Tis the season for creepy kids, dark hallways, demonic parents, and possession—all of which you’ll find on Marvel’s spooky side project, Helstrom, which premieres on Hulu on October 16th. An NYCC panel with the stars and showrunner showed off the opening ten minutes of the show right at the start, in which an exorcism doesn’t go quite like anyone expects.
Helstrom is dark. Literally: dark nights, dark hallways, dark glowers. In the opening scene, Daimon Helstrom is called to help a family whose son seems to be possessed. The young nun-in-training accompanying him doesn’t know what to say when the parents question the fact that the archdiocese has not sent a priest. What did they send? Well, the literal son of the devil. But the parents don’t need to know that.
According to the description on Hulu, Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana (Sydney Lemmon) are the children of “a mysterious and powerful serial killer,” who track down the worst of humanity. But that “serial killer” phrase seems like a bit of a misdirect given that Daimon is known, in the comics, as the Son of Satan. And these siblings have clearly got some interesting powers of their own, as the trailer shows.
Last year, Helstrom was announced as part of an interconnected set of horror shows, including Ghost Rider, that would all live under the title “Adventures Into Fear”—a title borrowed from a Marvel series from the ’70s. A month later, the Ghost Rider show was nixed (which is a bummer, since Gabriel Luna was a pretty great Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
The cast couldn’t say much about the not-yet-released series, but they discussed the nature vs. nurture question at the center of the show; joked about what their characters’ theme songs would be (“Highway to Hell” for the possessed Helstrom matriarch, Victoria); and considered which sibling is more powerful (Sydney Lemmon says it’s Daimon). The panel ended on a serious and thoughtful note as June Carryl, who plays the seemingly unflappable Dr. Hastings, referenced the “VOTE” T-shirts the panelists all wore. “We need change. We need it now,” she said, before encouraging viewers to vote if they don’t like what they see on the news, and to ask for help if they need it. (You can listen to her starting at about 37:19 in the video.)
“Vote,” Carryl said in closing. “Take care of yourself. Take care of each other.”