tek's rating:

Sunny Family Cult, CryptTV (YouTube)
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Caution: spoilers!

Season 1 (four episodes)
This is a webseries on Crypt TV, though at first, I had no idea it was going to be a series. At first, a short film came out in May 2017... which was several months before I started watching Crypt TV. A second installment was released in October, by which point I had been catching up on old entries on Crypt TV for awhile, so I had seen the previous episode awhile before that, but I didn't remember a lot about it. And this episode seemed different. Later that month, two more episodes were released. But it wasn't until December, when all four episodes were released in a single video, that I learned that the first episode to be released was actually the fourth episode, chronologically. And that all four episodes followed a character named Taylor, who had been played by a few different actresses throughout the season, since the episodes took place when she was at different ages. So, watching the episodes all together, in the proper order, made more sense.

Anyway, a bunch of people are involved in a cult, which they think of as a family. And they kill people, for reasons they seem to think are important, though I'm still not at all clear on what those reasons actually are. But one night, an 8-year-old girl named Taylor learns that her parents, Karen and Elias, are part of this cult. At first, she's understandably scared. But she's soon inducted into the cult, even if it will be some years before she's allowed to participate in the actual killing. In episode 2, she's 12 years old, and eager to take part, particularly because there are copycat killers pretending to be the Sunny Family Cult. Elias believes she's ready, but Karen doesn't. By episode 3, she's 16 years old, yet seems a bit reluctant to do her part, even though she wants to please her family. She ends up disappointing Elias (who it is increasingly obvious is more controlling cult leader than loving parent). The end of the episode sets up the final episode of the season (which is the first one I ever saw), at which point Taylor has fully embraced her part in the cult. (Although I was a bit confused, because her parents at the end of episode four are clearly not her parents from the first three episodes.)

Season 2 (six episodes)
This season, Taylor makes a new friend named Jaina. There's also a group of mean girls at school who clearly don't like Taylor. The leader of the clique is Allie Ann, and we later learn that her mother, Robin, is a cop who is investigating the recent disappearance of some kids (the ones Taylor killed in the first season finale). Also this season, a man named Roger introduces himself to Taylor, initially claiming to be a substitute teacher. In a later episode, he claims to actually be a police detective, and tells Taylor she may be in danger. Meanwhile, there apparently is/are one or more people performing Sunny Family Cult type murders. It's unclear to me whether they are members of the cult who have gone rogue, or more copycats. Also, Allie Ann is attacked at one point, but her mother doesn't believe her. So she and her friends Tia and Hannah start investigating on their own. In the season finale, a classmate named Andy tells them a bit more about the Sunny Family Cult, which he has reason to believe is more than a local legend (as some people think). So I guess he'll join Allie Ann and Tia in their investigations, though Hannah decides to opt out.

Throughout the season, Taylor writes in a journal, which we hear in voiceover. She's clearly still struggling with whether she wants to fit in with her "family," or lead a more normal life. Elias continues to be upset with her lack of commitment, though in the finale he apologizes, and says he'll support her no matter what path she chooses. (But I still don't really trust him.) At the very end, Roger kidnaps Taylor. We also see a flashback to 1995, when Elias and Roger were young men, and apparently both part of the cult, though Elias seemed to have reservations similar to the ones his daughter has in the present (which I found surprising). So... I look forward to seeing how the story progresses next season. Hopefully we'll get more answers about the history of the Sunny Family Cult, and how it plays into events in the present. (Oh, and it also seems that Jaina knows some things she hasn't told Taylor, so I look forward to learning what her true connection may be to all of this.)

Season 3 (four episodes)
In the weeks leading up to this season, I saw a couple of bonus episodes on YouTube, "Roger's Vlog" numbers 1 and 2. After watching the season premiere, I discovered that those vlogs weren't on YouTube anymore, but they are on facebook. I also watched a third vlog on facebook that I had never seen on YouTube. I also found that Taylor had made a series of vlogs that I had never seen, during season 2.

Anyway... we learn a bit about Roger's motivations. In the past, he had found this book that had occult information and prophecies and whatever. And this led to a very serious falling out between him and Elias. And now, he thinks Taylor is the girl from a prophecy that... would ultimately result in his becoming a monster. Which he wants. The interesting thing is that this seems to tie into various monsters from different shorts or series on CryptTV that until now have seemed completely unrelated. But so far, we don't get any answers about that. At the end of the season, Roger apparently kills Elias while he's trying to rescue Taylor, and then Taylor kills Roger, which will probably trigger the transformation he planned to set up by kidnapping her in the first place. I guess we'll have to wait for next season to find out....

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