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Helstrom review: Hulu releases Marvel’s new horror series

Helstrom on Hulu
Elizabeth Marvel as Victoria Helstrom in Helstrom. Pic credit: Hulu

While it might not look like it, the new Hulu horror series Helstrom is a Marvel Comics adaptation.

Helstrom is based on the Marvel Comics character Daimon Hellstrom, who is also known in the books as The Son of Satan. However, in the series, there were some changes made and what resulted was a solid horror series this Halloween for Hulu.

Here is a look at our review of Helstrom on Hulu.

Helstrom on Hulu review

Helstrom is a 10-episode series based on the Marvel Comics character Daimon Hellstrom.

For those who don’t read comics, Hellstrom’s father is Satan – the Satan from Hell. While Marvel has a lot of demonic entities, including Mephisto, who many consider Marvel’s version of The Devil, it also has a Satan and Daimon is his son.

However, for much of his comics’ existence, Hellstrom is a superhero and has been a member of the team The Defenders on several occasions.

The Hulu show Helstrom changes things.

First, Hellstrom is changed to Helstrom. Second, Daimon’s dad was an unnamed demon who was also a prolific serial killer. Living in Portland, Daimon’s mom had no idea he was possessed and allowed him to have what resulted in a horrific presence in his kids’ lives.

One fateful day, Daimon’s dad used a special knife to carve a pentagram into Daimon’s chest and then ran, taking Daimon’s little sister Ana with him.

Daimon’s mom, Victoria, went crazy and ended up possessed by a demon herself. At the young age of 12, Daimon had her institutionalized and watched over her for the next two decades. Ana eventually escaped from her dad, but never returned home, moving to San Francisco.

The two kids, born to a demon and a human, were very powerful in their own right. Daimon now works as a professor while going out and performing exorcisms for the Church. He also shows in the first episode to have powers of telekinesis as well as the ability to cast what is known in the comics as Soul Fire.

Ana also has powers. She can take the soul from a human and can see a person’s darkest secrets by touching them. She also has a form of telekinetic powers, but not to the level of Daimon. While Daimon exorcises demons and saves people, Ana uses her powers to kill men who hurt women.

While Daimon and Ana remain estranged, there is a clue that their dad might still be alive when a crypt is robbed and a skull of what is known as a Keeper is taken. They end up teaming up in Portland with the two people who raised them (a mental hospital doctor named Louise and a hunter known as the Caretaker) and a nun in training named Gabriella to try to find and stop him once and for all.

From top to bottom, the cast is spectacular.

Tom Austen is Daimon Helstrom and he carries the guilt and pathos of two decades of feeling guilt for committing his mother masterfully. On the other end of the spectrum, Sydney Lemmon is great as Ana, an aloof socialite who is self-centered and only thinks of herself.

These two actors transform their characters into something completely different by the end and the entire journey to their inevitable destination was believable and perfectly done.

June Carryl as Louise, the doctor who raised Daimon, and Robert Wisdom as Caretaker, the man who protected Ana, were also great as two parental characters with dark secrets of their own.

Helstrom on Hulu: Final thoughts

Helstrom is a horror series that takes a little from what came before (The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby) and merges them into a satisfying and disturbing new Hulu series.

Showrunner Paul Zbyszewski was able to take the comic characters of Daimon and Satana Hellstrom and turn them into something better in Daimon and Ana. He took what worked about the original characters and made something that worked so well on TV.

There are also a ton of Easter eggs in the first season of Helstrom for fans of the comics and this is a series that could have legs if Hulu orders any future seasons. It also has a connection, in the comics, to Ghost Rider, so it could start its own shared universe on Hulu with darker Marvel Comics stories that wouldn’t fit on Disney+.

The twists and turns of the series were well done, and while it could have used a little trimming, and might have been better at eight episodes, it was a great ride from beginning to end and told a solid and memorable story.

The good news is that, unlike many Netflix series like Warrior Nun and Cursed, Helstrom tells a complete story in its first season, and the ending just hints at what could come later.

This is a self-contained story, and even if there is never another season of Helstrom, the story it tells here is satisfying and well worth the watch this Halloween.

Helstrom is currently streaming on Hulu.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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