It is the spooky month of October, one of my favorite months of the year and the beginning of Fall. I am getting into the spooky spirit and decided to do a top 7 of the first season of the anthology series on hulu, Into the Dark. Produced by the notorious Blumhouse, this is Hulu’s answer to Black Mirror but leans more into horror stories based on holidays each month. The series has had a mixed reception but I think that there are some good entries that are definitely worth your time. Whenever I see ratings on horror movies i am immediately skeptical, especially when some of it is complaints about leftist indoctrination and other shit. I will be ranking the best of the first season in terms of my favorites and will be giving each of them a score out of 5.
7. School Spirit 9-19
A pretty by the numbers slasher set in a high school during a weekend detention. I will hand it to the writer that the characters are all okay and none of them are annoying as hell. The main problem I have with this is how predictable the entire thing is. I could guess the beats before they happened and whenever that happens it leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth afterwards. It is watchable but is still not all that great.
6. Treehouse 3-19
This is an interesting story led by a charismatic jerk who is taught a lesson about abusing women through witchcraft. I will say the strong lead asshole makes this story way better and I understand this got a lot of heat from right wing blowhards reacting to the blunt #MeToo message in this film. However, this is easily a decent watch and balances tones well. I would say that this is one of the most okay entries in the series and is a good watch.
5. Culture Shock 7-19
This is Get out with less subtlety and takes on the hot button issue going on at the Southern border of the United States. This is also a story that borrows quite a bit from Black Mirror in that technology is essential to the storytelling. I have to say despite the clear bluntness of the messaging and the subtle moments being almost nonexistent this was the first really quality entry I had seen in a while. I really enjoy the main lead and her story. The switch in tones was shell shocking but I think it was done effectively while still being super creepy. If you can only watch a few of them, this is one of the ones i would most recommend.
4. I’m Just fucking with You 4-19
April fools day and psychopathic trolls meet in the most mean spirited film in the entire Into the Dark series. This film wallows in the truly despicable and mean spirited world of pranksters and trolls but is also a story where most of the characters are not really all that likable. The main antagonist is likable only in how crazy and charismatic he is. This film would be unwatchable if not for the strong cinematography and the ability to make you actually feel sorry for a horrible person(our protagonist). The lighting and colors of this movie is also garish and obnoxious. This movie embodies the worst of April Fools and is worthy of the holiday it takes inspiration from.
3. All that we destroy 5-19
This is clearly the episode with the most blatant Black Mirror connections but I will say that it is quite stronger for it. A doctor is using cloning technology to attempt to wean her son off of his psychopathic tendencies. However, the parasitic duo enable each other in ways that is quite unhealthy. I really think that while this was quite straight forward, the film was entertaining and the character work didn’t feel stilted or unbelievable. Our lead man is very convincing as an emotionally stunted psychopath. While this one felt dark and despondent it also had moments of genuine hope that were quickly quashed by the innate destructive nature of our leading duo’s relationship. I would definitely recommend this one.
2. Pooka 12/18
A christmas tale gone horribly awry with kafkaesque visions of doom, all told via a marketing device. Pooka is a christmas story a la A Christmas Carol, but is told way more subtly than other entries in the series. This is the episode I feel sold me on the subscription I had to hulu. It is easily the best acted and the most interesting. Watch this as I am loath to spoil you on the story.
- Purity 9-19
This is a story of supernatural demons and the struggle of young women to question their autonomy and the cruelty of the christian evangelists who attempt to control their bodies. This is another one that will be attacked for hating men or whatever other garbage reactionaries spew but this film accurately portrays talking points expoused by the anti-abortion crusaders and those who actually do attempt to control the women in their lives. The inclusion of the first women, Lilith’s spirit, as a liberating force instead of a just a bad bad demon is something I really appreciated. Sure the idea of her is terrifying to most of the girls in the movie but the end result is the Carrie like ending where the girls rise up and make the preacher and his male followers understand that their daughters will not bow before them. This is a really heavy story but I feel it is the strongest entry in the entire anthology. I am a straight white man and I feel so badly for these women in their predicament I hate it when men feel they have to control others in their life no matter if they are man or women.