NYCC Panel Recap: First Look at Hulu’s Helstrom

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Fans who have waited for new Marvel content won’t have long to wait. Halloween will see the rise of a new first family in Horror with Helstrom. The spooky series focuses on Daimon Helstrom and his sister Ana, siblings who have a famous “parent” in Satan.

The series has been hyping up the darker aspects of the show and while Helstrom is not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the characters being inspired by the comics.

Hulu brought the show to New York Comic Con to let the cast talk about the upcoming series.

The panel kicked off with stars Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon, Daimon and Ana Helstrom respectively. They introduced the first 10 minutes of the series first episode.

From a possessed keyboard to some pretty dark visuals, the show’s scares do leave you feeling a bit more than spooked. The opening credits are reminiscent of FX’s Legion as well – teasing the horrors of the Helstrom family legacy.

We’re introduced to Daimon Helstrom working on behalf of the Church (seemingly) and overseeing an exorcism. Clearly not a traditional exorcist, he seems ready to charge into the abyss without aforethought. Helstrom figures out that the boy is faking, but demonstrates that he has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve.

Helstrom is clearly on Earth for a reason and has his own agenda. After playing a trailer that declares “The Last Thing The World Needs Is A Helstrom Family Reunion,” the panel introduced the cast and showrunners.

They launched into describing how they created a grounded family drama. Paul Zbyszewski, the showrunner, shared how the characters are “grounded” in real emotion.

“How much worse can it get with a dad that’s the devil?”

Zbyszewski also teased that there are things that are “new” that he’s bringing to the show.

They focused intently on how they could bring classic horror to the show. They then turned to discuss the siblings – Ana and Daimon Helstrom. Their dynamic is considerably different, with Ana needing her brother’s help to heal. Austen shared that Daimon sees the world in a cynical sort of way.

“He has these gifts and these abilities and it feels like everything is trying to prevent him from doing. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for the crap that comes with it.”

Tom Austen

Zbyszewski explained that he wants to keep the audience guessing. There’s no character to keep people guessing more than Victoria Helstrom played by Elizabeth Marvel. Marvel called her an addict, consumed by this possession. Marvel promised that she’s more concerned with her children. Comparing the character’s struggle to the imperfect metaphor of drug addiction, Marvel promises that Victoria “emerges”.

“Occasionally you see Victoria emerge – but then she sinks beneath the water and she’s gone.”

Elizabeth Marvel

The cast agreed with her, pointing out that the Helstroms react like children of addicts with one cutting their mother off and the other becoming codependent on her. The show then moves to other characters, and the supporting cast seems incredible.

With Alain Uy as Chris Yen, Ariana Guerra as Gabriela Rosetti and June Carryl as Doctor Louise Hastings – the world of the Helstroms is presenting a lot for fans to explore. Talking about found family, sacrifices the other characters have made, and how they all revolve around the Helstroms things are getting heated.

They got so heated that parts of the set actually burned down, putting the actors through their paces. They shared that the show will go deep into the family’s history. How much that relates to the comic book canon remains to be seen. It ties into the show’s history, and how the characters are very relatable. 

The cast then made a plea to vote – showing that they’re each wearing “VOTE” T-shirts marking the American election. June Carryl made a plea for fans to “Listen and have the hard conversations.”

Encouraging people to vote, they also shared that they’re throwing their support behind mental health organization NAMI, and based on the show’s themes of addiction and mental health it seems beyond appropriate.

It’s clear that the Helstrom clan will be making a dark entrance, marking a grim yet poignant end to the era of Marvel’s television shows (prior to their Disney+ counterparts).

Are you intrigued by the premise? Would you like to see more? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Helstrom on Hulu drops October 16.

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