First Kill (2022) review: Engaging but required a bit more intensity

First Kill is a fantasy drama series where the forbidden love of two teenage girls, Julliette and Calliope, leads to unnatural events in the town and within their families. First Kill s now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Juliette is a 16-year-old girl who belongs to a legacy vampire family. Her grandmother is the Keeper of Malkia, their holy serpent, and her mother is the Keeper in waiting. Her father is a vampire turned by her mother; thus, he is half-human.

Ellinor is her sister, who is a ruthless vampire but loves Juliette. However, she has killed many people to fulfil her vampire thirst. Oliver is Juliette’s brother, who the Fairmont family has denounced because of his contrary beliefs.

Calliope is a teenager who comes from a family of monster hunters. Her parents and brothers are trained monster hunters. They are powered by the Guild, an organization that supports the monster hunters.

Calliope forever wants to become a monster hunter like her family, but she hasn’t had her first kill. Similarly, Juliette is an empathetic person who is not yet ready to feed on human blood and is yet to make her first kill.

Both Juliette and Calliope go to the same school, and Juliette has a crush on Calliope and asks her out to a party. At that party, through a dare game, they end up making out and, following certain events, fall in love with each other.

However, their families are against this forbidden love because both families are occupational rivals. The Fairmont family are legacy vampires and the Burns family are monster killers. But, the girls refuse to stay apart, and this decision rocks both families.

Performances

The actors’ performance makes the series engaging enough besides the screenplay. Imani Lewis as Calliope delivers a good performance. Initially, she looked like a weak character, but with proceeding episodes, her performance became better.

Sarah Catherine, as Julliette, also gives an excellent performance from the beginning to the end. Her dialogue delivery was also subtle. But Ellinor, played by Gracie Dzienny, is a personal favorite. Be it a caring daughter or a ruthless sister, she does a great job.

Aubin Wise playing the role of Talia, was extremely powerful in having a great screen presence. Her expressions and dialogue delivery were illustrious. 

Theo and Apollo, played by Phillips Mulling Junior and Dominic Goodman, were also able to bring intensity and fun to their character. 

Positives

Compared to numerous vampire shows made in the history of filmmaking, First Kill has quite an exciting approach to myths and gore. It is a well-written and well-directed series with interesting plot twists.

The story is not fast-paced and proceeds in a proper narrative. The dialogues are well-written, and never in the entire series do you feel like cringing, which is popular in teen dramas.

The narrative includes a first-person voiceover where Julliette and Calliope tell their own story through philosophies, experiences, and literature references, something really admirable.

The thoughts and logic of the events are also tactfully designed to hold the viewer’s attention. The explanation does not seem forced but is subtly flowing through the narrative, making it a good piece of screenplay writing.

The shots were nothing extraordinary but went perfectly with the narrative. The set design was also thoughtful. A personal shoutout goes to the subtle details that need not be highlighted through dialogues. 

For instance, it was mentioned early in the series that once a vampire has their first kill, all the problems of migraines and blood tears go away. But as the series proceeds and events occur, the point is proved without any dialogue but only details.

Above all, the story linked a Hyena with a legacy vampire and did a great job forming an engaging history of the two families. Also, the representation of the LGBTQA+ was very good as it was normal life in it and not an issue.

Negatives

Although the screenplay and acting were impressive, the chemistry between both the lead actors was missing. The story somewhere lacked intensity in developing the love story of Juliette and Calliope.

The focus lay more on shaping the vampire and monster hunters’ families and their purpose, but Juliette and Calliope’s love story needed equal attention. There was no chemistry built between them.

Some scenes also seemed disordered. For instance, the scene where Julliette wakes up at Noah’s party and goes out from the back door when the police are already there, indicating that something has happened. 

But in the next scene, the time goes back because Ben discovers Ashely’s body and then asks Noah to call the police.

Verdict

First Kill is an interesting watch with an engaging story. Although the poster indicates a love story, the series pays less attention to the development of the love story and more to the fantasy world.

Comprehensively, First Kill is an interesting series with the power to entertain the vampire and non-vampire genre cinephiles.

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: First Kill (2022) summary and ending explained