'Yellowjackets' Is 'Lord of the Flies' with Extra Sting Created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson

Starring Melanie Lynskey, Sophie Nélisse, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sophie Thatcher, Sammi Hanratty
'Yellowjackets' Is 'Lord of the Flies' with Extra Sting Created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson
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Lord of the Flies is probably the best metaphor we've got for what happens when society breaks down and humans return to our most primal urges. Yellowjackets takes that idea in a particularly dark direction, presenting of a grim depiction of what happens when a high school soccer team gets stranded following a plane crash.

The basic plot bears some distinct similarities to Lost, as a girls' soccer team gets into a plane crash and must survive in the wilderness while encountering some strange, possibly supernatural mysteries. Sex, drama and cannibalism ensue.

Yellowjackets follows the teenage girls in the mid-'90s while also flashing forward to their present-day adult selves. What's immediately most striking is the impeccable casting; has there ever been a show where multiple actors so perfectly embody the same characters across generations? Melanie Lynskey looks very much like the adult version of Sophie Nélisse, as they both play Shauna — a smart but dissatisfied woman who feels like a supporting character in her own life. Similarly, Tawny Cypress is a dead ringer for Jasmin Savoy Brown, as they play the ambitious, slightly ruthless Taissa. And even if Juliette Lewis doesn't look that much like Sophie Thatcher, they both do a great job at embodying the rebellious Natalie's self-destructive streak.

The show evokes the dark, salacious teen drama of Riverdale — seemingly every relationship involves unfaithfulness, and characters like Misty (Christina Ricci and Sammi Hanratty) take sick pleasure is stirring the pot. But where other teen dramas tend to get silly, Yellowjackets is downright scary. A first-episode flash-forward reveals that the girls become cannibals, there are witchy symbols scratched into trees à la Hereditary, and a séance hints that supernatural (and possibly religious) forces are at play. Taissa's present-day storyline, involving her erratic behaviour and a child who may or may not be causing trouble around the house, is particularly eerie. The Pacific Northwest is the perfect setting for this supernatural horror — even if the appearance of Vancouver's iconic 2400 Motel somewhat spoils the illusion that the present-day scenes take place in New Jersey.

Yellowjackets is decidedly outrageous. Rather than acting as effective allegory for social breakdown, it displays a pulpy fascination with infidelity and gore (not to mention '90s nostalgia). But as a genuinely unsettling horror with some impeccable acting, Yellowjackets has sting. (Showtime)