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Horror - The Complete First Season: Hex

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Hex The Complete First Season
Starring: Christina Cole, Jemima Rooper, Michael Fassbender, Amber Sainsbury, Jamie Davis
3 DVD Box set (2 thin cases) Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
Rating NR - sexual situations, innuendo
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
Run Time: 465 minutes

The Complete First Season Hex is a very nicely turned out thin box which is a pleasant change of course for the usual bloated packages that hit the shelves. Curiously The Complete First Season of Hex is actually the complete first season and the first four episodes of the second season as it was originally run on British satellite channel Sky One. I can only guess that the logic for this is that the public wouldn’t entirely go for a six episode first season boxed set so they fleshed it out a bit. The continuity is flawless from season one to season two so it scarcely matters how Sony decided to cut up the package.

In a nutshell Hex is the story of a young girl at a remotely situated private school, Medenham Hall, who inadvertently becomes a lynchpin in the machinations of both fallen angels and witches. Medenham Hall was once the McBain estate and the long dead Lady McBain was a practitioner of the black arts – specifically as they related to Azazeal and the Nephilim (fallen angels). As farfetched as it sounds the series is not only beautifully shot it is beautifully written. Great care is taken to develop the story in a slow burn and clear way. There isn’t an extraneous bit of dialogue, screen time or special effect in the series it is lean and economical story telling at its very best.

This kind of storytelling rests on not just the skill of the narrative and good dialogue but also on the shoulders of the actors and special effects teams that make the story work. In the case of the actors this is not a cast of hundreds – more like a cast of tens at a location shoot. On the surface of it this is a series which was clearly shot on a shoe string budget but they managed to get some very good actors into this ensemble piece and they excelled from there. Colin Salmon plays the headmaster of Medenham Hall and has been in Prime Suspect 2, a couple of James Bond movies and Woody Allen's Match Point: His talents are not put to waste here as an administrator with a light touch and a genuine concern for his students. Christina Cole is a virtual unknown to North American audiences but has worked on thirteen television projects in the U.K. in the last five years and plays Cassie to mixed up perfection. The strongest performances in the series though belong to Jemima Rooper as Thelma Bates the lesbian in love with Cassie who knows it will never amount to anything. Rooper delivers time and time again in Hex with performances that are touching and believable.

To put it bluntly this is an excellent series. There are no extras on the DVD’s which suits this reviewer just fine: Honestly do you really watch the directors commentary on why the light was put on the top left instead of the middle right? The thin case is a bonus for collectors too as it saves on shelf space. Here’s looking to the complete second season and whatever it may hold in store for Hex fans.

Denis Bernicky

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