Hemlock Grove is “Twin Peaks meets The Addams Family”

Famke Janssen, Lili Taylor and more cast and creators on what makes Netflix horror show Hemlock Grove like nothing else on TV

Landon Liboiron and Bill Skarsgård as Peter Rumancek and Roman Godfrey in Hemlock Grove
Landon Liboiron and Bill Skarsgård as Peter Rumancek and Roman Godfrey in Hemlock Grove

On Friday 19 April 2013, Netflix will present Hemlock Grove, a 13-part horror show produced by the insanely busy Eli Roth and based on the novel by Brian McGreevy. It tells the story of a small town shaken by the savage murder of a cheerleader. When suspicion falls on new arrival/potential lycanthrope Peter, he teams up with rich kid Roman Godfrey (who has his own dark secrets) to find out who’s responsible.

Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, the cast and creators tell us why Hemlock Grove is like nothing else on air…

“I was definitely a little bit trepidatious off the top, approaching a TV show about werewolves and vampires, but once I read the script it was something completely unique and original,” says Landon Liboiron, who plays Peter, the suspected werewolf.

“And in the first episode you don’t even really see any of the supernatural, you’re kind of introduced to the myth and the mystery of it and so you want to find out what it is that these people are and their secrets so it was just a really well-written, good drama.”

Producer/writer Mark Verheiden (a veteran of Battlestar Galactica) tells us that it all began with the source material.

“They sent me the book and I just said ‘I wanna be a part of this’ because it’s such a unique, different take on a supernatural world.”

Famke Janssen as xxx in Netflix's Hemlock Grove
Famke Janssen as Oliva Godfrey in Netflix’s Hemlock Grove

Producer/director Deran Serafian told us that they also wanted to hark back to classic horror, as opposed to mimicking modern counterparts.

“We looked at Twin Peaks, because there’s a nice twisted sense of humour there behind everything that was we really wanted, we want that dark humour in there. And we looked at movies like Rosemary’s BabyThe Shining.

“The Shining’s hilarious, there are some great funny moments in that movie.”

Star Freya Tingley, who plays curious young aspiring novelist Christina Wendell, explains that the script immediately stood out from the crowd.

“I loved Hemlock Grove more than any of the other projects that I was going for because it had these three-dimensional, developed, fleshed out characters that aren’t the typical stereotype of the football jock or the hot cheerleader. Brian obviously wasn’t afraid to make these characters who are different.”

“I love scary movies,” says Lili Taylor, who plays Peter’s mother Lynda.” This felt a little bit more like a gothic horror, I guess, I’m not quite sure what to call it. But it felt also like it was unique. That there was potential to break out of the genre.”

Famke Janssen (who plays fearsome matriarch Olivia Godfrey) remembers that shooting the Godfrey family dinner scenes was “like The Addams Family. We’d be sitting there and Bill [Skarsgård] would start singing the ‘dur-dur-dur-dum!’ And then Shelly’s eyeball fell out onto her plate. During my close-up!”

Hemlock Grove is available on Netflix now. You can read our review of the first episode here.