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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

[Review] Final Season of “Castlevania” Goes for the Jugular and Delivers a Brave, Bloody Finish

Castlevania concludes with its biggest conflict yet in a strong season that has more monsters, magic, and deadly surprises than ever before.

“You are not the apocalypse. You are just a man.”

It’s no easy feat for Castlevania to become one of Netflix’s most critically adored series and end on its own terms, especially during a time when the vampire genre is oversaturated and a heavy stigma still hangs over video game adaptations. Castlevania could have been a forgettable disaster that strips the nuance of its source material so that it blends in with every other violent action series. Instead, Netflix’s Castlevania is a thoughtful exploration of power, legacy, and even the healing ability of love; but it just so happens to also involve the graphic beheadings of gargoyles, lycans, and undead abominations. It’s a series that doesn’t just embrace blood and guts, but also the hearts and souls of its characters. Castlevania certainly saves the best for last and this final season has a reinvigorated energy that creates the proper stakes for its endgame. 

Castlevania’s final season begins in a very economical way that feels like it distills half a season’s worth of action into an effective introductory sizzle reel. It’s an effective and action-packed way to begin this last season, but it’s also representative of the chaotic new status quo that’s come forward in the continued wake of Dracula’s death. Castlevania has previously taken its time when it comes to its pacing, especially in its earlier years. This final season does have its slower periods of lethargy, but it’s a generally more motivated season that continues to build off of the momentum that the previous seasons cultivate. Season four, like season three, consists of ten episodes, but this longer episode count doesn’t cause the season to meander or waste its time. If anything, this final season attempts to cram in as much content, development, and resolution as possible across these ten episodes.

It’s an entertaining change of pace that Trevor and Sypha not only find themselves busier than ever with their demon slaying duties, but that they’ve fallen into such a routine that they’re almost bored by the constant hack and slashing. It’s as if it’s some bloody nine-to-five day job for them. Castlevania’s previous seasons do an excellent job with vicious battles against dark and supernatural forces. However, season four effortlessly taps into the atmosphere of non-stop fear and carnage, yet examines how even perpetual torment grows stale and how to rekindle the excitement behind a magical murderer duo.

At the start of this season, Trevor and Sypha’s mannerisms and body language resemble more of an old married couple who are tired of each other rather than an intimidating duo of demon slayers. It’s delightful to watch Sypha’s disdain as she realizes she’s adopted some of Trevor’s more swarley habits. It becomes Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but with a lot more displays of magic and graphic monster dismemberment. The chemistry between these two remains Castlevania’s secret weapon and this last season really emphasizes that, at its core, this is really a love story. Trevor and Sypha’s entertaining banter also functions as a reminder of Castlevania’s pitch black sense of humor, which is stronger than ever, and it’s often surprising just how funny this series can be. 

Beyond Trevor and Sypha, Castlevania successfully juggles the large cast that it’s accumulated over the years, yet no one feels redundant in this mix. It’s extremely fulfilling to see how all of these different characters process the changes that are in motion. So many of these individuals are gothic stereotypes, yet this season makes them feel authentic and with valid motivations behind their actions. It’s just such a mature show on every level that goes beyond derivative horror-action content. Castlevania has something to say and it really digs into the pathos of these flawed and lost characters. It frequently engages in thoughtful discussions on responsibility and selflessness as characters with expiration dates finally consider a future that they thought was previously impossible.

Castlevania isn’t afraid to unpack heady themes, but it also doesn’t compromise any of the extensive action sequences that have come to define the series. Castlevania’s fight choreography has never disappointed, but there are so many incredible spectacles that truly go for broke. There’s an incredible tag team battle against hordes of skeletons that takes advantage of their indestructible nature as the fight spans across the flimsy limbs of trees, hundreds of feet in the air. So much of this season has the cast separated, but the brief moments of teamwork are exceptional.

These kinetic action sequences look incredible, but they also make inspired use of the monsters, weapons, and the environment at hand. These fights aren’t just beautiful and brutal, but they’re full of smart strategies and combinations of abilities that evoke a John Wick-esque sense of awe over the innovation of these demon hunters. There are certain battles that hit with the heavy, visceral nature of Berserk and grandiose battles become even more extravagant. The season’s finale is a visual masterpiece that trumps everything that’s come before it. 

Castlevania confidently closes the book with this final season and delivers a conclusion that feels complete, but also natural and earned. The concluding installments are the right mix of chaos and contemplation and those that have enjoyed the climaxes of the previous seasons should be blown away with Castlevania’s finish. The series sticks the landing and ties everything together in a way that’s genuinely satisfying. Castlevania earns its rest, but with the rich world that it’s created there’s still room in the future for a new vampire killer to pick up a whip.

Castlevania’s fourth and final season is available to stream on May 13th, only on Netflix.

Castlevania Season 4 Monster Attack Force



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3664912/review-final-season-castlevania-goes-jugular-delivers-brave-bloody-finish/

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