Netflix’s ‘Devil In Ohio’ Is Ridiculously Bad


Devil in Ohio is another Netflix series that fits into the thriller category that I wrote about in my Michelle Monaghan’s review. echoes: A series filled with flat, uninteresting characters who are driven solely by plot and mid-level actors who provide the gloss of prestige. See also: pieces of her, anatomy of a scandal, the weekend awayseveral from the Harlen Coben series).

All other examples are miles ahead of Devil in Ohio. I wish I knew how good she had it as she watched echoes either pieces of her, which were frankly Emmy-worthy comparatively speaking. At least the other examples had the pull of Netflix: the ability to end each episode on a cliffhanger and draw viewers into the next episode. Not even that exists here. In critical language, Devil in Ohio Hard sucks.

I have a couple of friends that use my Netflix account and when I dialed Devil in Ohio, I realized that someone had already seen the first episode. They stopped working at around 20 minutes, which is exactly how long I would have turned it off if not for a service obligation. It is very clear by then that Devil in Ohio it is not salvageable. The acting is bad. What are you doing, Emily Deschanel? – and the writing is worse. The steering is shoddy and the tone is all over the place. It’s a horror movie about a cult take on the tone of a brilliantly lit family drama like Seventh sky. It’s a mess, a nasty, obnoxiously boring idiotic series without a single redeeming quality. There are no standout episodes, no actors who transcend the material, and no moment that is modestly compelling. Everything is wrong. Every second of it.

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Here is the brief summary (with spoilers): A teenage girl named Mae (Madeleine Arthur) is found fleeing a dangerous situation by a driver on a country road. She has a pentagram carved on the back of her. Suzanne (Emily Deschanel), who provides therapy to foster children, takes him into her own home when he can’t find a place for her right away. Mae develops a creepy obsession not only with Suzanne but also with one of her daughters, Jules (Xaria Dotson). Her presence creates friction in the marriage between Suzanne and Peter (Sam Jaeger), a builder in financial trouble after a big sale falls through. Everyone in the family turns against Mae except Suzanne, whose troubled past makes her empathize with this creepy little girl who makes dolls out of cornstalks.

Meanwhile, there is an investigation led by Detective Lopez (Gerardo Celasco) into the people responsible for carving the pentagram on Mae’s back. Turns out it’s a cult run by Mae’s father. He was going to sacrifice Mae to keep the chain intact, whatever that means, and the entire town Mae came from, including the police, is involved.

In the end, Suzanne finds a permanent placement for Mae, but Mae doesn’t want to leave. She devises a plan. During the Harvest Ball at the local high school, where Mae wins the Harvest Queen, she swaps the red roses for white carnations, which she says are setting off. She pretends that the cult kidnapped her, but in reality, she willingly runs back to the cult to be sacrificed by her own father under the assumption that Suzanne will save her from that fate. Suzanne does exactly that, and Mae’s mother sacrifices herself in her place, and the creepy Mae continues to live with Suzanne, although at this point, Suzanne is separated from her husband.

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The end.

Do not look.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You can email him here, follow him on Twitteror listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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Header Image Source: Netflix

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