I’ve never, to my knowledge, seen an Eli Roth-directed film. I won’t watch Hostel on principle, and nothing else he’s been involved with has really piqued my interest.
This, however, may be an important exception:
There are a number of other trailers for Hemlock Grove floating around, and taken as a whole, it really looks like nothing so much as David Lynch’s cult classic series Twin Peaks with less ambiguity regarding the supernatural stuff (and way, way more gore, I’m assuming).
Of course, with werewolves, gore makes perfect sense. The only thing I’m a bit worried about is the choice of Roma as one of the major rival groups in the series. Gypsies have endured a ton of discrimination and stereotyping, and they’re always cast as magical curse-hurling fortune-telling cackling bad guys (or bad-ish) in horror films.
I’ve written before about how, given that “mainstream” US society has no overt or formal relationship with any supernatural traditions (outside of major religious orthodoxies, but of course even that is problematic), it makes a kind of sense to look for supernatural knowledge possessed by other groups which do have established traditions of this kind. I mean, put simply: who you gonna call? The Ghostbusters, sure, or whoever else happens to know how to deal with your issue. But there is a point at which we have to say, does this group actually believe or act or practice the stuff we keep insisting they do? I’m not knowledgeable enough about Roma culture to answer that, but an easy solution would be to ask Roma people.
Since the show hasn’t even dropped yet, I won’t jump to any conclusions. And of course, maybe it will be a surprise: maybe Roth & co. will somehow reverse the apparent stereotyping, or at least handle it in a way that is sensitive and makes sense in the context of the narrative. At any rate, I’ll definitely check it out when it lands on Netflix on 4/19.