If you’re into horror, twisty-turning mysteries, or even just stories about people building community from nothing, FROM on MGM+ is the series for you. The show just recently released its second season finale, and luckily, we already know a third season is coming. Which, full disclosure and a vague spoiler: Even waiting a few days to get that news was torture, given that ending. So, if the series wasn’t renewed, somebody, somewhere would’ve been getting a very strongly-worded letter about how dare they.
Crisis averted, though — and rightfully so.
At this point, you’re probably like “WTF is a FROM, and why do I need to pay for yet another service to watch it?” Which, ok. Valid. I kind of had the same thoughts when I first started seeing nearly my entire little community of Yellowjackets fans, theorizers, and overall lovers of good TV first buzzing about it. (Pun not 100% intended…yet not 0% intended either.) Just trust me here, though. If you either love spooky shit or can, at the very least, simply handle it for the sake of something really special, this one’s for you.
Without giving too much away — because this thrilling ride is really best enjoyed with as little background on it as possible — the central characters get trapped in a town that feels like it’s out of time. And, um. A couple of important details: First up, brutal, scary AF monsters come out at night. If you go outside, you’re probably dead; and if you let them in, you’re definitely dead.
But (and here’s the second major point), attempting to escape seems futile — at best. There’s no way out. Once you’re in, the road somehow keeps you in. And don’t even think about going into the forest. You might just get stuck out there, where being out after dark is somehow even more dangerous than in the town itself.
FROM on MGM+ has brilliant pacing
Sometimes, the best way to make a plot sufficiently creepy is to slow time down. That means creating a pace that’s just slow enough to really let that tingling sensation, that awareness that something very bad is about to happen at any moment, build. But, of course, viewers don’t want to feel like things are moving too slowly. This series manages to provide that chilling, sinking doom about as well as it can be done.
It’s almost like, as a viewer, you’re stuck right there with everyone else in the town. Within the span of a standard (hour-ish) episode, the days really do feel like they’re cycling into night. And yet, at the same time, so much happens. Time flies, even as it feels like it’s ground to an infinite stop. You may find yourself stuck slogging through thickening horror, even as you simply can’t keep up with the rapidly-turning world around you.
Basically, it’s a genius sort of filmmaking, from the ground up.
It manages to be hopeful
I’m always here for a “glimmer of light in the darkness” feeling. And I always get it in spite of myself when I watch this show. Although the group’s not without its internal drama, these people lift each other up whenever and however they can. Everyone who gets stuck in the town comes with something they can contribute. And often, the people who don’t even realize their worth have the most of it. People pitch in where they can, and they share whatever they’ve got. Even when newcomers don’t initially believe the warnings — who would? — the ones who’ve been in town for a while watch over them.
There’s a very “we’re all in this together” vibe to the whole thing, but it never gets out of control. People argue. They cause trouble. Some even do unforgivably terrible things. Through it all, though, they care for each other. One of my favorite characters, Donna (Elizabeth Saunders), will make her absolute disgust with someone known — but she’ll risk her life to save them just the same. Whatever it takes.
And, against all odds, way more people survive than probably otherwise should. And our main characters even have hope that they might get some answers or even find a way to escape. Even when those hopes come crashing down — sometimes literally — they just keep pushing through.
Don’t worry if you’re here for the darkness, though. Because the horror delivers on those gruesome kills for the truly unfortunate souls who don’t survive.
Supernatural horror, with a very human element
FROM on MGM+ does what the best supernatural stories always do. As in, the series morphs the uncanny into a tale of what it means to be human. While we separated off the concept of hope above, there’s plenty more to the show’s humanity than that alone. It’s about the people we love, both in our found family and in the one we’re born with. And it touches on the typical human struggles with faith, our dedication to curiosity and discovery, even our love for art, and so much more.
One piece of this that I’ve found particularly interesting, especially in light of recent real-world events, is the ability to adapt to new circumstances. To normalize the abnormal, all while still having very clear lines of what we will and won’t accept. Collective grief, and pausing to acknowledge it, is natural in this unnatural world. And yet, these characters still just…handle it. Day after day. And night after night, even as terror surrounds them.
Killer character development
I really can’t stress enough how fantastic the core characters are in this series. Even most of the “minor” ones have a certain complexity to them that we often don’t get to see on television. (Or anywhere else, for that matter.) But since FROM is in the hands of very capable writers, who clearly put a great deal of care and thought behind everything they do, the people stuck in this horror show of a town are layered. Nobody is simply a trope — though the series plays with those in very fun ways.
And characters you can not stand when you first meet them go through amazing development. (Well, most do. There’s this one person in season 2…why has he not become monster meal yet?? I’m tired of him!) Again, that’s in large part due to incredible writing. But the acting on this series is also right up there with some of the best of the best.
Harold Perrineau does some major heavy lifting, both in the emotional core and in driving the horror/mystery forward, as Boyd Stevens. Any praise he receives for what he does in this role is both warranted and and insufficient.
I already mentioned Donna above as a favorite character, but she’s worth a second acknowledgement, especially as both compliment and contrast to Perrineau’s Boyd. As the leader of Colony House, Donna runs things much differently than Boyd does in town. So, there are moments of tension between these two characters that both Saunders and Perrineau play brilliantly. There’s disagreement, but there’s mutual respect — always. Then, when the two leaders work on leading together, there’s just an extra level of strength and poise. And even when Saunders is portraying Donna at her most no-nonsense, tough, combative — whatever you want to call it — the character’s obvious heart, underneath it all, is readily apparent.
Jade (David Alpay) starts out as…Well. My take was “omg. It’s that asshole landlord from Suits being an asshole dudebro again. Can’t stand him,” and it took me a minute to learn his name was anything other than “Asshole Suits Landlord Frat Bro.” But his growth and development is just insane. There’s really no other way to put it.
But the true heart and soul of this series, for me, comes from Scott McCord’s Victor. The things he has been through would break anyone. They should have turned him bitter. At times, even, human prejudices against anyone who doesn’t adhere to certain ideas of normalcy might cause viewers to mistrust or fear him. Certainly, other characters do. But he is a tragic, heartbreaking sort of character, who nevertheless contains untapped knowledge and an adventurer’s sort of spirit. And he’s a childlike one, whose friendship with little Ethan (Simon Webster) is uniquely touching.
Yes, I just used the phrase “uniquely touching” about a horror show. You’ll see. Be prepared to melt into a puddle of feels.
With such a rich mystery at its core, FROM on MGM+ is always leaving viewers with more questions than answers. Just when we think we have it all figured out, there’s always a catch. And every single episode ends on a cliffhanger. A WTF of epic proportions, if you will — but in a good way.
So, really, if you’re worried about the whole “one more streaming service” thing, don’t be. You’re going to rush right through those episodes, just dying to know what the hell is going on. Again, though, the writing is so good that it’s clear all of these cliffhangers are part of a grand plan of some sort…
…we just have no idea WTF it actually is. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. For those who love discussing TV, this series is definitely for you. Because if you’re watching in real time, it’s so much fun trying to guess what’s next from week to week.
Seasons 1 and 2 of FROM are now streaming on MGM+. Prime subscribers can currently watch Season 1, then grab an MGM+ trial to binge Season 2.
If you watch FROM on MGM+, what’s your favorite thing about it? Leave us a comment! If you’re considering it but still need some convincing, feel free to ask us a question.