Is Hulu’s ‘Into The Dark’ Horror Anthology Bingeable?
Into The Dark is a horror anthology series that Hulu picked up by different directors for each mini-movie. Most of the time they are seasonal, often dealing with holidays. However, the executive producers are John Hegeman, Alexa Faigen, and Jason Blum. The producers are Tevin Adelman and Scott Fort. The production company is Blumhouse Television; you know the production company that has done Whiplash and Get Out? Yeah, that same production company.
If you haven’t read ourThe Body review, you can find it here. Since there are up to twelve mini-films being produced for Hulu – we are going to lump a few into one review. Up until now, Blumhouse has released Flesh & Blood, Pooka!, and New Year, New You. We have watched all of them thus far and they have all been an experience to watch.
1. Into The Dark: Flesh & Blood
Around Thanksgiving, Into The Dark released Flesh & Blood, a film about Kimberly who lost her mother a year prior to the events in Flesh & Blood. She currently lives with her father and begins to suspect that she is in danger inside her own home; however, she can’t leave (she has agoraphobia) and hasn’t left since her mother’s murder (which is still unsolved). Who can she trust if she hasn’t been outside in a year?
The film overall was an interesting one, not bad, but an interesting premise. The concept of a girl who can’t leave her house and has to save herself essentially from the one person she thought she could trust is interesting. Since this was the second one after The Body that fans saw it provided that horror-esque aspect, without a doubt.
It was suspenseful and scary, mostly because of the father character, Henry, played by Dermot Mulroney. Kimberly was a decent choice, and her character was excellent at portraying the feeling of being anxious and frightened. It added to the suspense of the episode wholeheartedly. What Blumhouse does well is uncertainty and terror in their films (as we have previously seen before). Flesh & Blood was a high addition to the series and showed us what was to come. The suspense was there, the horror elements were there, and the acting was there.
The writing, cinematography, directing, and production, of course, were promising. These films are directed incredibly well from the murder scenes to the insanity unveiling each minute of the film, which is fantastic to watch. In the line-up of the three films released thus far, this one is third. However, not because it’s not good — the other two, New Year, New You! and Pooka! are intensely better in a multitude of ways production and cinematography wise. Nonetheless, the ending to Flesh & Blood is one of the only ‘modest’ endings we get out of the entire anthology.
The Verdict For Flesh & Blood:
★★★¹/² (individual score); it is, in turn, a STREAM IT as well based on our new ratings system.
2. Into The Dark: Pooka!
Going into Pooka! we were not ready for insanity to ensue, at all. Wilson is an unemployed actor who moves into a new apartment building to start a new life. After befriending Red, he finds a vague audition announcement in a coffee shop and attends it. After an unusual audition, Wilson ends up getting the job with Finn, the advertising director for Pooka. The character Pooka is a stuffed animal with large eyes who repeats what it hears in either a naughty or nice voice.
If Wilson accepts the job, which he does, he would make live appearances using this voice at parties and toy shops. After a weird turn of events, while trying on the costume, he accepts after he finds out how much he will be paid. The only clause is that he has to remain anonymous; Wilson and Pooka are separate entities in the public eye. After many appearances, he finds love and becomes rich, however, delusions begin to happen and worsen over time as long as he’s Pooka…
The Creators Behind Pooka!
Pooka! was directed by Nacho Vigalondo, written by Gerald Olson, Pooka! has a production team that goes for miles; you can find these all on Wiki or IMDB. The cinematography by Scott Winig is something we will reference quite a bit since it is marvelous in this particular release. The main characters in Pooka! are what drives this film home, they are all incredible, Nyasha Hatendi as Wilson/Pooka, Latarsha Rose as Melanie, Jon Daly as Finn, and Dale Dickey as Red. This film was the Christmas edition and was released on December 7th, 2018.
How Was Pooka!?
Pooka! was one of the better films Blumhouse has released on Hulu. In amidst all of the films thus far, this was the top number one. The insanity and delusions as Wilson and Pooka become one but two at the same time are incredibly well-done. This particular film/episode is one of our favorites because the acting was well-done, the production was incredible, and Pooka was insanely frightening throughout this entire film. Without spoiling the entire plot from the film, we only mentioned what would be important in the synopsis above.
Throughout the entire film, slowly, you see Wilson becoming Pooka. He is slowly going insane, slowly losing sleep, and slowly seeing Pooka even when he is not there. Half of the time when he puts on the suit, he becomes Pooka and can barely breathe. The writing of this installment is quite outstanding, from writing Wilson to Pooka — the entire dynamic of the film is mind-clustering. By the end of Pooka! we feel as though we are going insane. One of the Blumhouses’ best when it comes the Into The Dark anthology thus far.
The Verdict For Pooka!:
★★★★★ (individual score); it is, in turn, a high STREAM IT, included with a BUY IT as well based on our new ratings system.
3. Into The Dark: New Year, New You
The latest installment New Year, New You was decent in terms of characters and production. The story was quite dark, one to be expected from the concept of just the title alone. There was some controversy with Blumhouse because they didn’t have any female directors thus far on the Into The Dark anthology. As a clapback, they released Sophia Takal‘s New Year, New You fourth installment in the series. The story is by Adam Gaines, teleplay by both of them, and cinematography by Lyn Moncrief. Again, production is a wonderful list long — you can check that out above or here.
This film anthology is centered around a group of friends that haven’t seen each other in years. They hang out on the New Year, get drunk, and confront old demons of the past… but, only one ends up alive at the end of the night. Happy New Year… The film was released on December 28th, 2018 mere days before the end of the year. The series stars Suki Waterhouse, Carly Chaikin, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Melissa Bergland. In the line-up, the second out of the three films we have talked about in this article. Concept wise, it was decent, but what drove this home was the ending.
How Was New Year, New You?
The concept of ringing in the new year with old pals is nice, right? Everyone always says, “New Year, New Me” when the end of the year comes as if they will dramatically change into a new person the next day. They never do, of course, but they try for the first 30 days at least. Nonetheless, Sophia Takal takes a spin on this “New Year, New You” concept and makes it incredibly dark.
Now, most of these films in the anthology don’t get enough rep, if you listen to the critics, including us, you will never watch anything. New Year, New You is one of the better films in the Into The Dark series. It creates a sense of old friends getting together, but there’s this one girl, Danielle, who they can’t stand because she’s YouTube famous, pretentious, and a bold-faced liar. She preaches self-love as if her past is perfect and it’s not. The main character, Alexis, has been through trials and tribulations in life, and Danielle’s life should have been hers.
New Year, New You Is A Great Addition To The Anthology
This particular installment lacks in character development and acting but makes up for it in writing and suspense. The entire time watching New Year, New You we thought the main character was the crazy one. Turns out, AHA, Danielle is psycho (like ‘why hasn’t she been caught yet’ psycho). While Alexis wins at the end of the film, by her setting up the party, to begin with, we thought she would be the psycho one to go on a killing spree. All of the twists and turns throughout New Year, New You is what made it become our top two in the series. In areas that it lacks, the writing makes up for it.
The Verdict For New Year, New You:
★★★★¹/² (individual score); it is, in turn, a STREAM IT as well based on our new ratings system.
What’s Next For Blumhouse’s Into The Dark?
There are a ton of releases set-up for 2019 alone, so look forward to those. However, we are excited to see where Blumhouse can take this horror holiday anthology series on Hulu. The Daily Fandom can’t wait to see what’s up next… until then, Happy New Year!
Into The Dark has a Hulu anthology horror series in the works (@blumhouse). With four releases under its belt; here are Flesh & Blood, Pooka!, and New Year, New You. All great additions to the ongoing horror anthology on Hulu.