Into the Dark, on Hulu
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This is a horror anthology series that began in October 2018, and is intended to release one movie-length episode per month, for twelve months. Each one is set on a holiday (or other occasion) set within the month it's released. As you could probably guess, the first one is set on Halloween. At the time the series started, I didn't have access to Hulu, so the first episode I became aware of was the third one, when I began subscribing in December. In fact, even then I wasn't aware that it was part of an anthology series. Anyway, I didn't get around to watching that one at the time. And I didn't start watching the series until the end of June 2019.


Season One

tek's rating:

The Body (Halloween)
Bloody Disgusting; Hulu; iHorror; IMDb; Wikipedia

This is based on a 2013 short film, which I haven't seen.

When the episode begins, a hitman named Wilkes has already killed his latest target. (We have no idea who it is, but it's someone famous, which becomes a running gag.) Wilkes is supposed to deliver the body somewhere within four hours, but when he gets out to his car, he finds the tires have been slashed by Halloween pranksters. Soon after that, he's stopped by a few people who think his "costume" is pretty great. (He looks like a hitman, and he's dragging a body that's basically been mummified in plastic wrap, which people assume is a prop.) One of these people is a guy named Alan, who wants him to accompany him and his friends to a Halloween party they're going to. Alan's friends include a woman named Dorothy and a guy named Nick. Wilkes just finds this whole interaction annoying, but since there are some cops nearby, he agrees to go with them. At the party, Wilkes meets a woman named Maggie, who soon takes an interest in him. He also meets the party's host, Jack, who insists Wilkes, Maggie, Alan, Dorothy, and Nick join him in a private room. And... eventually they all come to realize that Wilkes is a real hitman and his "prop" is a real dead body. Jack and some of his guests manage to get away, along with the dead body, which they're not sure what to do with. Wilkes and Maggie remain trapped in the room for a little while, and it's obvious that Maggie wants to help Wilkes, because she has a dark side of her own. Once they escape, they pursue the others. That's all I want to reveal of the plot, but it's definitely an amusing movie, in a very dark way. And Wilkes is rather cool, in his own demented way. (He has a philosophy about the nature of human beings that I don't want to spoil, but I found it really interesting. I'm not sure whether he actually believes it or he was just bullshitting, but it's a concept I could kind of get behind... except for the whole justifying murder part.) But I gotta say... Maggie is even cooler.



tek's rating: ¼

Flesh & Blood (Thanksgiving)
Bloody Disgusting; Divide/Conquer; Hulu; iHorror; IMDb; Wikipedia

I feel like I almost need to spoil this episode, to explain why I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. But I won't. I'll just say that I was hoping for a particular plot twist to happen in the end, and it didn't. Anyway, the story is about a 17-year-old girl named Kimberly Tooms, who has severe agoraphobia. Sometime in the past year, her mother, Rose (Meredith Salenger) was murdered. (I'm not sure if Kim's agoraphobia developed because of that, or if it was a pre-existing condition.) She receives therapy sessions in her home from Dr. Helen Saunders (Tembi Locke, whom I know from Eureka). She also spends a lot of time online. But other than Dr. Saunders, the only person she ever sees in person is her father, Henry (Dermot Mulroney). And after seeing a news report on TV, Kim comes to suspect he is responsible for the disappearance of a number girls in the area, and also that he had killed Rose. And I can't really say any more about the plot without getting spoilery, but at least I thought everyone did a good job with their roles (though I'm disappointed by how small Salenger's role was). As far as scariness goes... I can certainly understand Kim's fear, and how much it was complicated by her inability to leave her house. But as psychological thrillers go, it just didn't do that much for me.

I do need to mention that this episode has only the most tenuous connection to Thanksgiving. There was a brief scene at the start of the episode of the last Thanksgiving the family spent together before Rose was killed, and the story takes place over several days throughout November, so there is some talk of plans for this year's Thanksgiving. (By this year, I mean 2018, which is when the episode was released, though I didn't see it until 2019, on the night before Thanksgiving.) But the holiday doesn't actually have any real part in the story, which could just as easily have been set at any other time of year.



tek's rating:

Pooka! (Christmas)
Bloody Disgusting; Hulu; IMDb; Wikipedia

It begins with... well, I won't say what exactly. But it begins the way it ends. Anyway, a man named Wilson Clowes wakes up, and it seems as if what we saw before that was his dream, and it was confusing, and he himself seems confused. But he goes on with life, as one does after waking from a confusing dream. We soon learn that he's an actor, auditioning, so he thinks, for "A Christmas Carol." But it soon turns out he's actually been selected to wear a costume and play "Pooka," a life-size version of what is destined to be the must-have toy of the upcoming Christmas season. (So he's kind of like a mall Santa.) He also befriends his neighbor, an older woman named Red, who is very supportive of him. And he meets a woman named Melanie, a single mom with a son named Ty. Actually, he seems mildly stalkery about meeting her, but they soon start a relationship, and everything seems good. Except... strange things seem to happen in Wilson's life, and it all seems to be connected to the Pooka costume. It's easy to form a rough idea of what's going on, though I felt like it was a bit of a slow burn, and slightly underwhelming. Maybe I was just unfairly impatient for what was obviously going to happen, to happen. Luckily, everything I thought I could predict was wrong. The film gets progressively more surreal, and as you eventually begin to get a sense of what the film is really about, you realize that instead of doing a somewhat bland job of what you thought was going on, it was actually doing a brilliant job of something else entirely. It becomes disturbing on a number of levels, even as the actual details of the plot (and the time frame of the story) become increasingly blurred. In the end, there are still things I don't fully understand, but that doesn't even matter. Because what I do understand about it all is horrifying enough.



tek's rating:

New Year, New You (New Year)
Bloody Disgusting; Hulu; iHorror; IMDb; Wikipedia

A woman named Alexis invites three friends to spend New Year's Eve in her parents' house, which they're going to sell soon. (The parents aren't there for this gathering.) Two of those friends, Kayla and Chloe, have remained close with Alexis over the years, but it's been quite awhile since any of them have seen the fourth member of the group, Danielle, who is now a famous influencer on the internet, and is soon going to get her own TV show. Over the course of the evening, it becomes apparent that Alexis blames Danielle for a tragic event when they were all in high school. And once the clock strikes midnight, the evening takes a very dramatic turn. I don't really want to say any more about the plot, but it gets pretty twisted, and it's hard to say who is more twisted, Alexis or Danielle. Anyway, it was an okay story, I guess, but not something I found super memorable, or anything.

However, I did know a few of the actresses from other things, even if I didn't realize it while watching. Alexis was played by Suki Waterhouse, a name that was familiar to me, but I wasn't sure whether I'd seen her in anything before. (I had: Pride + Prejudice + Zombies.) Danielle was played by Carly Chaikin, who looked vaguely familiar to me, but it was only when I checked IMDb that I found I knew her from Suburgatory. Kayla was played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, whom I know from a few things (most notably The Good Place).



tek's rating: ¼

Down (Valentine's Day)
Bloody Disgusting; Hulu; IMDb; PopHorror; Wikipedia

On Valentine's night, the last two people in an office building, Jennifer and Guy, get stuck in an elevator together. They can't contact anyone to tell them they're stuck, and it's the start of a three day weekend, which means no one will be back in the building for a few days. It's a pretty dreadful predicament, but the two of them get to know each other, and seem to make good company, becoming increasingly comfortable with each other. Eventually, they have sex. Not long after that... the horror starts. I don't want to spoil the nature of the horror, but it's deeply disturbing, in an all too realistic way. I didn't find the film particularly good or bad, I guess, just sort of okay. I did like the ending, though.

Guy was played by Matt Lauria, whom I know from Parenthood, but I failed to recognize him. Jennifer was played by Natalie Martinez, whom I'd seen in Under the Dome and "The Crossing," but considering how little I saw of either show, I'm not surprised that I didn't remember her.


Treehouse (International Women's Day)
Review coming soon, probably.


I'm Just F*cking with You (April Fools' Day)
Review coming eventually, probably.


All That We Destroy (Mother's Day)
Divide/Conquer; iHorror
Review coming eventually, probably.


They Come Knocking (Father's Day)
Review coming eventually, probably.


Culture Shock (Independence Day)
Dread Central; PopHorror
Review coming eventually, probably.


School Spirit (First Day of School)
Review coming eventually, probably.


Pure (Daughter's Day)
Review coming eventually, probably.


Season Two

Uncanny Annie (Halloween)
Review coming eventually, probably.

Pilgrim (Thanksgiving)
Review coming eventually, probably.

A Nasty Piece of Work (Christmas)
Review coming eventually, probably.

Midnight Kiss (New Year)
Review coming eventually, probably.

My Valentine (Valentine's Day)
Review coming eventually, probably.


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