Customer Review

103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small town "troubles", March 31, 2011
This review is from: Haven: Season 1 (DVD)
Imagine a cross between "Twin Peaks" and "Murder She Wrote," set in a quaint Maine town where weird things happen every week.

That's the best description I can come up with for "Haven," a paranormal crime show very loosely adapted from Stephen King's novel "The Colorado Kid." The first season starts off on a rather mediocre note with a string of one-off "troubles," but slowly develops a mysterious arc that grows more intriguing and powerful as time passes.

FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) is sent to the town of Haven to find an escaped murderer... but as soon as she arrives, she finds that the guy is dead... and his death was physically impossible.

Not only does Haven have some bizarre people and strange weather patterns, but Audrey finds that she has a connection to the place -- an old photo with a woman who looks just like her. So she decides to stay in Haven, and partners up with local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryan) to solve local crimes while she searches for hints to her past.

However, it turns out that the "troubles" are returning to Haven after thirty-ish years -- mysterious aging, outbreaks of madness and sanity, spontaneously rotting food, horrible deaths related to artwork, a shadowy "Dark Man" (no, not the one Stephen King fans are thinking of!), a deadly shapeshifter, fiery deaths, a poltergeist and countless ground cracks.

"Haven Season 1" takes a little time to bloom. At first the acting is stiff, the one-off plots are ordinary, and there's no strong overarcing plot except "the troubles are back!" But as time goes by, the stories get darker and the writing becomes more compelling -- especially since only some of the mysteries center around stuff you can arrest people for.

Each episode introduces a new bizarre occurrence, and has Nathan and Audrey trying to unravel whose powers are going out of control. These mysteries are fairly clever, and there are some funny moments sprinkled in every episode ("I need a HUUUUUGG!"). And despite being based on a King novel, most of it isn't horrifying -- there are some creepy moments, such as a poor guy's eyes, ears and mouth slowly sealing up before our eyes. Eww.

Emily Rose is kind of stiff in the first few episodes, but she becomes a really likable heroine by the halfway point of the series -- she's strong, compassionate, playful and has some shocking secrets of her own. Bryan plays Nathan as reclusive and quiet, mainly because he can't physically feel anything. And there are some solid side performances by Eric Balfour as a charming smuggler, Nicholas Campbell as the gruff sheriff, and Anne Caillon as Nathan's girlfriend.

"Haven" hasn't fully unfolded into the great show it might become, but the first season shows it starting to really bloom -- and leaves you wanting more.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 1, 2011 6:47:22 AM PDT
M. Metreyeon says:
It's been a great show so far, just hope they(SyFy) doesn't kill it like they did with Caprica and SGU both really great shows. Being a Stephen King fan, I love the show and last season ended in typical King style with a twist. If any one has read any of his books, then they would get all the inferences to his other novels and movies that he throws in. It ironically also takes place in the same town as The Tommyknockers did. MMm. Maybe that were the "troubles" came from?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2011 7:51:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2011 7:59:00 AM PDT
E. A Solinas says:
I spotted a few of those inferences. But I haven't read "Tommyknockers" yet, so I didn't catch that one. :D I'm a sort of casual King fan -- I adore some of his books, don't like some others, and am lukewarm about still others.

And yeah, I hope they don't run this one into the rocks, because it really did suck me in as time went on. Well, it's been renewed for at least a second season, which is pretty good! And it seems to be selling pretty well too, since it's in the 200s after only a few days.

Posted on Apr 1, 2011 2:57:46 PM PDT
davrion says:
Really good (and accurate) review! I watched the first few episodes more out of determination to give it a try. After the halfway mark, I was hooked. There hasn't been that "flawless" episode yet, but the episodes seemed consistently good. Still have the finale saved in my DVR though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 8:30:01 AM PDT
Jonny Lee says:
SyFy is doing great. I love Eureka and now Haven...great show with signs of increasing excellence! I don't think Eureka really, truly came into its own until the fourth season...everything leading up to it, though, was awesome. Let's hope for the same from Haven. The only thing SyFy needs to do now is change their slogan back to SciFi, which is what it is supposed to be.

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 7:43:21 AM PST
Yes, I absolutely want more! I can't seem to put the first season DVD down! Question: when will Season 2 be available on DVD!?? I am so looking forward to exploring Audrey's personal AND romantic relationship with Nathan (Lucas BRYANT BTW) especially since they have told each other they're "more than just partners"; and the exploration of her continued "friendship" with Duke (played exquisitely by Eric Balfour). It's too bad the Chief (Nicholas Campbell) had to succcumb to a "shattering" death. There seemed to have been some underlying, unresolved feelings in the "father/son" dynamic. Perhaps the writers can come up with a way for Nathan to confront those feelings Haven style.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 7:45:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2012 7:46:19 AM PST
Get the Season 1 DVD! You'll be more than hooked! LOL!

Posted on Jan 3, 2014 9:13:00 AM PST
Good review. I figured with all the 5-star reviews out there, the show must pick up speed and get better. I've made it through the first 3 episodes and the acting is rather wooden. An FBI agent taking charge of investigations when she's no more than a tag-along (and a small town cop allowing her to take charge when she's got no jurisdiction) and even at times identifying herself as Haven PD (when everyone in a small town like that knows exactly who is a cop) when she isn't were rather annoying plot flaws. Her rather routine acceptance of the fact that bizarre/inexplicable/supernatural events are commonplace in the town is also pretty implausible, at least at this stage, unless she's either got such abilities herself or has encountered them before; I guess I'll have to wait and see on that one. There are a few good one-liners, though, like "I thought I was just being civil" and "Have you told her you're not a real boy?"
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