When the BBC announced its New Year’s line-up of “McMafia”, “Hard Sun”, “Collateral” and “Requiem” there was a great deal of hype and hope for their upcoming drama slate. Unfortunately, all of them have been a complete waste of licence payer’s money and clear evidence that the broadcaster needs to take a long look at itself and stop trying to be something it’s not: the British Netflix.
The life of promising British cellist Matilda Grey (Lydia Wilson) is turned upside down when her mother Janice suddenly commits suicide in mysterious circumstances. Circumstances that lead Matilda to question her identity, her past and the similarities between herself and Carys Howell, a child that disappeared decades ago in Wales. Could the two be linked in some way? Are they the same person, or is there a hidden agenda?
“Requiem” initially sounded like a promising deviation from the run-of-the-mill BBC crime dramas of recent times and a real attempt at something fresh; a supernatural horror thriller. However, my main initial concern appears to be well founded; to create real tension and suspense they would have to remove the shackles that a 9pm timeslot would cause and go all-out to be believable. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.
The plot has holes you could drive through; most glaringly that at no point does someone think to perform a DNA test on Matilda to see whether she is, in fact, Carys, closing the case altogether and I found the acting of the lead Lydia Wilson to be sub-par at best (when I could stop focusing on her ludicrous fringe (seriously, whose idea was that?!)) and her partner Hal (Joel Fry) is such a lettuce that I actually wanted him to die. Continuously.
Before I delve further I need to make something clear: this show doesn’t know what it is. Is it a thriller based upon a missing person that may actually be abducted or is it a supernatural horror based upon a small village’s obsession with the dark arts? The show never really commits to either and instead oscillates between both for most of the time. In fact, it isn’t until the final few episodes that you begin to realise it does want to be scary, but to hilarious effect. The ‘angels’ look like Groot has been dried in an airing cupboard and when the ‘possession’ scene occurs in the finale I honestly thought I was watching a reimagining of Basement Jaxx’s “Red Alert” music video. It’s terrible.
Watch this if you liked: “The Missing”, “Kill List”, “The Wicker Man” or a nice kip.