Impulse: Teenage telekinesis is terrifying in YouTube Red’s new trailer

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May 11, 2018

Bending water, shearing metal doors, and making vehicles implode — it’s the sort of stuff that kind of makes a 16-year-old high school student stand out. For Henrietta (Maddie Hasson), the star of YouTube Red’s new horror-thriller Impulse, she has no idea where her unruly powers come from — so wielding them naturally carries some serious consequences.

The new clip for Impulse expands on the trailer we got a couple of months ago, setting up the plot of the show’s 10-episode first season. When a popular jock carries things too far on a date, Henrietta (or just Henry, as friends call her) nearly kills him in a fit of telekinetic self-protection she didn’t see coming and can’t control. Soon she begins having seizures. 

It all gets the grown-ups interested, and not in a benevolent way. Henry’s inner turmoil may be nothing compared with the sinister motives of one adult in particular: the injured boy’s father, who appears hell-bent not only on understanding what powers her abilities, but perhaps even on appropriating them at all costs.

Impulse on YouTube

Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow), Impulse expands on the universe set down by Jumper, the 2008 adaptation of the Steven Gould sci-fi novel that explored similar themes of teenage telekinesis and teleportation. Both projects are derivations of Gould’s book series, which began with the publication of the original Jumper novel in 1992.

Whether there’s a more direct connection between the characters and plot of Impulse and those of Jumper is still unclear. YouTube Red’s adaptation looks to bring a bit darker and creepier a vibe than the more action-oriented Jumper, which Liman also directed. 

Set in the fictional town of Reston, New York, the show isolates Henry by giving her “a major chip on her shoulder and no friends," according to the official synopsis, “but everything changes when a traumatic encounter with a classmate triggers something deep within Henry—  unleashing a power she cannot control.”

With high production values, a pretty deep lore universe on which to draw, and companion shows like Cobra Kai seeing success, YouTube Red appears to be counting on Impulse to play its part in enticing more new subscribers. Give the trailer a look and let us know what you think: Is a YouTube Red subscription starting to look like an irresistible Impulse buy? Impulse debuts at YouTube Red on June 6.