A teeny move up from 'Twilight'

It amuses one to think that in every small town across New Zealand, and perhaps across the world, there is bound to be a family that has no secrets.

That family goes about its business honestly and without complaint.

The father is a decent, though in no way outstanding, gentleman who at no time in his life has come close to breaking the law, or even acting in that sort of slightly unpleasant way that might provoke a mild rebuke from his fellows.

The mother, too, is decent.

She has never dabbled in drugs: never flirted with the sex trade; never run a gambling ring; sold sly grog; photographed her neighbour doing things in the nude; murdered someone through sheer spite or cheated on her husband in thought or deed.

The children are reliable, industrious, and not inclined to go shoplifting once their school day is finished.

Why is that amusing?

Because one day, someone will make a television show set in one of these towns with one of these families, and the publicity for the show will go something like the publicity for Hemlock Grove.

It will say something like ''Hemlock Grove tells the story of the brutal murder of a teenage girl, which sparks a hunt for her killer.''

And it will ask the question: ''Will they find the monster among them in a town where everybody hides a secret?''

And the family will stand up at that point and say ''Hey! Not everybody hides a secret!''

There you go.

The 13-episode Hemlock Grove begins on Thursday at 8.30pm on the Box.

The series is set in a fictional town in Pennsylvania.

When two teenage girls are brutally killed, a handsome gypsy boy is suspected of the crimes.

He is also rumoured to be a werewolf, and ... he is!

But he is not the killer and along with a handsome young chum who looks like any pale-and-pasty-young-vampire boy in any pale-and-pasty-young-vampire movie, he sets out to solve the mystery.

Despite the Twilight vibe, Hemlock Grove is a little more adult, with some usually hidden body parts heaving into view early on when two young people go at it in a two-seater sports car (which must be impossible, seriously).

It breaks into that sort of action quite early, before lurching off into horror, blood, screams and murder.

But all those usually attractive features aren't enough to drag the viewer into what looks like a production cashing in on the vampire craze.

And that leaves Hemlock Grove, perhaps, for the Twilight audience looking for something just a little - but not a lot - more grown up.

- Charles Loughrey

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