The Eco-Warrior Message of ‘Superstition’

From the pilot episode of Superstition – a supernatural series now available on Netflix – its central themes and the main eco-activist message are clear. Set in the small town of La Rochelle, it follows the Hastings family, who act as protectors of their community from otherworldly spirits and demonic “infernos” through black magic, rituals, and superstitions.

The increasing number of evil attacks from the demons is linked directly by the protagonists to the negative impact human beings have had on the planet. These spirits are supposedly making an attempt to destroy humanity as a result of our indifference towards our environment.

A conversation between Isaac Hastings and his son Calvin conveys the environmental message of the show, in an exchange part-way through episode one:

Isaac – “Since you were a kid, we human beings have destroyed over half of the world’s wildlife. Instead of being good stewards of this earth, we are sucking it dry.”

Calvin – “I know this. What’s your point?”

I – “This imbalance is causing a rise in evil, among us and outside. It’s as if the infernos have come to put us in check.”

C – “You know Pop, after what I saw in Afganistan, I wonder if we’re even worth saving.”

Other themes such as fatherhood, racism, masculinity, and religion all play a part in building up the narrative surrounding Calvin and his family, providing them with personal problems, while fending off various forms of demonic infernos.

Calvin, recently returned from active duty, struggles with new-found fatherhood of a teenage daughter, as well as the family secrets surrounding his own father’s mysterious identity. Each episode develops the relationships between the Hastings, while the supernatural uprising of evil remains the central reason for violence throughout the series.

If humans are as doomed as Mayer Hillman claims in his recent interview with The Guardian, then the release of Superstition on UK Netflix can bring this issue to the forefront of our consciousness through an easy-to-swallow fantastical version of reality.  Through the violent monsters in the show, La Rochelle’s future is filled with possible danger and death around every corner. The demons take up residency inside human bodies, hiding in plain sight, literally making people into their own worst enemies.

“We’re doing the reverse of what we should be doing, with everybody’s silent acquiescence, and nobody’s batting an eyelid.”

– Mayer Hillman, The Guardian

Masked as a supernatural-horror-mystery-drama, Superstition promotes conservation and lessening the damage on our surroundings, while it also presents the slight possibility of defeating the evil future our planet may face.

Otherworldly, demonic attacks force the protagonists to confront the damage caused by humans upon the environment in Superstition, while we await the consequences of climate change and pollution within planet earth’s narrative.


Images – SyFy / Netflix / MVPTV

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