We’ve got to the beginning of Halloween week and you can already notice that with Hekate here, things are never conventional. So, if you got here by browsing our blog and thought “hmm, beginning of Halloween week, must be a post about old american movies.”, I’m sorry to disappoint you – but I already invite you to get on this train with me.
We’ll make a trip to French lands, where this series originates from and which is the main theme of this post. Those who love all things horror, supernatural, and in a certain way disturbing, and Netflix, might already have heard of Marianne.
The French series, that premiered in 2019, talks about a writer of a horror book series, who decides to finish her saga – and starts to get haunted by its main character. Of course, bizarre things start to happen and she decides to go back to the city she was born – in which her parents still live – and that’s when everything gets even more bizarre.
Take your blankets or sheets – which are more known in the lands of us, scared ones – as protection shield agains evil spirits and come with me to Elden to know more about this series, this writer and what haunts her.
On Whose Mind Marianne Lived Before Becoming a Book Character in the Series!
Maybe you, who is already a fan of French cinematography, have already heard of Quoc Dang Tran or Samuel Bodin. But if you haven’t – just like me – there’s no problem: now it’s time to know a little bit more and note down some recommendations of their productions.
Tran is a screen writer and, although there aren’t many informations about him around, only for his nice work in Marianne I already bet his other works are good. Nox (2018), which is a police/investigation miniseries with six episodes, and Le Bureau des Légendes (2015), which is a drama and investigation series still in production, counting with 5 seasons.
Now Bodin is a French director and screenwriter, who already has some other works – less known and spread around – but who managed to put all terror and scare scenes in an assertive manner in Marianne. He had already worked with horror before with the movie Welcome to Hoxford on 2011.
Their work turned out excelent – in my humble opinion – and, although some things have some loose ends, my hope was that a second season would explain everything. Of course, the fact that the series got canceled by Netflix is pretty upseting, but it doesn’t spoil how nice the first season is.
Marianne, the Cursed Witch
The series starts when Emma (Victoire du Bois), who is a young writer on her 30’s, decides to finish the book saga that gave her fame and success on the somber side of literature. The book series produced by Emma tells the story of Lizzie Larck, a kind of hero, who fights against evil forces, from the plot villain, Marianne.
But this decision ends up triggering a series of bizarre happenings and revives some past hauntings. Tormented by her strange and hyper realistic dreams, Emma tries not give it too much attention – after all, once she was already tired and frequently drunk, she thought it was nothing but her own imagination fooling her.
Her perception only changes when, in one of her autograph sessions, Caroline (Aurore Broutin) – an old friend – appears telling her that something dark was coming, it possessed her mother and she needed to return to Elden – Emma’s home town, the one she left behind fifteen years ago.
At first, Emma refuses to go back, but worries because she can’t get in touch with her parents, dragging into the trip her personal assistant Camille (Lucie Boujenah) – who tries to put some kind of sense on the writer’s bohemian and careless way of life.
The arrival to Elden already starts in a weird way: the bad welcome from the local priest already leaves us suspicious – and makes us understand a little behind all her resistance in returning home. But in my opinion, the most shocking part in this start, is the meeting with Madame Daugeron (Mireille Herbstmeyer) Carol’s mother, who seems to indeed be in the middle of some psychotic break, saying she’s Marianne and peeing in her own pants.
From that moment on, it’s weirdness followed by weirdness: people acting in inhuman ways and horrid aparitions.
Emma’s group of friends comes together after 15 years without meeting – although there’s one less member, once Carol’s dead. And, after a series of supernatural events, they decide to try to stop the witch of continuing those torments. At this moment on the series I felt like I was in the world of It – in which a group of friends get together to finish the monster – and it was a very nice feeling.
One of the coolest things of this series is that Marianne makes Emma and every person of the city fo through unbearable situations, in order to make her go back to writing her books. And, after Emma finally gives in, everything she writes becomes real, making everything even more tense – and making the characters run on their tentatives to end that curse.
The photography and all special effects, along with backgrounds and costumes, where the things that got most of my attention – I love those technical parts on productions and Marianne certainly hit the spot – further on, the strong scenes bordering disgusting, gave a certain charm to the tiny, cloudy and grey city of Elden.
The main character’s personality made me pretty mad many times as well: the selfish and arrogant manner she thought and lived her life made me ask myself so many times if I liked or not what she was going through – until I understood the real reason why she acted that way.
(Ok, in my mind I still think it isn’t an excuse, but my soul managed to understand and be at peace.)
Who is Marianne After All?
The Witch – who, at first, is illustrated as a character from Emma’s books – seems to be just one more of those demonic personalities from numerous horror stories around, but when she’s out of fiction, out of imagination, of paper, into real life, we realize that it’s much more than that.
Throughout the series, it’s clear the conexion between Emma and the witch – which isn’t something new, a delusion from the writer. It’s something that defined her whole life, the way she related with her friends still in Elden, and after, already far away, with the life she led after the fame.
As I said in the beginning, the series doesn’t explain some things – which my greatest hope would be in the second season – and one of them is the real reason why they are connected like that. Of couse, Marianne haunts other people from the town, but with Emma is something more personal, more incisive, as if they are part of the same thing – I don’t know how to explain that sensation.
The witch’s origins is mentioned and it shows that she lived in the city of Elden in 1587, with the name Marianne Basselin. The info start with the witch’s childhood, when her house caught on fire, misteriously killing her parents and leaving her and her cat spotless. And, along her lifetime, death seems to follow her in all manners.
During her teens, she survived the plage – with her cat, just like in her childhood. And, after she got married, she had her first child dead when the crib caught on fire, while her other two children disappeared after she took them to the forest during the night.
Summing up, at the end of everything – after killing her husband – she marries the demon Beleth, which is the cat demon, who she loved and protected her whole life. And as a damned spirit for her acts during life and delivering her soul to the demon when they married, Marianne got stuck to the city, tormenting its inhabitants.
Bonus: Watch Marianne
Of course, for a series of eight chapters only, maybe this post isn’t enough for a nice explanation – but the recommendation remains! You don’t have the habit of watching things in French? There are great subtitles. And the French cinematography – that was always one of my favourites in this life – has been receiven even more space and good content, like Marianne and many others.
Watch on Netflix: Marianne