“Them” Review

Story posted April 14, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Sam Roberts.

Amazon Prime’s newest series to stream, “Them,” is the most disturbing series to binge on streaming platforms right now. Created by Little Marvin, “Them” follows an African American who moves into a Caucasian-dominated West Compton in the mid 1950s and battles racist neighbors while fighting demons as well.

The Henry family in “Them” stars Deborah Ayorinde as the Mom Lucky, Ashley Thomas as the dad Henry, Shahadi Wright Joseph as the older daughter Ruby Lee, and Melody Hurd as the younger daughter Gracie. The Henry family is moving from North Carolina because some of their racist neighbors murdered their baby boy Chester, but they very quickly learned that they are not welcomed by the Caucasian people of West Compton.

As the series progresses, they are battling their racist neighbors who are led by housewife Betty Wendell, played by Alison Pill. As the episodes continue, Betty and their fellow neighbors try to make the Emory’s want to move out by writing racists slurs on their lawns and even hanging dolls by the neck on their front porch as well.

As they are dealing with their neighbors, each member of the Emory family is each battling their own supernatural presence that ties into the emotions of the character. Lucky’s demon is about the grief of her murdered child, Henry’s demon is related to his guilt for not being home while Chester was killed, Ruby Lee’s ghost is tied to her wanting to fit in at school as the only African American girl there, and Gracie’s ghost is tied into the fact that she is scared of turning into her mom.

“Them” is really fantastic from the production side of a show. The set design strongly resembles the 1950s, from the homes, cars, wardrobe, and lingo of the time period as well.

The cinematography and editing tricks are also amazing, with a diverse use of camera angles and movements and various forms of crafty and creative editing. Along with the camera work, the score is haunting, and the soundtrack used is very relevant and strong song choices as well.

Although the production is fantastic in “Them,” there are a couple faults in the show as well. The biggest fault in the show is the fact that there really are no likeable characters.

The entire neighborhood of Caucasian is obviously just unlikeable, but the members of the Emory family is unlikeable besides Gracie, who’s only likeable because she’s little and adorable. Although it’s somewhat understandable since the Emory family is dealing with intense trauma, but none of them make a single decent decision the entire show.

Half the time it’s frustrating to watch them.

Another fault of “Them” is the fact that for a majority of the show, the supernatural aspect is incredibly confusing. The writers and showrunner Marvin just throw in these demons and ghosts and they often don’t play a big role in the plot besides trying to make the show suspenseful.

All in all, “Them” is a pretty good show that is very intense, disturbing, and thrilling from start to finish. The incredible production really does carry the show and as soon as one starts episode one, they will need to get through all 10 episodes.

Rating: 3/5

Sam Roberts is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email sam.robertspsu00@gmail.com.