Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Spoilers fall from the sky!
Welcome to parts of Scandanavia unknown, where a toxic killing rain has decimated a good part of the human population. Our unlikely heroes Simone (Alba August) and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), siblings whose father is quite deeply involved in the deadly rain mess, they get stuck together with only each-other for company in an Appalon underground bunker, of all things, when their father abandons them to dubious safety and their mother succumbs to the murderous droplets. Now, six years later the siblings emerge, quite pale but alive, to a changed world above and full of questions, on a quest to find where their missing father went.
Simone, poor thing, isn’t really cut out for this survivalist-thinking nonsense. Meeting up with the YA gang of Martin (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) and Patrick (Lukas Lokken), Lea (Jessica Dinnage) and Jean (Sonny Lindberg), and don’t forget Beatrice (Angela Bundalovic), the Survivalist Kids as I came to call them, was likely far better for Rasmus than it was for Simone. Faced with violence or impending death, Simone nearly always folds on the side of life, and despite not really being any kind of healer, she somehow becomes Martin’s – and therefore the whole groups’ – moral compass. Which is good for Simone, because she’s preoccupied with the one task her father left her – protect her brother with everything in her, as Rasmus may be “the key to everything”. No pressure, Dad (Lars Simonsen), thanks.
The outside world has certainly changed from the way it was when the sibs went into the bunker, but the toxic rain is still coming down. Now, there are roving bands of mercenaries Martin calls the Strangers, who hunt down survivors and scoop them up for some unknown purpose, and pretty much everyone else is quite dead. Simone the sibs are the only ones who can open the doors, we’re all off traipsing through the woods. At least the woods are incredibly gorgeous, but hey, also full of murderous water.
It seems to rain fairly predictably, so the Survivalist Kids and our sibs have tried to arm themselves with covers and hidey-holes, but this more often than not proves very difficult. Lots of time is devoted to the various human dramas of the Kids inside the show – who will Beatrice boink now, Martin or Rasmus; what about Simone and Martin; will Jean ever get to kiss Lea, that sort of nonsense. But it is this same eye-rolling drama that leads to some of the finest reveals of the shows mysteries too. The moment when Patrick just loses his shit and does something that would normally more or less instantly kill a person and not a thing happens, is a finely crafted bit of storytelling and acting on everyone’s part.
The show style of post apocalypse drama is quite similar to what The Walking Dead used to be, and that is actually no bad thing. To go along with sweeping forests and dramatically empty city backdrops to boast of all their own, ‘The Rain’ is a fresh take on the combination of YA and post-apocalypse story. Sprinkled in fairly well are the sci-fi bits, the making of the toxic rain itself and how their father was involved and what he did to Rasmus with what he made, oh yes, but only enough to keep the sci-fi nerds seething with curiosity. With no actual zombie expectations to live up to, ‘The Rain’ makes a simple thing we take for utter granted, the very water that falls from the sky, and makes the whole post-apocalypse world rather terrifying again.
Also, to state for the record, there’s many portions of episodes where the Kids all speak English right along with Danish, carrying on entire conversations even, and that’s pretty awesome. How many other Netflix shows do that? Watch the show in the original Dutch, with those subtitles, you heathens!
Get caught up in the horror that is The Rain, on Netflix now!