The look and feel of Danteâ€™s Cove, as well as some of the language, is at times embarrassingly 1990s. And sometimes the hipness is forced, such as during the extended sequence featuring one the gangâ€™s self-proclaimed â€œbitchinâ€™â€ parties. Worse still, an early scene lazily relies on clunky dialogue [here paraphrased] to deliver crucial background information:
â€œDo you realize this was where we first met?â€
â€œYouâ€™re right! On this beach.â€
â€œYeah, and I told you that you needed more sunblock.â€
â€œUh huh. When was thatâ€”two months ago?â€
The charactersâ€™ sexual adventurousness is pointed out ad nauseum and with dubious enthusiasm: Look! Thereâ€™s Kevin (Gregory Michael) locking eyes with the cabbie in the rearview mirror while Toby (Charlie David) is retrieving something he apparently dropped in Kevinâ€™s lap and is taking forever to find!
And goodyâ€”Amber (Zara Taylor) just found the studded collar sheâ€™s been searching all over for! Oh, thereâ€™s that Van (Nadine Heimann), topless on the beachâ€¦again!
But the purpose Danteâ€™s Cove serves is simple and pointed: itâ€™s a queer supernatural thriller thatâ€™s heavy on allure and light on substance. The actors are young, sexy and frequently in flagrante. Things at the hotel are so casual that when one resident gives a tour to a newbie, he flings open one roomâ€™s unlocked door and immediately in view is a male-female couple having sex. They donâ€™t bother to disengage, simply greeting the newcomer and asking that the door be re-shut. On the beach there are almost as many bonfires at night as there are broad-daylight couplings.
Most of the sex we see involves a manâ€”and usually two. Kevin and his boyfriend Toby are frequently at it: in a cab (bold), on the beach (risky), in the shower (steamy) and even on a bed (yawn).
Amber does catch the eye of Chrissy (Michaela Mann), the woman who takes over for the partyâ€™s deejay on a break. When the deejay returns Chrissy and Amber scurry off to cavort by the beachside bonfire. But itâ€™s more frolic than fever we see them share. And when sexy Van later seduces another partygoer (Rena Riffel) into joining her on a beer run to the basement, weâ€™re treated to lots of heavy breathing, fervent fondling, suggestive writhing and the odd bare breast or shoulder. But the camera cuts away before things go any further.
Both scenes tease the viewer then cut away before anything gets too heavy. In general, the womenâ€™s scenes are interrupted prematurely while the menâ€™s scenes linger to the point of loitering.
The first episode of Danteâ€™s Cove ends with a music-video-like montage of classic horror flick images, among them cracking mirrors, menacing dolls, beckoning ghouls, violent lightning and screaming children. In November, part two will air, and the showâ€™s website tells us we can expect to find Ambrosius â€œdoing all he can to influence Kevin and lure him to the dark side,â€ enlisting the help of Cory as his â€œminion.â€
We can also look forward to Graceâ€™s return, after her fierceness was confined to the very beginning of the first episode. Van and Toby are said to continue delving into the Coveâ€™s mysteries and trying to break the spell that has taken a hold on Kevin. Will they be able to overpower Ambrosius before itâ€™s too late? Watch and find out.
Learn more about the series at dantescove.com