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The Twisted Horrors of Hulu’s “The Act”

Sam Batchelder ’20

Staff Writer

When I first watched the trailer for Hulu’s new disturbing thriller “The Act,” I had high expectations. It’s safe to say, once watching, I was not disappointed. The new Hulu limited series co-created by Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean delivers extremely compelling television.

“The Act” is about a mother, Dee Dee, who raises her daughter, Gypsey, to believe she is sick. Dee Dee raised Gypsey to believe her whole life that she can’t walk, can’t eat sugar, needs a shaved head and is fed through a feeding tube.

In reality, Gypsey is a perfectly healthy girl, and Dee Dee reaps the rewards of financial donations she receives for Gypsey’s “treatment” and uses them for herself. The show is a limited episode series, which displays Dee Dee’s acts of lies in an eerie and uncanny way. The acting done by Patricia Arquette, who plays Dee Dee, is spot on for the psycho-mother role. Her portrayal of the manipulating and evil caretaker will leave you with goosebumps.

The show paints Dee Dee and Gypsey’s relationship as innocent and sweet. Dee Dee dresses in motherly clothing and dresses Gypsey in clothes that look like they’re made for little girls. The color pink is a common theme in the show. This could be a directors choice to show the innocence of the couple. The outside of their house is painted pink, Gypsey often wears pink clothes and Dee Dee wears many different shades of pink clothing. This could be to give the impression to the audience and the characters in the show that they are a cute, innocent mother and daughter duo.

As the show progresses, we see Gypsey slowly figure out her real capabilities as an able, non-sick human, which eventually leads to the show’s shocking and disturbing ending. The show’s ability to add such an uncomfortable feeling for the audience when watching the life Gypsey has to live is one part of the brilliance of the series. There is a scene where Gypsey has to get her teeth removed because her mother makes her do it because she ate sugar and she isn’t allowed to have sugar, even though she actually can, this is just another aspect of Gypsey’s life that Dee Dee controls. In the scene she is looking at herself in the mirror with no teeth. The camera shoots a close up on her face and plays intense music in the background. As the camera shows Gypsey crying with no teeth, she almost looks like a character out of a horror film. The scene was made to disturb audiences that even something that seems not scary like losing teeth can actually be an awful terrifying thing to have happen to someone. This puts the audience in Gypsey’s shoes and makes us empathise with her. This is something the show does very well.

With a great leading cast, eerie cinematography and a perfect soundtrack, “The Act” will leave you speechless and wanting to binge every episode. “The Act” is still making new episodes by the week, so make sure to catch up on this incredible series.