13 Commandments: Channel 4's Euro thriller is Seven with a Belgian twist

Friday, 16th March 2018, 10:21 am
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 10:21 am

Already binged through La Mante on Netflix? Never fear. Because a new Euro thriller featuring a string of grisly crimes is about to hit British screens.

13 Commandments is the latest addition to Channel 4 and All 4 from foreign drama powerhouse Walter Presents. And the Belgian series revolves around a twisted self-appointed punisher devising horrific fates for their victims.

Nicknamed 'Moses', the killer's mission is to restore what they see as lost standards of behaviour, and punish transgressors ruthlessly.

With these biblical elements, and that motive, the plot has shades of classic serial killer movie Se7en. Meanwhile, the perpetrator's apparent refusal to kill directly suggests Saw-like methods may come into play.

Subverting expectations

The two main characters on the tail of Moses are world-weary detective Peter Devriendt who, in time-honoured fashion is nearing retirement, and his new partner Vicky Degraeve, a rookie inspector, who has the obligatory tragic, tortured past.

If this sounds like a cliched partnership, that's because it is. But that decision is also deliberate. 13 Commandments sets out to play to expectations - and then subvert them.

Not your typical whodunit (Photo: Channel 4)

As writer/director Maarten Moerkerke put it in a recent interview: "It starts out as a regular, almost cliché, crime drama: an older cop, a new younger, female colleague, a serial criminal… but as the story evolves it becomes much more complex.

"It's not a typical whodunit."

The series deals with contemporary issues in society, such as cries for instant justice, and online-driven witchhunts. Interestingly, Moses becomes more and more popular with the public, despite the cruelty of his crimes.

13 Commandments has received rave reviews in both its native Belgium and in the US.

Other serials about serial crimes

The show joins other Walter Presents dramas about serial killers on All 4.

Merciless is a Brazilian series about a sadistic murderer who infiltrates the police, with a forensic psychologist and FBI agent assigned to catch them.

Forgotten Girls is a French thriller which sees a detective investigating a number of missing person cases, while Pure Evil has an Argentinian criminologist - whose daughter was murdered - contending with fresh terror and a bizarre cult.

13 Commandments episode one airs on Channel 4 at 10pm this coming Sunday, March 18. All episodes will then be available on All 4.

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