Why keeping the hellhounds invisible on Supernatural has been perfect

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW bySergei Bachlakov, Aquired via CW PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW bySergei Bachlakov, Aquired via CW PR /

The hellhounds have only been spotted recently thanks to special glasses, but even then the view of them was absolutely perfect for Supernatural.

From the very beginning, there’s been something extremely special about hellhounds. They’ve been completely invisible. Viewers have seen everything that characters have seen: the claw marks on floorboards, the moving of particles on the floor, and the footprints in the ground. We’ve heard the sounds but not seen the image of the big black dog.

Even when Supernatural did show them on screen, the view wasn’t entirely clear. The vision was through special glasses, which gave us a mystical, polarized look at the creatures that have literally dragged souls to hell.

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Keeping this invisible look has been perfect for the series. By not seeing the big black dogs, we feel like the characters. There’s no shouting at the TV screen to tell the characters where the dogs are. All we see is the aftermath and the clues of location, very much like everyone else.

There’s also the ability to leave more to the mind’s eye. These creatures are supposed to be terrifying. It’s hard to describe them, but lore states that they’re supposed to have damaged, matted fur and are supposed to be the size of small humans. Some of them have even been almost the height of Crowley (and while short compared to J2, Mark Sheppard is certainly not a short man!).  Keeping the creatures off the screen as much as possible leaves more to the imagination.

Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW bySergei Bachlakov, Aquired via CW PR
Photo credit: Supernatural/The CW bySergei Bachlakov, Aquired via CW PR /

It could have been a bad move showing them through the glasses, but this still kept some of the hellhound features to the imagination. The vision was never 100% clear, so it wasn’t possible to see exactly what demons see. There was still an element of fear and horror to these highly dangerous creatures.

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With this in mind, we should accept that Supernatural will be able to handle Lucifer’s true face beautifully. This is a face that is supposed to have terrified Sam for years and has now terrified Rowena. Creating something like this on screen will be extremely hard but, if the hellhounds are anything to judge, managing it can be done.

Next: Hellhound lore: Are there really black dogs that will drag you to hell?

Do you think the hellhounds remaining invisible was perfect for the series? Would you like to see the creatures more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Supernatural Season 13 returns on Mar. 1 at 8/7c on The CW. Don’t forget to like SPN Hunters on Facebook for more updates straight to the feed.