Requiem

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Requiem TV Poster Image
Sometimes-violent British mystery has supernatural elements.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

As with most mysteries, one of the central themes is that the truth can be a powerful, redeeming force.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Matilda Gray is accomplished, driven, compassionate, even when spurned by the people around her. Many characters display a certain amount of courage when coming forward and speaking up about the abduction of Carys Howell.

Violence

There are several gruesome and creepy suicides, and a little bit of fistfighting.

Sex

Main characters have casual sex. There are some simulated sex acts.

Language

Cursing used sparingly, and for dramatic effect: "f--k," "f---ing," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drug use, but many of the characters casually smoke and drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Requiem is a British mystery show about a renowned cellist, Matilda, and her involvement with an unsolved abduction case. After her mother commits suicide in front of her, Matilda finds a box full of press clippings and other material related to the 1994 abduction of a young girl named Carys Howell. With her best friend, Hal, she travels to Penllynith in Wales, where the abduction took place, in order to try to figure out the connection between her mother and Carys. The series uses elements of supernatural and psychological horror akin to classic horror films like The Omen, and there's a sense that an unseen, potentially evil, force is guiding the action and the central mystery. Since this particular mystery revolves around a small town with a series of suspicious suicides and the abduction of a young child, there's a feeling of prolonged dread throughout as secrets are unraveled. Violence includes some gruesome suicides that are shown on-screen, and there are some simulated sex acts visible as well. 

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What's the story?

In REQUIEM, Matilda Gray (Lydia Wilson) is a renowned cellist whose mother has committed suicide in front of her, suddenly and gruesomely. Among her mother's things, Matilda finds a box full of press clippings and other material related to the 1994 abduction of a young girl named Carys Howell (Emmie Thompson). With her best friend, Hal (Joel Fry), she travels to Penllynith in Wales, where the abduction took place, in order to try to figure out the connection between her mother and Carys.

Is it any good?

This story begins with a pair of unsettling, perhaps supernatural, on-screen deaths -- the kind of scenes designed to get under your skin -- but after that, everything feels like a pretty by-the-numbers British mystery show. Clues take the protagonist to a small town where she slowly discovers that everyone had some sort of involvement in a years-old crime that's haunted them for most of their lives. This is a formula that, while undeniably satisfying, has been in use for a hundred years -- from Agatha Christie to Broadchurch.

Requiem is unique in that it steeps its mystery in elements of supernatural and psychological horror and gives its characters a real live haunted house to live in. That, and it ingeniously makes its protagonist, Matilda Gray, a cellist -- to give all the morose, haunting string music a practical feel. But, like a classical requiem mass, Requiem moves at such a deliberately slow tempo that the show's paranormal elements lose their impact, and unraveling the mystery feels tedious and rote.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about loss. So much of Requiem is steeped in tragedy -- whether it's the loss of a family member or of one's own childhood. What do you think about the way these characters respond to the events around them? 

  • Families can talk about the idea of ghosts and haunted houses. Why do you think some houses can be perceived as haunted, and why are they so popular as an entertainment? 

TV details

For kids who love mysteries

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