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Into the Dark

In honor of the newest St. Patrick’s Day themed film from the Blumhouse and Hulu “Into the Dark” series, here are ten of our favorite episodes to date.

In 2018, Blumhouse revealed a partnership with streaming service Hulu where they would release a feature length, holiday-themed horror film each month for a year.  Now, we are quarter a way through the 2nd year of films, and the latest film in the series recently premiered on Hulu, the St. Patrick’s Day themed film Crawlers.

To celebrate, I thought I’d share my personal list of the top 10 must watch films in the series, counting down in order of how much I loved them.

10. Flesh and Blood

The November 2018 entry by seasoned horror director Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine, Dracula 2000) is very polished through and through. The film follows an agoraphobic Kimberly who has been trapped in her house since her mother’s untimely murder, but she soon begins to suspect that her father is a serial killer.

This is probably one of the safest entries of the series. There is nothing too wild or interesting about this, although the introduction of agoraphobia into the “I think my loved one is a killer” template is very interesting. A fair amount of tension and a great cast propel this one beyond the Lifetime movie style that the synopsis would imply.

9. They Come Knocking

Director Adam Mason did both the April and June entries of Into The Dark. The April entry, I’m Just F*cking with You, ranks very low on my scale as a cartoonish, crude comedy “horror”.  The May entry, on the other hand, They Come Knocking, is a terrifying body snatchers type of film centered around a father and his young daughter who go camping only to find themselves under attack from hooded monsters trying to eat them and steal their identity.

Many of the Into the Dark films lean heavily into the science fiction elements of horror, and They Come Knocking is one of those. It’s very frightening and gore heavy, which is surprising for what is essentially a made-for-TV movie.

8. School Spirit

You gotta love a good old-fashioned, teen-centered slasher — and this directorial debut from Mike Gan really nails it! The movie is basically The Breakfast Club meets Scream as a group of high school misfits stuck in Saturday detention are picked off by a killer mascot one by one. It’s not deep, and there is no overarching message. It’s just a fun little slasher with a great cast led by Corey Fogelmanis, who is quickly becoming a scream king with role in School Spirit as well as Ma and #SquadGoals.

It’s a very tame film in comparison with other entries of the Into The Dark series for the most part, but it’s still enjoyable. It’s very PG-13 throughout, except for the killer reveal, which takes a very dark twist that will make your skin crawl. Overall, it’s a solid slasher.

7. The Body

The one that started it all, The Body, still holds up almost 2 years into the series run as one of the best entries. The story follows a hitman who tries to transport a dead body in plain sight through the Los Angeles streets on Halloween nights. Eventually, it’s revealed to some unsuspecting party goers that this isn’t just a clever costume. And the hitman starts hunting them down one by one.

It’s an excellent film from debuting director Paul Davis, based on his original short from 5 years earlier. Blumhouse made a statement with their first feature, and that is they are going to promote up-and-coming directors. They could have easily used a seasoned director to kick off their series exclusive for Hulu, but they went with a first timer — and it was extremely successful.

6. All That We Destroy

2019 was a huge year for debuting director Chelsea Stardust. Not only did she release one of the year’s most anticipated horror films with Satanic Panic, but she also delivered one of the most interesting films with the May entry of Into The Dark. The story is very insane. A geneticist who believes her son is a serial killer makes clones of a woman he killed so he can kill her over and over again, and hopefully get over whatever is making him have murderous urges.

This is a very dark film with a very futuristic sci-fi plot that asks the tough questions about nurture vs nature. Is young Spencer pre-determined through his genes to be a serial killer? Or can a mother’s love fix him? It’s a very interesting concept that is pulled off exceptionally well. Expect big things from Chelsea Stardust in the future.

5. Uncanny Annie

Season one debuted with Paul Davis’ The Body, and season two debuted with Davis’ follow up film, Uncanny Annie — an interesting mix of Jumanji and Annabelle. The film follows a group of college kids on Halloween who decide to play a mysterious board game called Uncanny Annie. Little do they know their actions in the game have dire consequences to the real world, and their lives are suddenly in danger.

It’s my opinion that season 2 is far better so far than season one. Three of the top five on this list are from season two, and Uncanny Annie was an excellent way to kick off the new season with a bang. It’s a spooky, scary film with a very interesting concept. Let’s see if season three will kick off with Paul Davis as well.

4. My Valentine

The February entry for season two is one of the most unique horror movies I’ve seen in quite some time. The film centers around a pop singer who has had her music and persona stolen by her bad boyfriend and given to his new girlfriend. One night while performing at a local bar, her ex shows up with his new girlfriend and all hell breaks loose. Both pop singers look exactly the same. And over the course of the night, the bad boyfriend gets more and more unstable.

Another feature from a debuting director, Maggie Levin perfectly discusses themes about toxic relationships without force feeding the viewer. It’s an interesting take on horror, as not many are about peppy, happy pop singers. An interesting film with a killer soundtrack, this is a must watch.

3. Culture Shock

This one ranks high on many best of lists, and it received a lot of press because of its highly political themes. What was shocking about this film is that the political messaging about immigrants crossing America’s southern border was the least interesting thing about this film. The movie follows a pregnant Marisol who is attempting to cross the border for a better life, but she suddenly awakens in a pristine 1950s American neighborhood. It seems like something right out of Pleasantville. Suddenly, she speaks fluent english and is no longer pregnant. It turns out all is not as it seems, and she is really sedated in some bizarre virtual reality type situation for re-education before being allowed into the country.

It’s really a shame that this film got so much press about the political messaging and not the batshit crazy premise. Debuting director Gigi Saul Guerro certainly has a promising future in horror if she keeps up with this kind of insanity.

2. Down

This film is amazing in its minimalism. The vast majority of the film only has two actors who are trapped in an elevator over Valentine’s Day weekend. At first, they are pissed about their situation, but then they begin to fall for each other. This all changes when the male character reveals that he doesn’t work in the building and that he has been stalking the female character for a considerable amount of time. The whole movie then explodes with tension as she tries to escape the elevator and he tries to kill her to silence her.

Director Daniel Stamm debuted strong with 2010’s The Last Exorcism and didn’t do too much else of interest until Blumhouse gave him a chance in February of 2019 for their Into the Dark series. He absolutely knocked it out of the park with Down.

1. Pilgrim

EVACUATE THY SELF!  Pilgrim is not just the best Hulu entry, it’s one of the best horror films of 2019.  Supposedly based on a true story of a wealthy family who hires Pilgrim re-enactors to come live in their home and teach their family about humility and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The whole thing takes an insane twist when more and more pilgrims start coming to the house, and none of them are breaking character. Soon the Pilgrims take the family hostage and start torturing them.

The third act of this film is so completely insane! It contains forced cannibalism, gallons of blood, and even more gallons of projectile vomiting — all set to a gospel soundtrack that will keep you absolutely confused the whole way through. Director Marcus Dunstan of The Collector trilogy really knows how to make an absolutely insane film that rivals Dead Alive in the gore department. It’s an absolute must watch and the best of Blumhouse Into The Dark so far…

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