WARNING: This article contains potential spoilers from The Rain on Netflix
The first Danish-language drama from Netflix combines the apocalyptic doom and survivalist nature of The Walking Dead with Scandi Noir.
While there’s no denying that it’s been shot beautifully with its muted, natural palette of greens, yellows and browns, and some superb performances – which we’ll get to in a bit – it feels like something’s missing.
Perhaps it’s the over-saturation within the film and TV market with these end-of-the-world type scenarios, but The Rain feels like it’s following those well-worn sci-fi tropes.
We’ve seen these characters over and over, particularly the traumatised and hardened soldier who has witnessed things that have turned him a survivalist willing to kill innocents, and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen) who is described as “the key” to destroy the virus.
Compared to Netflix’s German-language offering Dark late last year, which brought a freshness to the time travel genre, The Rain feels like it’s trying to hard.
The pacing is off – media were given access to the first three episodes – and things happen a little too quickly.
In an era where audiences are spending more hours watching TV than ever before, The Rain could have been slowburn rather than rushing to get the Andersen siblings into that bunker.
Once therer, where they spend six years, more time could have invested in seeing the relationship develop between Simone (Alba August) and the younger version of Rasmus as they grew up.
The scene where brother and sister danced to Foxes’ uplifting track Amazing was a lovely moment, and The Rain could do with more of those to really get its viewers to connect with the characters.
Instead, it was a rush to get the children in and out of the bunker and quickly embarking on a mission with a group of mismatched scavengers.
If this is an attempt to show the fragility and volatility of The Rain, it could have been done better and viewers could have been given more time to invest in the characters.
At least with a show like The Walking Dead, where the body count is high, audiences are drawn in and become emotionally involved before the characters are cruelly snatched away from them.
There wasn’t enough time for the children to grieve a shocking death – let alone the audience, who were trying to process what just happened.
It feels like it’s all about the plot and not enough about the characters at the centre of this catastrophe.
Despite an unsteady start, The Rain shows promise and could develop into something special.
The role of central duo August and Lynggaard Tønnesen are powerful but it feels like we never really a sense of their relationship because of the urgency to tell this story blindly and sacrificing characterisation.
The Rain tries hard and you can sense that there’s so much potential there but it feels a bit of a misfire unfortunately for what could be a really compelling watch.
The Rain is now streaming on Netflix