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James Marsh

BBC’s ‘Red Riding’ Trilogy Delves into the Darkness of Real-Life Nightmares

Heavy with gloom and so pervasively violent that a single misstep might have reduced it to macabre comedy, Red Riding: 1974 has the feeling of a nightmare. This is no accident.

Director Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) favors his lighting dim and his skies oppressively bleak, mitigated only by illuminating flashes so brilliant as to be blinding. If they seem to suggest a break from the grim reality of Tony Grisoni’s story, about a journalist investigating a series of child murders in Yorkshire, the illusion is fleeting. At no time is 1974, the first episode of the Red Riding trilogy released last year for BBC television, anything close to cheery

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