How far will she go to save her sibling?

Directed by former child actor Paul Spurrier, (he played Richard Harris’s son in THE WILD GEESE), who now works in Thailand, this is a great introduction to the lead characters. Hammond is an icy, easily hateable villain, something of a more restrained version of AMERICAN PSYCHO’s Patrick Bateman. But this isn’t a simple tale of evil Westerner’s preying on Asians. He’s willingly aided by Boo, who is more than happy to sell out his own people.

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What it EULLENIA is, is an attack on greed and the growing gap between the wealthiest in society and those at the other end of the scale. It’s well wrapped in what appears to be a horror story centered around an amoral and sadistic psychopath who happens to be part of the 1%. As such, it is chilling and makes its points without beating the viewer over the head with social or political rhetoric. Which is the key to its success, as just about nobody watches a show to be preached to.

Ending on a note that sets up ongoing episodes quite well I’m hopeful that EULLENIA will be picked up by the likes of Netflix. Somewhere, its dark story can expand without the limitations of network or basic cable TV. You can stay updated on its progress via its Facebook page.

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