Review: ‘True Detective: Night Country’ – Foster & Reis revive the franchise with a spine-chilling horror story

In 2014, HBO stunned everyone with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s epic crime thriller True Detective. Apart from winning several awards, the series became a scintillating hit among viewers. However, the series failed to mesmerize viewers with the subsequent two entries in the anthology, and people asked whether this show should continue. Considering everything, there’s no doubt that True Detective: Night Country (otherwise known as season 4) is arriving with a lot of baggage. With new people attached to the latest edition, the series looks to give audiences something new, and fortunately, succeeds in doing that because Night Country is the best entry to the franchise after the show’s debut season.

There are mild spoilers ahead for True Detective: Night Country.

Welcome to Ennis, Alaska, and the Tsalal Arctic Research Station

One of the best things the show does is leave the continental part of the US and leans into a much darker, colder setting. True Detective: Night Country begins in a fictional town called Ennis, Alaska, and it has started getting darker and colder there. The winters have arrived, and the small town is getting quieter. Meanwhile, a group of scientists at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station are having an ordinary night and enjoying their night after finishing their work. However, one of the scientists starts shivering uncontrollably and says, “She’s Awake.” 

Well, without any guesses, things go downhill, and the entire team of scientists vanishes mysteriously. Captain Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) joins the case and starts investigating the case with her team. Meanwhile, a trooper named Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) wants to join the case, but Danvers is against that. Navarro has suffered a lot because of her past and what happened with her mother and sister. On the other hand, one unsolved case continues to haunt her. Interestingly, that same case seems to have made Danvers disgruntled. However, things take a wild turn when the police uncover several shocking revelations.

Alaskan snow drifts and urban legends in True Detective: Night Country

Ennis is a small town, and not many things happen there because of so much snow. On the other hand, the town is filled with an urban legend about how people can see ghosts. Most of the show was filmed at night, and viewers can see some of the most visually stunning imagery as the season progresses. Liz and Navarro are forced to work with each other because these scientists’ disappearance has also opened secrets about their lives. Additionally, the disappearance also has a connection to another case: the killing of an indigenous woman named Annie K.

One aspect that makes True Detective: Night Country so much better is how writer, director, and producer Issa López has managed to stitch a thrilling, horrifying, and thought-provoking story. López didn’t leave any stone unturned to stuff the series with horror, and that’s what took this season to a whole new level. López’s expertise in horror creates a sense of fear in Night Country, making each scene potentially frightening. So many scenes in the six-part series haven’t left my mind and are some of the scariest scenes I have seen in recent times. Once again, I would like to say that the show’s setting also enhances the horror element.

Jodie Foster and Kali Reis have intriguing chemistry

Acting-wise, Kali Reis is simply phenomenal and gives a nuanced performance as Navarro. If anyone had doubts about Reis‘ performance, then I am happy to report that she has knocked it out of the park with her execution. On the other hand, Jodie Foster is the soul of this season, and viewers will simply be in awe of her. She is having a lot of fun with her character being the badass, and hey, we are not complaining.

Jodie Foster and Kali Reis in True Detective: Night Country. Image courtesy of MAX.

Every season of True Detective relies on the chemistry of its leads, and Night Country is no different. The chemistry between Foster and Reis is why this season looks so intriguing. Their characters hate each other, but they also have a sense of care for one another. Even though there are scenes where you might pick sides, as the season moves forward, you’d realize they carry a lot of emotional baggage on their backs, which has made them a little bitter. But still, these characters never stop enthralling us with their heroics and determination.

Meanwhile, the supporting cast – Finn BennettFiona ShawChristopher Ecclestone, and John Hawkes – shines in their respective roles, especially Bennett.

Final thoughts on the show

All in all, True Detective: Night Country is a fantastic addition to the franchise and gives the audience new hope. The new creative team has done everything right by giving this series a spin while keeping it aligned with the creator’s original vision. Night Country is an example of how a mysterious crime thriller should be done. It draws viewers into its moody, dark atmosphere and takes them on a journey filled with a lot of chills. 2024 has begun on a solid note with True Detective: Night Country and the show will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the bests when the year ends.

The first episode of True Detective: Night Country is now streaming on MAX. New episodes of the show will air every Sunday until February 25, 2024.

Have you watched the first episode of season 4 yet? What did you think? Are you a fan of the first True Detective season?  Leave a comment below to join the conversation or message us on X @MoviesWeTexted.

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