TV: Equinox (Season 1)

Danish supernatural series Equinox possesses some real assets, and even sustains interest for a while, but ultimately doesn’t amount to much. It involves an event during which nineteen graduating high school students in 1999 vanish, including attractive young Ida (Karoline Hamm), older sister to adoring, nine-year-old Astrid (Viola Martinsen). Only three people on the bus with Ida survived the mysterious event that led to Ida’s disappearance. When one of these survivors dies twenty-one years later, now-adult Astrid (Danica Curcic) finds herself drawn back into an investigation of the mysterious, harrowing event that shaped her life.

Alternating between past and present timelines—which clumsily breach point of view as the mystery unfolds—Equinox sets the stage nicely, creating an eerie, compelling mystery that blends the rhythms of Nordic procedurals with young adult coming-of-age drama and dark fantasy. The story builds well initially, although there’s a timeline imbalance between Astrid’s investigation and the flashbacks to Ida’s tragic journey; the former doesn’t unfold quite as grippingly as the latter, which involves a nicely performed group dynamic between the doomed Ida and her peer-pressurey friends Jakob (August Carter), Amelia (Fanny Bornedal), and Falke (Ask Truelsen). Flashes of the effective creepiness reminded me at various times of similar shows and films like Fortitude, Midsommar, The Returned, and The Wicker Man. Unfortunately, despite a modest six-episode run, the show lags in its second half, sputtering to an unsatisfying resolution. It’s a decent show, overall, but fails to live up to its early promise.

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