The Chalet is a French show on Netflix about a group of friends who come together at a remote village for a wedding. The party consists of friends who grew up together and their significant others, and the setting is a village off the beaten track in the French Alps. Things of course go wrong once they're all assembled, with old secrets coming to light and people getting murdered. You know, the average wedding.
I binged this recently and did a mini- review but I wanted to discuss in more depth since it's a pretty awesome show. And I have lots of thoughts of course. It's a pretty taut mystery/ thriller in spite of a slow start, and I'm really hoping for a second season even though the story threads were neatly tied off, for the most part. And can I just say this is one messed up village? I mean, really. These people are screwed up! Well, some anyway. It's also an ensemble cast so it takes a while to get everyone straight over the first two episodes, but after that I was pretty clear. And there are some nice surprises, including a twist I did not see coming.
The show is dual timeline, set both in the present and twenty years in the past. Manu and Adele are the primary protagonists in the present, arriving in Valmoline (the village) ahead of everyone else for the wedding party. When everyone else arrives they find themselves cut off from the outside world when a rockfall destroys the bridge. Coincidence? Of course not! And as things get dicey we flashback to twenty years ago, to see some of the root causes of the current mayhem.
Can I just say too that the title sequence is super creepy? I love it and it really sets the tone for a spooky series. There are six episodes so it's a relatively quick binge, and even though the large cast does slow things down a bit, I was hooked. I can't recommend this one enough.
Some spoilery observations. I loved the setting and the remoteness but one issue I did have is- where are the rest of the villagers? The place isn't huge but there should be more people?? We never see any. That kept irking me. Actually there is the unidentified guy who is all tied up at the very beginning but other than that, it's like the place is practically deserted in the present day. Also it's a little trope-ish maybe, with some characters not being super original (of course we have the rich jerk and other such). And why didn't help come sooner?
Still in spite of those issues I loved this! And while the why of everything became fairly clear, the who was more of a stumper. I was not expecting the revelation that Olivier was Julien! It was a little easier to see Adele as the grown up Amelie- that was not a shock- but when they finally were in action in the finale, exacting their revenge together, I was kind of cheering them on? Even if they did take out some innocents in their path to vengeance.
So... character thoughts. I'd love to know who you liked/ disliked if you've seen it. I could totally see why Julien and Adele wanted their revenge, given how horrible the villagers were and what happened to their family, but Adele began to question the collateral damage. I liked her character, and Manu as well. Alice wasn't bad either and Sebastien's girlfriend grew on me quite a bit. Oh, and poor Fabio. He just wanted to collect his herbs. But there were a lot of bad apples in such an idyllic village! I was really hoping someone would deal with Etienne. And I kind of question why Alexandre didn't exact some kind of retribution after the Rodiers were killed in '97? Also, I felt so bad for both Florence and the Rodier mom- both seemed like great people with horrendous husbands.
So have you seen the Chalet? Let me know what you think!