‘Styx’ is unabashed trash from our own soil, but a little more life in the dialogues could have been good

‘Styx’ is unabashed trash from our own soil, but a little more life in the dialogues could have been good
‘Styx’ is unabashed trash from our own soil, but a little more life in the dialogues could have been good

Ronald Meeus focuses on infinity. Today: new Streamz series Styx.

Ronald MeeusFebruary 3, 202403:00

The Ostend cop Raphaël Styx (Sebastien Dewaele) is rotten inside. His estranged wife Isabelle (Loes Haverkort) summons him in the morning, as if it wasn’t humiliating enough that she has someone else and wants to divorce him, to finally take a shower. His colleague (Werner Kolf) immediately hangs one Arbre Magique on the rear view mirror when he gets into the car with him. Moreover, his skin is starting to look more and more miserable. And that bullet hole in his body, suffered after a night-time shooting on the wooden promenade of the Queen of the Seaside Cities: did a meatworm just crawl out of there?

If it weren’t for the fact that we already had two volumes in the past Beau Sejour we would have had the new Streamz series Styx immediately embraced because of its intriguing dead-among-the-living motif. However, the fact that the main character this time is not a deceased person hopping around in a different plane of existence, but a slowly decomposing corpse that has come back to life despite that fatal shot, no longer makes the big difference. Not even when you know that the protagonist in this unmistakable zombie story is himself a undead is, and looks damn hard like Kenny from Bevergem or that one guy out Home-grown.

Styx, based on a thriller by Bavo Dhooge, is unabashed trash from our own soil, a series that touches the senses in a cheaper way than the particularly well-crafted opening generic would suggest. It is also a series that constantly jumps from one genre of fiction to another without any hesitation. The screenplay also manages to hit a few well-known keys from all those genres.

That hole in the hand after that shot, the fact that the main character – in addition to being a living dead person – was also a corrupt cop, involved in a gang of human smugglers: these are common elements of hard-boiled crime fiction. The brushstroke of horror that is occasionally applied to the whole does not extend beyond the conventions of that genre. And the black humor that regularly comes into play, especially after Wim Willaert’s pitiful character appears on screen, does not go beyond the well-trodden path.

It’s perfectly enjoyable quatsch, y’all. But all those well-known genres and comfortable clichés that are put through the meat grinder here do not generate enough sympathy to forget that there could have been a little more life in the dialogues, just like in the story twists. Perhaps the identity and motives of the masked murderer, who had strangled that suddenly untraceable man on the pier and had shot Styx through the body, are revealed just a little too early, without this revelation immediately creating a deeper meaning. , more interesting mystery seems to be concealed.

And why exactly that villain wears a mask from the famous painting The intrigue by James Ensor: we only got to see four episodes for the time being, but wouldn’t that just have something to do with the Ensor year?

Two first episodes today on Streamz, then a new one every Friday.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Styx unabashed trash soil life dialogues good


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