'666 Park Avenue' Review: Seductive and Evil Television Horror
'666 Park Avenue' Review: Seductive and Evil Television Horror
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There are many variations on horror. One of the best is a creepy, almost psychological type of horror that is as much mystery as it is gore. What monsters are hiding in the closets? How can the heroes survive? Who is behind the mayhem?

666 Park Avenue is a perfect example of this type of horror.

The story focuses on a young and happy couple, Jane and Henry (Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable), who take a job as on-site managers for a luxury apartment building, the Drake. Everything at the Drake seems perfect. The facilities are beautiful, the neighbors are friendly and the owners -- Gavin and Olivia Duran (Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams) -- are charming and classy people who take an instant interest in Jane and Henry.

Of course, everything is not as is seems.

666 Park Avenue wisely shows its horror hand in the first few minutes of the pilot episode -- a beautifully orchestrated scene connects the glamour of the Drake (and the Durans) to blood, fear and carnivorous walls.

The story going forward is a little slow and hokey at times -- do we really need all of the flickering lights and unseen ghostly apparitions? -- but every creak of a floorboard does propel the story forward. Even a subplot about a pair of yuppie neighbors (Mercedes Masohn and Robert Buckley) serves to show just how insidious the evil of the Drake can be.

In addition, no amount of horror kitsch can overcome the casting of 666 Park Avenue. Taylor and Annable play the well-educated-but-naive newcomers in a believable and likable fashion. You really do want them to make it out of this alive. Meanwhile, Vanessa Williams' Olivia is exactly what you would expect if one of the Real Housewives made a deal with the devil. And 666 Park Avenue may indeed have a devil -- if Terry O'Quinn's Gavin Duran is not Lucifer, he's at least a close friend to the Prince of Darkness.

What about the inevitable comparisons to American Horror Story? Surprisingly, 666 Park Avenue has little in common with the FX hit. For storytelling purposes, this is a good thing. American Horror Story told of evil waiting to devour normal people -- no one could escape its insidious grasp. 666 Park Avenue treats is evil in a different way. Yes, an awful lot of people are damned by their own desires and by a pervasive darkness, but there is always an escape.

You don't have to make that deal with the Devil. Evil doesn't always need to win.

This last point -- the possibility of defeating evil -- is what makes 666 Park Avenue so very appealing. The characters all have varying levels of darkness inside them, but it never has to win. It will, of course, win a lot of the time in this horror series.

But there's a chance of survival. It's that chance of victory over the seductive forces of pure evil make 666 Park Avenue a creepy and addictive dark pleasure on TV.

666 Park Avenue premieres Sunday, September 30 at 10pm on ABC. Keep up with the latest on the show by following Laurel Brown on Twitter.

(Images courtesy of ABC)


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