Amazon’s Them Review: Race and Horrors

Them is a horror drama TV series created by Little Marvin. The series stars Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, and Ryan Kwanten.

Amazon Prime Video’s Them is not a place where you’d want to stay. The horrors showed in the series, based in the 1940s and 50s, are horrifying to watch and after some point in time, I just had to drown out my sorrows watching something funny after each episode.

Them takes a look at racism in America during The Great Migration where hundreds and thousands of Black families moved from the South to escape the terrors bestowed on them by their white counterparts. In the series, we follow the very middle-class Emory family as they move from North Carolina to Los Angeles hoping for a better life. However, their new East Compton home provides anything but that. There are horrors both supernatural and real-life in Them and after a point, they just mix with each other to provide an experience that just leaves you heartbroken.

That’s mostly because the Emory family, consisting of father Henry and mother Lucky and their two daughters, seem to be lovely people. They love each other and are well bonded. The moments shared between the family in the series make up for the only heartwarming experience that the series has to offer, however fleeting. However, their dreams are short-lived as, the moment they move in, they are harassed by the residents of their all-white neighbourhood.

This is where the horrors of Them starts to become pressing. Right from episode 1, we experience something that suffocates us, like all of Betty and her gang’s attempts at throwing their new neighbours out. It’s suffocating and infuriating to watch them enact such unfair violence on a family that just wants to live and let live. It also doesn’t help to know that the Emorys come from a place that was more horrifying than this and the series makes sure to remind us that every step of the way.

Them also has supernatural elements to it which overshadow the real horrors. That’s actually a shame because the series’ subject matter is grotesque and heartbreaking anyway and adding this additional element seems to add no purpose. However, you are left to wonder whether whatever otherworldly that is following them around and making their lives inside the house hellish is actually a manifestation of their psyche breaking down.

Ashley Thomas and Deborah Ayorinde are the souls of this drama series who carry the entire weight of it on their shoulders. They embody the roles of the heads of the family with ease and fill the viewers with dread and concern as more and more shit start to be thrown their way. The children, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Melody Hurd, are great as well. however, Alison Pill as Betty is probably the most chilling portrayal of it all. She plans and strategizes how to throw away their neighbours out of their community with a smile plastered on her face – it’s absolutely chilling.

Summing up: Them

Them

Them showcases the horrors a Black family faced (and people still face) at the hands of their white counterparts. Although it’s a chilling story that hits nail it right on the head, it does become quite numbing and draggy after a point in time. The performances are the strong suit of the series, and if you’re interested in watching this then be ready for things to get real dark real soon.

Them is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Liked the Them review? Read our other reviews here.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Them showcases the horrors a Black family faced (and people still face) at the hands of their white counterparts.
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Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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