Curon is a teen horror series from Netflix starring Frederico Russo and Margherita Morchio. Anne hasn’t been back to Curon in 17 years. Now, after a messy falling out with her husband she returns to her old home looking for a new start. Coming along for the ride are her twin kids, Mauro and Daria. However, after a cold reception from Anne’s dad, their time in Curon quickly begins to spiral. It turns out there is more to this sleepy little Italian town than there appears. And that their family is at the center of it.
Curon tries hard to be one part teen drama, one part old world ghost story, and one part suspense thriller. It fails to stick the landing on all counts. And while it probably does the best job with the teen drama aspect of it, due to its need to timeshare with the other themes of the series, that quickly gets overwhelmed by the feeling that these kids have bigger issues to worry about than relationship woes. But the one thing all three aspects have in common is their focal point. That being the twins.
Mauro and Daria are the viewer’s lens into the world of Curon. With their mother having uprooted them from their previous home in Milan, they are true fish out of water. The sleepy little town is nothing like their old home, and both have their unique troubles fitting in.
Mauro presents himself as sheepish and shy. The kind of kid bullies prey on in high school. And that is what he quickly finds himself being. This would be a huge problem for him, if not for the protection of his sister Daria. Let’s be clear. Daria doesn’t give any cares about what anyone thinks of her. And she will stare down anyone that tries to hurt her, or her brother. It is instantly clear the two have seen some really bad times together, and that, at some point in the past, each other was all they had. And while Mauro struggles often just to get his words out, he shows his protectiveness of Daria as well, though in his own way. While both twins are fleshed out well over the course of this story, their individual stories also lead to a few problematic elements present in Curon .
For Mauro, the problems stem from the follow through on his initial bullying. As is often the case with teen dramas after the first bullying occurs, people get to know each other, and as the story goes on the bullying is simply forgotten. This common trope of just sweeping this sort of emotional abuse under a rug once people get to know each other is terrible. Even if they stop treating you, or your brother terribly, they are gonna do it to someone else. While a couple of the kids involved with the harassment do come to play a key point in the story, they shouldn’t have leaned so hard into them being terrible if the goal was to eventually having the viewer relate to them.
Then there is Daria. For the vast majority of the story, I liked Daria. She is strong-willed, forceful, but not at the expense of care. She isn’t a hardened, eternally negative character, as she easily could’ve been reduced to. So, if she is so fleshed out and well presented, what is the problem you might ask. That comes with how the story chooses to utilize Daria in a couple key scenes. Particularly when it comes to sexualizing her.
In Curon’s very first episode there is an unnecessary sequence involving this 17-year-old girl masturbating while in the bath. And while nothing is shown, the need to have this scene in the show is clearly just for the provocative nature of it. There is no good reason why she couldn’t just be relaxing. The need for the added sexual element just feels gross and voyeuristic. While some horror has used that voyeurism to enhance its narrative, that is not the case here. And even if that was the goal, maybe use a character that isn’t a minor.
Along with the drama surrounding the twins themselves, there is a number of other stories playing out among the many personalities that populate Curon. Some of these are handled better than others. Unfortunately, none are given the chance to clearly resolve themselves as the horror elements of the program surface, generally making any sort of resolution impossible as the body count begins to rise.
As for the aforementioned horror aspects of Curon they are, at best, passable. The darkness that permeates this sleepy little Italian town never really lands as scary. Occasionally, scenes will manage a build-up to some measure of suspense, but what is pulled together is usually squandered.
The best aspect of the overarching horror narrative is its pacing. The reveal of what is happening, along with why, is spread out cleanly through the bulk of the seven-episode series. And even delivers a surprise or two along the way.
When all is said and done I found Curon to be a bit of a struggle to get through. While it has its moments, nothing in its delivery makes it worth its run time.
Curon is available to watch now exclusively on Netflix in the United States.
When all is said and done I found CuronÂ to be a bit of a struggle to get through. While it has its moments, nothing in its delivery makes it worth its run time.