THEM is a new horror anthology series on Amazon Prime Video. Season 1 is so intensely full of terror that you simply cannot look away – nor should you. You do not want to miss this. Read our Them season 1 review here!
THEM is a new horror anthology series on Amazon Prime Video and I cannot recommend it enough. If you’re a fan of Jordan Peele’s Get Out or Us, then this should be for you. An equally strong tie-in would be Lovecraft Country created by Misha Green.
However, while there are images related to PTSD and other nightmare-like moments stemming from trauma, the storyline itself is all-too-realistic. The terror of not being able to feel safe in your own home is a very real horror recognized by many. This might sound fluffy, but I assure you that Them is a hardcore horror series!
Continue reading our Them season 1 review below. There are ten episodes in this first season of the horror anthology on Amazon Prime Video.
Give this cast all the awards
From the opening scene of episode 1, I was hooked on Them. The grotesquely eerie vibe that feels both foreign (because it takes place decades ago) and all too familiar (because racism is still prevalent) just hit me like a sledgehammer from that first moment.
It works both because this Amazon Prime series is brilliantly crafted and because the casting is nothing short of divine. Especially thanks to Deborah Ayorinde and Ashley Thomas.
Deborah Ayorinde plays Lucky Emory with exactly the right mix of love and desperation. She is constantly at a breaking point, but she cannot give up because then those terrorizing her family wins. Lucky Emory is my hero – and yet I also feel the need to gather an army to save her because she has been through enough.
That’s what Deborah Ayorinde awakens in the audience. The same goes for Lucky’s husband, Henry Emory, who is played by British actor Ashley Thomas (24: Legacy). He has both very understandable anger and a heart full of compassion. He wants the latter to rule his life but other people make this difficult, which Ashley Thomas shows perfectly.
Finally, I have to mention the main villain of the story – all by her own design. The white lady living across from the Emory family, when they move into an all-white neighborhood. Her name is Betty Wendell and she’s played by Alison Pill (Devs) who manages to create a very nuanced portrayal.
When you want to look away, don’t!
Most episodes in season 1 of Them feature moments full of pure terror. While I can feel the need to look away from horror in general when it comes to physical violence (whether it’s a person’s eyes or towards someone who cannot defend themselves), with Them you have to keep watching.
In fact, that’s what I found so fascinating with this horror anthology; You might feel like this is uncomfortable, but you need to watch this. Especially if you’re white. I’m white myself, but I know enough people of color to recognize that the stories told in this series come from a very real everyday life for most.
With Them, everything we see comes from real-life experiences of African-Americans who feel unwelcome in their own country. The great migration where black Americans moved from the South to the more open-minded (or so they thought) West and North, is in itself a strange thing.
As someone from the LGBTQ community, I can relate to wanting to move to a big city and away from rural parts of any nation. However, I can pass as being “just another white girl”, which means my situation is nowhere near as dire as the one black Americans experience.
Based on real-life
I found myself thinking that Them is for African-Americans what The Handmaid’s Tale is for women. Sure, not all women have bad experiences every single day, but very few (if any) women can say they’ve never experienced attacks or hate only because they are women.
Both series are based on actual facts of how African-Americans have been treated in the US and how women are treated in various places all across the world. This is not fiction. Sure, this specific story about the Emory family is. But the hate, violence, and terror, they are faced with, come from experiences endured by many already.
While watching Them, I suspect most people will be uncomfortable watching the way the black Emory family is being treated. Good. You should feel bad. People are terrorizing a family that only wants to create a good life for their family. So, when you watch this and feel bad, remember that when you walk out into the real world later.
Take part in making this world a safe place for everyone. Regardless of skin color, gender, religion, sexuality, and any other area where we differ. Watching Them with the backdrop of constantly hearing about violence against Asian-Americans, I couldn’t help but think that maybe season 2 of Them will tackle this issue next.
Please, watch Them on Amazon Prime Video
Little Marvin is the brilliant creator of Them with Lena Waithe as executive producer. This seems to be a match made in series heaven because they go all-in when it comes to bringing something truly amazing to the screen. The directors include Janicza Bravo, who directs the mind-blowing and straight-up terrifying episode 5.
In fact, get ready for a lot of truth regarding the planned segregation that still rules Los Angeles to this day. And also, a lot of backstory for Lucky (Deborah Ayorinde) during a longer flashback connecting with the opening scene of episode 1.
The other directors are Nelson Cragg (Ratched), Daniel Stamm (Into the Dark), Craig William Macneill (Monsterland), and Ti West (The House of the Devil). Ti West directs two episodes including the season 1 finale.
I find myself at a loss for words because I want to make sure people watch it. I don’t want to ruin anything or give away elements of the story. Sure, there are plenty of horror elements (including violence and rape), but it’s the everyday terror that really gets to me. Please, make sure you check out this amazing horror series.
All 10 episodes in season 1 of Them is out on Amazon Prime Video from April 9, 2021.
Creator: Little Marvin
Cast: Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Melody Hurd, and Ryan Kwanten
Them is a limited anthology series that explores terror in America. The 1950s set first season centers on a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. The family’s idyllic home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces, next-door and otherworldly, threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.