Quoth Ravenswood, "We have a different kind of ordinary in this town."
Actually, it's one of the characters who says that in the premiere episode of Ravenswood, which airs Tuesday on the recently re-branded M3 (formerly MuchMore). Originating on ABC Family in the U.S., Ravenswood certainly is the type of show that can get you in the mood for Halloween.
The title town is like one big haunted house.
Ravenswood is a spinoff series from Pretty Little Liars, which is in its fourth season and airs its annual Halloween episode just prior to the Ravenswood debut. In fact, the setup for Ravenswood occurs in the Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars, although if you choose to watch only Ravenswood it won't take you long to get the hang of it.
Pretty Little Liars mainstay Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) heads to the town of Ravenswood and meets kindred soul Miranda (Nicole Gale Anderson) along the way. Both Caleb and Miranda are looking for answers in this strange place. And they become even more intrigued when they see something in the local graveyard that shakes both of them to their cores.
In terms of atmosphere, the town of Ravenswood is a lot like Mystic Falls, the main setting in The Vampire Diaries, in that there is a non-stop parade of good-looking young people and endless community events filling out the background as the main characters go about their business. For Caleb and Miranda, all logic suggests they should get the hell out of this place. But where would the horror-thriller genre be if anyone listened to reason?
Through various good and bad encounters, Caleb and Miranda hook up with three Ravenswood "locals," namely Luke (Brett Dier), Olivia (Merritt Patterson) and Remy (Britne Oldford). The five of them being together may not be as random as originally thought.
A lot happens in the first episode of Ravenswood, so much so that I thought, "Doesn't this feel more like a movie than a TV series?"
But we'll see where it goes. For now, what we have is a very spooky setting, filled with cliches, but those cliches actually work just fine, considering the youthful target audience probably hasn't seen all of them before.
For example, at one point in the first episode of Ravenswood, one of the characters takes a bath in a creepy house. Now, an experienced horror-thriller watcher would be thinking, "For the love of God, don't do it, baths in creepy houses never go well."
But if this stuff is new to you, Ravenswood deftly provides a lot of chills. And remembering that it originates on ABC Family in the U.S., the creepiness never descends into gory, graphic or gruesome.
It turns out Ravenswood is both a different kind of ordinary and a not-so-different kind of ordinary. If you're a non-cynical young person who is open to scary TV, Ravenswood is the town for you.