Feria: The Darkest Light is a new Spanish supernatural thriller series that is set in the titular town in the mid 1990s. It follows two sisters, Eva and Sofía who discover that their parents have committed a horrendous crime before disappearing. They have to face the consequences of their parents’ doing in a town where there seems to be an otherworldly secret that the inhabitants are hiding.
The story begins in the town of Feria in Andalusia. Two sisters, Eva and Sofia head to a village bonfire party for the teenagers of the town. As soon as they leave some suspicious visitors enter their house. The next day they notice that their parents, Elena and Pablo are nowhere to be seen. Right then a group of armed policemen bust into their house to search it. The two sisters are clueless to what is happening and realise that something is wrong.
They are brought to the station, where an officer from outside Feria, Alvaro Guillen, who is incharge of the case explains to them what has happened. Their parents are said to have been responsible for a mass suicide of 23 people who were found at the entrance to the mine which was supposedly closed. According to the surveillance video, Elena and Pablo accompanied the victims to the mine. Pablo left before entering and Elena followed them inside, then disappeared without a trace.
From the police’s search, they find records of correspondence in Elena’s belongings. Some of these letters are from 10 years back. The letters reveal the existence of the Cult of Light which has numerous followers. They believe that women are the key to opening a portal between this world which is created by a lesser God, and the Kingdom which is the true reality, where there is no pain, guilt, fear but not even love and passion. The people of the town look upon the sisters with suspicion and the police believe it is impossible that they did not know anything about this cult.
20 years back something happened in this town and a lot of inhabitants seem to know about it but they act oblivious to it. The followers of the Light try to convince Sofia, to take on her mother’s role and lift the five veils that leads to the Kingdom. Sofia does entertain the possibility that there is something they are missing and their parents cannot be murderers.
Carla Campra who plays Sofia does most of the heavy lifting in this show. She plays a character who is very indecisive and weak minded as she has to constantly keep making difficult choices. The confusion that looms over her face, the pain she experiences and the unimaginable strength she holds, all of this is rightly portrayed by Campra.
Ana Tomena who plays the older sister Eva, is a direct contrast to the character of Sofia. She has a people pleasing attitude and doesn’t redoubt the possibilities before believing that her parents are murderers. She displays moments of pure vulnerability when she is with her sister, be it them fighting or crying together.
Other key roles are portrayed by Patricia López Arnaiz, Ángela Cremonte, Marta Nieto, Carlos Scholz, Pablo Gómez-Pando and David Luque. All of them do justice to their respective characters.
The concept of the series is very captivating. It has all the elements of a well crafted otherworldly mystery thriller.
The secrets behind the cult and their rituals are showcased in an intriguing manner with the help of great sound design and editing.
The cinematography and set design capture the town of Feria perfectly in two different time periods. Even the visual effects used are quite impressive.
The series is dark and creepy at times but is never too horrific. The tension builds up but never culminates into anxiety-inducing scenes.
Themes like sexual abuse, mental manipulation and homophobia are touched upon in this show. However, it never explores how these themes affect a person’s psychologically.
The show is a slow-burn and some people might not be satisfied that even in the end of season 1 they don’t get a conclusion.
Feria: The Darkest Light lacks suspenseful and horror inducing moments but is still highly enjoyable for its well crafted plot surrounding a fascinating concept.