If you're looking for a series that mixes horror, drama and deep reflection on social issues, "Them" is the perfect choice. Launched recently, this Amazon Prime Video original series has made a huge impact on pop culture and generated intense debate. 

What is Them?

"Them" is an anthology horror series created by Little Marvin. The first season, entitled "Them: Covenant", is set in 1950s Los Angeles and follows the story of the Emory family, who move from North Carolina to a predominantly white neighborhood, facing a series of supernatural and racial horrors.

The plot

The series delves into the experiences of the Emory family, made up of Lucky (Deborah Ayorinde), Henry (Ashley Thomas) and their two daughters, Ruby (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Gracie (Melody Hurd), as they face the terror of institutionalized racism and frightening supernatural manifestations in their new neighbourhood.

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The plot is skillfully constructed, blending elements of psychological horror with an emotionally intense narrative about trauma, family and survival. As the tension builds, secrets from the past and unresolved traumas come to light, adding deep layers to the story.

Topics covered

"Them" is not afraid to confront difficult and controversial themes. In addition to supernatural terror, the series tackles issues such as racism, segregation, racial violence and the psychological impact of intergenerational trauma. 

1. Racism and Segregation

One of the most prominent themes in "Them" is racism and racial segregation. The series vividly portrays the hostility and discrimination faced by the Emory family when they moved to a predominantly white neighborhood in Los Angeles. From racial insults to physical threats, the series powerfully illustrates the challenges faced by black people in a racist and segregated environment.

2. Racial violence

"Them" does not hesitate to confront racial violence, both physical and psychological. The series features graphic scenes of racial violence, showing the horrors inflicted on the black community by white perpetrators. These scenes, although difficult to watch, are essential in highlighting the brutality of racism and its devastating consequences.

3. Intergenerational trauma

A powerful aspect of "Them" is its exploration of intergenerational trauma. The series examines how the trauma of the past continues to affect future generations, manifesting itself in different ways throughout the Emory family's history. The trauma of racism and racial violence is passed down from one generation to the next, creating a cycle of pain and suffering that permeates the series' narrative.

4. Resistance and Resilience

Despite the adversities faced, "Them" also celebrates the resistance and resilience of the black community. The Emory family and other characters in the series show incredible willpower and determination to face the difficulties imposed by racism and racial violence. Their inspiring stories highlight the capacity of the human spirit to persevere even in the face of the most adverse circumstances.

5. Identity and Belonging

"Them" also tackles issues of identity and belonging. The Emory family faces an emotional dilemma as they try to reconcile their cultural identity with the need to adapt to a hostile and alien environment. The series explores the complexities of being a black person in a predominantly white society, questioning what it means to belong and find a place in the world.

The cast

The cast of "Them" delivers exceptional performances that take the series to another level. Deborah Ayorinde shines as Lucky, a mother determined to protect her family at any cost. Ashley Thomas brings a visceral depth to the role of Henry, while Shahadi Wright Joseph and Melody Hurd offer captivating performances as the couple's daughters.

What's more, the supporting cast is equally impressive, with actors such as Alison Pill, Ryan Kwanten and more adding to the richness of the series' universe.

Direction and aesthetics

The direction of "Them" is visually impressive, creating an atmosphere of terror and suspense that permeates every scene. The 1950s aesthetic is carefully recreated, from the costumes to the set design, transporting viewers to the Los Angeles of the time.

Critical reception

Since its release, "Them" has received mixed reviews, with praise for its performances, direction and courageous approach to the themes, but also criticism related to its intensity and graphic representation of racial violence. Nevertheless, the series has generated important debates on social and racial issues, highlighting its cultural relevance.

The legacy of "Them"

"Them" is fast becoming an important part of the canon of horror and drama series, leaving a lasting impact on pop culture. Its courage in tackling complex social issues and its talent in creating an engaging and frightening narrative ensure that the series will be remembered and discussed for years to come.

More than a horror series

"Them" is much more than just a horror series. It's an in-depth exploration of black experiences in America, packaged in a gripping and frightening story. If you're looking for a series that challenges and thrills, "Them" is a must. Prepare to be captivated, frightened and, above all, provoked to reflect on the social issues that continue to shape our world today.

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May 12th, 2024