Look at all the pretty lights. – Or flames. We open this episode with a creepy visual of a discarded plush toy laying amidst burning wreckage on a road. We don’t see this stuffed animal’s face but I’m instantly imbibed with a chill, I’m guessing this toy is “Pooka”. A disembodied voice echoes in a creepy whisper as an overlay of flashing red and blue lights instills the visual of police cars. A man lingers in the shadows, face captured by the neon prism of color.
This Friday, another episode of Into the Dark will drop on Hulu and I had the opportunity to interview the lead, Nyasha Hatendi (Casual, Black Earth Rising, The Front Runner), who plays the character of Wilson.
“Pooka”, the Christmas episode of the holiday-horror anthology series, is about a man struggling to find himself and turning to a new mascot job for the hottest toy of the season, only to get roped into a much darker turn of events than he could have ever anticipated.
So we’ve tackled Halloween and Thanksgiving, up next for Hulu’s holiday horror anthology series, Into the Dark, is Christmas.
I’ll admit this episode did, at times, feel like a discarded Black Mirror script, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. Actually, this episode, film, whatever you want to call it, is, by far, my favorite of the three to air thus far. It’s a mixture between the dark cynical nature of Black Mirror and society’s addiction to technology, or in this case, toys (and Pooka is a technological based toy), that people relate to so well, a cerebral experience, absurdism, and a splash of B-movie antics and camp.
Halloween has nearly wrapped up and we’re moving onwards towards the next big holiday: Thanksgiving, the holiday this episode of Into the Dark, titled “Flesh & Blood” is based around. Although, unlike the first episode, which felt very connected to Halloween, turkey day feels like a background player more than a main component. The story told here could have occurred at any time of year. I wish it had been more Thanksgiving-centric, but I digress.
Into the Dark is the latest entry into the growing trend of anthologies series. It’s a horror series coming from the fiendish mind of Jason Blum whose production company, Blumhouse, has produced several of the last decades most popular horror films such as Get Out, Happy Death Day,The Purge, Insidious, Paranormal Activity, and the much-anticipated, upcoming sequel Halloween. And those titles merely scratch the surface. Blumhouse has been a top name in horror for some time now and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere any time soon. Blumhouse Productions has also produced several television series like the short-lived but popular Eye Candy for MTV, the recent Sharp Objects, Indian-import and Netflix Original – Ghoul, The Purge limited series, and now this one.