So this was a pretty amazing summer for horror themed shows, right? Everyone loved Stranger Things… Preacher was super fun… even Outcast on Cinemax was pretty solid. There was another show that came out on Amazon that you may have missed called The Kettering Incident that I thought was pretty great. It’s a small town murder mystery with a Sci Fi/possibly supernatural twist, and it’s the first thing I’ve ever seen that takes place entirely in Tasmania. I haven’t seen it getting too much attention, so I thought I’d take some time to talk about it. It’s definitely one of those shows that i can see being pretty polarizing for reasons I can’t really go into much for fear of spoiling it, but it is a cool little show you might want to check out.
The Kettering Incident follows Anna, a hematologist who has suffered from black outs and fugue states since an incident from her childhood where she and her best friend went missing in the woods for several hours, and from which the friend never returned. Now living in London, she has tried to forget about her past, until one day after a black out, she awoke in her home town of Kettering, a small lumber town in Tasmania. Shortly after arriving, she befriends a teenage girl named Chloe, who is obsessed with the incident from Anna’s childhood, and sees her as somewhat of a celebrity. On Anna’s first night back, she suffers from another blackout, and Chloe goes missing in the same woods from Anna’s past.
The series unfolds as a murder mystery, where Anna is the lead suspect, as she was always painted as having something to do with her childhood friend’s disappearance. This being a small town though, EVERYONE is a suspect. The show follows the investigation of Chloe’s disappearance, and a ton of dirty laundry about the town’s most prominent citizens is unearthed along the way. The show isn’t really ABOUT the investigation, though. It’s just a vehicle to tell a larger story about this town’s shady history, and to follow the odd citizens that live within. It’s kind of like Twin Peaks in this regard, and while this story is a bit more straightforward, it’s a pretty apt comparison.
There are plenty of twists along the way, and while for the most part, they’re pretty organic, I could understand being unsatisfied with a few of the revelations, particularly in the last couple episodes. Some of that might be from the numerous red herrings along the way, or from the tendency of these slow burn type shows to cram waaaaay too much in for the finale. I personally enjoyed the big reveal at the end (which I’ll avoid going into due to MASSIVE spoilers), but again, it’s understandable that some folks could be put off.
The strongest part of this show is the acting. Elizabeth Debicki is great as Anna. It’s a rough role to play with all the mystery of whether or not she’s a hero or villain, and she totally managed to find that balance. Also standing out is Matthew Le Nevez ,who played Dutch, the crooked cop assigned to the case. His performance is extremely layered, which is nice to see in what is usually a pretty one note type of role. Really, the entire cast does a great job. Pretty much everyone has something to hide, and unraveling the mystery wouldn’t have been nearly as compelling with lesser actors.
So yeah. Watch this. It’s pretty good. It definitely requires you to pay attention, but it’s so damn captivating that following it is rarely a problem. It’s a creepy, well acted little series, and features a ton of scenery porn from a part of the world we don’t get to see much. I’m hoping there’s a season 2 coming soon, because there’s so much left to discover about this messed up little town. So definitely check it out if you like slow burn style sci-fi, murder mysteries, or super tall hot Australian ladies.
– Johnny Zontal (@johnnyzontal)