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‘The October Faction’ Review: A Monster-Lite Premiere Puts The Spotlight on Family Drama 

October Faction
Photo Credit: Netflix

The October Faction Netflix series is based off of a comic series written and created by Steve Niles with art and co-creation by Damien Worm. 

The October Faction follows the story of the Allen family. Fred Allen (J. C. MacKenzie, Vinyl) and his wife, Deloris (Tamara Taylor, Bones) are monster hunters who work for a secret organization known as Presidio. Their twin teenage children, Geoff (Gabriel Darku, Impulse) and Viv (Aurora Burghart, Sex Education), have no idea what their parents actually do. In fact, they think they work for an insurance company. Following the death of Fred’s father, Samuel (Stephen McHattie, Watchmen – the film), the Allen family are uprooted from their lives in Japan and must move back to their small hometown in New York to figure out the cause of the supernatural happenings. Moving back leads to a lot more than just the discovery of lots more monsters in town, as everyone in the Allen family starts to learn the secrets that are being kept from each other. 

The thing about the October Faction is, it’s supposed to be about a family of monster hunters. You might think that would mean there are not only lots of monsters, but monsters of all kinds running amuck. You might even assume, as the viewer, you would actually get to see some sweet monster-fight action. However, you’d be very wrong, because in the first three episodes (that are almost an entire hour long each) you see 0 monster fights. You see the set up for an epic one; you see one vampire get shot; you see the end result of what was clearly an awesome battle; but you don’t ACTUALLY see anything happen. There’s also the whole Geoff is a warlock and Viv is a witch thing that is barely even scratched upon during the premiere. This is an important plot point that is barely understood if you haven’t read the comics. You may be thinking, “Well, it’s only 3 episodes in”, but I will remind you that 3 episodes = 3 hours. 3 hours is plenty of time to set this story in motion, but instead, the build is INCREDIBLY slow. 

Rather than spending time on monsters, we watch family and high school drama unfold. I’m all for addressing modern societal problems like racism and homophobia, but similar to my Episode 2 review of Watchmen, I have to ask, “What does this have to do with monster hunting?” As we have seen in shows like The Strain, Crazyhead, or Penny Dreadful, you can address drama and current events issues while still having lots of monster action. However, October Faction seems to struggle to find that balance. 

That isn’t to say it’s not worth watching. While I would prefer there be more violence, the story is an interesting one and the acting is amazing. I have loved Tamara Taylor since she played Cam in Bones, and she was fabulous as Oumou Prescott in Altered Carbon, a Netflix series from 2018. She is one of those actresses who I’m always excited to watch on screen. I was so elated to see Gabriel Darku on screen again too; he was amazing as Connor Rijkers in Slasher and he blew me away again as Geoff Allen. It’s not just Taylor and Darku though, J. C. MacKenzie and Aurora Burghart nail their roles without a doubt. 

Overall, October Faction has a very talented cast and great drama. It just might not be a great monster hunting show. 

The October Faction is now streaming on Netflix. 

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman is a staff writer and comic review editor at Pop Break. She regularly contributes comic book reviews, such as The Power of the Dark Crystal, Savage Things, Mother Panic, Dark Nights: Metal, Rose, and more. She also contributes anime reviews, such as Berserk, Garo: Vanishing Line and Attack on Titan as well as TV reviews. She has been part of The BreakCast for the Definitive Defenders Podcast. Outside of her writing for Pop Break, Rachel is currently a pre-school teacher. She is a college graduate with her BA in History and MAED. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Raychikinesis.

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