Wilderness has all the ingredients of a revenge thriller. This psychological thriller immerses us in the life of a couple, Liv and Will. Their life seems perfect and they seem to live the perfect love. Until Liv discovers a video of Will having sex with another woman (and we discover that she is not the first one he has slept with in the penultimate episode). Then begins a little perverse game where Liv wants to take revenge on her husband (and therefore kill him) but everything is not going to go as planned and it is not Will she is going to kill but her husband’s mistress. Wilderness takes up things that we have already seen elsewhere such as in Fatal Attraction or Gone Girl but it is precisely these thrillers which marked the public from which Wilderness draws inspiration. Wilderness plunges us into a labyrinthine narrative where this couple was doomed to failure anyway (and Liv realizes this at one point).
A British couple, Liv and Will, seem perfect in every way. Until Liv learns of Will’s affair. Revenge is her only option, and when Will suggests a trip to America’s national parks to give their relationship a fresh start, Liv knows exactly how to get it…
Although there are real influences from its predecessors, Wilderness still offers itself a fairly modern and new playing field. Let’s say that the series tries to do something new with these old adages seen and revisited from the psychological thriller. The first few episodes of Wilderness are quite twisted and entertaining as Liv begins to uncover all of her husband’s lies and then plots her revenge. The second episode is actually one of my favorites of the season, creating a form of excitement that makes you want to see this sordid adventure to the end. Too bad Wilderness quickly falls into the simplest traps: the revenge that consumes Liv’s character, her wildest desires and the death that will strike. Adapted from the novel by BE Jones by Marnie Dickens, Wilderness has enough fun with its characters to give us a good time but I find it a shame that there are not necessarily any risks taken by the scenario.
The psychological thriller that we are offered is effective but does not go beyond the framework and is therefore content to follow what is most conventional in the genre. But Wilderness above all succeeds in developing Liv’s character. She’s a complex character and Jenna Coleman is perfect in the role. She manages to play this complexity and both the madness of the character and the mourning she is experiencing from her marriage. Over the course of the episodes, Wilderness shows us that Liv’s character is much crazier than she wanted us to imagine. The way she plays with her husband (especially during his farewell party in the last episode) is perfect. The actress is perfect but the character is good. The storyline creates a certain form of empathy for Liv as her rage and ego tend to push her decisions. Jackson-Cohen is also perfect in a role that fits him like a glove. He likes to play slightly suspicious roles (The Invisible Man in particular!) and he is perfect here.
The theme song for Wilderness is absolutely fabulous. Besides the visuals, the music “Look What You Made me Do (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift sets the tone. The soundtrack of Wilderness was particularly well worked (“Radar” by Britney Spears is used particularly well, for example during Liv’s jogging). Wilderness struggles to create a mystery around the murder but still manages to make up for it with the characters. It’s a shame that Liv’s somewhat dark character, about whom we know very little, turns out to be quite easy to understand in the end. Some subplots are even quite mediocre like that of the neighbor Ash who goes around in circles and brings nothing except filler. I wonder if a season 2 is necessary or possible. Wilderness concludes its story rather well while leaving some possibilities for a hypothetical sequel (that Liv is pursued by Will’s means even if the latter is in prison).
Rating: 6.5/10. In short, if Wilderness sometimes wastes its potential, it nonetheless remains an effective series with a heroine that we want to follow in her adventures.
Available on Amazon Prime Video