Roundup

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

More char­ac­ter-driven than usual, AMER­I­CAN HOR­ROR STORY: FREAK SHOW (out now, Blu-ray/ DVD) does a good job of mak­ing its ’50s carny folk re­lat­able – Sarah Paul­son par­tic­u­larly im­presses as con­joined twins – while killer clown Twisty pro­vides some ef­fec­tive shocks. The anachro­nis­tic use of songs by Bowie and Nir­vana is a bit naff, though. In PENNY DREAD­FUL SEA­SON TWO (out now, Blu-ray/ DVD) Eva Green’s spook­some Vanessa goes back to her su­per­nat­u­ral roots; the law threat­ens to catch up with Ethan; Do­rian Gray’s up to bad things; and Franken­stein’s cre­ated an­other mon­ster. Blood, guts, gore, nu­dity, sex, death, love – this show doesn’t do any­thing by halves. Year two tastes just as foul as the first, but in the good way. SLEEPY HOL­LOW SEA­SON TWO (out now, Blu-ray/DVD) wob­bles a lot for a show that should be on firmer ground by now – al­though that’s not to say it isn’t good fun, too. The big­gest is­sue lies with the res­cue of Ich­a­bod’s mis­sus, Ka­t­rina, from Pur­ga­tory – de­spite be­ing a witch from the 17th cen­tury, she’s as dull as ditch­wa­ter. Still, the end-of-the-world schtick is just as break­neck-paced and en­ter­tain­ing as ever. Fi­nally, OR­PHAN BLACK SEA­SON THREE (out now, Blu-ray/DVD) is a con­vo­luted swirl of com­pet­ing fac­tions and ob­jec­tives as the “Cas­tor” male clone army hunt for a cure to their de­fec­tive phys­i­ol­ogy, while “Soc­cer Mom Clone” Ali­son be­comes a sub­ur­ban drug dealer. Ta­tiana Maslany’s act­ing re­mains as watch­able as ever. Slow at first, it ac­cel­er­ates to a thrilling, ab­surd and beau­ti­ful cli­max.

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