pooka lives trailer

Hulu’s Into the Dark has been putting out a new feature-length holiday-themed horror film every month, which is pretty impressive. And now they have their first sequel on their hands: Pooka Lives, a follow-up to Pooka, their first Christmas-themed film. Pooka Lives is definitely not Christmas-themed, though. The truth is, I have no idea what holiday it’s trying to represent. But it does feature Rachel Bloom as a crazy person who creates Pooka and then sets herself on fire, so that’s something. Watch the Pooka Lives trailer below.

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Into the Dark Crawlers Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

This is an unpopular opinion, but Blumhouse and Hulu’s Into The Dark series reached one of its pinnacles last March with Treehouse. The maddened “Ides” unleashed pissed-off brujas in an attack against toxic masculinity, which is thematically relevant once again but hardly a tonal comparison point. Brandon Zuck’s Crawlers attempts an extraterrestrial doppelganger riff that takes place during a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl, hopeful to rattle collegiate gender horrors. Very reminiscent of Dennis Iliadis’ +1 (Plus One) in terms of using the guise of substance fogginess to cover abnormal occurrences, if a bit more dimwitted and comparable to another anemic SYFY special.

Where Uncanny Annie found success in emphasizing teen-gauged sleepover screams, Crawlers struggles to be anything more than mediocre meteorite-bred panic. Not exactly something worth toasting.

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crawlers trailer

Blumhouse and Hulu’s Into the Dark is still plugging away, bringing you monthly holiday-themed horror. We’re in March now, which means it’s time for the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Crawlers. And nothing says “St. Patrick’s Day” like…uh…aliens, right? Because aliens are invading a small town in Crawlers, and it’s up to three friends to stop them. Watch the Crawlers trailer below.

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Into the Dark My Valentine Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

For Into The Dark’s second dysfunctional Valentine’s Day, writer/director Maggie Levin delivers a pop-glammy ode to loving one’s self. My Valentine warns against the horrors of obsessive control, codependent erasure, and how predators hide behind the guise of romance. Levin takes relationship trauma deathly serious, set to a playlist of shout-in-your-shower electropop anthems. Green Room by way of dangerous attractions; costumes doubling as blatant metaphors for the lives that are stolen from us by the most undeserving sources. 

Nowhere near the intensity of Green Room, mind you, but there’s performative power behind rhythms and lyrics that highlight the more psychotic theatrics of crueler intentions.

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Lessons From Gay Horror Filmmakers

If you don’t believe representation in horror cinema matters, go watch Horror Noire: A History Of Black Horror. Despite countless walks of life stamping this vibrant earth with their signature footprints, movies – especially mainstream studio products – are largely populated by the same faces, genders, you name it. More importantly, when themes or characters step outside “normality,” creatives in charge generally aren’t living what they’re shooting. None of this is to suggest such situations are automatic failures – they aren’t – but authenticity and representation matters. Seeing your likeness on screen is one thing, but seeing yourself depicted in a connective way is a freedom everyone should be granted.

Enter Into The Dark’s Midnight Kiss, an enthusiastic gay slasher focusing on a homosexually-centered New Year’s nightmare. Written by Erlingur Thoroddsen, a proudly gay Hollywood writer, and directed by Carter Smith, an equally in-touch gay Hollywood director. While this shouldn’t be groundbreaking or noteworthy, one has to respect Hulu and Blumhouse for buying into an exclusively gay horror feature without restriction. This showing of commitment means something to so many viewers, which is why I wanted to ask both Smith and Thoroddsen about navigating Hollywood from a queer perspective. Here are some lessons they’ve learned while making death sexy and horror fabulous.

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Into the Dark Midnight Kiss Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Ignoring any Into The Dark rankings and ratings thus far, Blumhouse’s ability to drive representation and diversity throughout their feature-length entries is a focus to be followed. Gigi Saul Gurrerro’s Culture Shock ended up a memorable 4th Of July fireworks display of borderland terror, with such a distinct cultural perspective. In tone, presentation, and presence, Gurrerro’s voice is never stifled – just like this January’s Midnight Kiss. Carter Smith’s decisively gay New Year’s Eve slasher is scripted by a gay Hollywood screenwriter (Erlingur Thoroddsen) and directed by a gay Hollywood director (Smith). Two filmmakers who are unafraid to create in a language known within their communities – experiences resonating throughout so many daily routines – and yet desperately underserved when it comes to on-screen horror opportunities.

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Into the Dark A Nasty Piece of Work Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Charles Hood, who’s been somewhat silent since his hilarious Night Owls, accepts Christmas damnation duty for Into The Dark’s second season. A Nasty Piece Of Work tunes into the director’s comedic frequencies, based on a corporate satire scripted by Paul Soter. While last year’s Pooka! hugged consumerism into submission, this holiday season is a challenge of professional greed. A CEO’s mansion halls are decked out in festive decor (lights, garland, etc.), as the holiday season is exploited by sinful company partying. Never as dangerous or deranged as Julian Sands’ tyrannical performance suggest, “nasty” might be an overstretch for this piece of December work.

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into the dark pilgrim trailer

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

As a preacher of the good holiday horror word, Thanksgiving’s scant offerings leave my stomach rumbling. Last season’s November Into The Dark analysis began similarly; me lamenting over how Turkey Day has largely been ignored by genre filmmakers. Into The Dark’s Flesh & Blood popped out the oven dry and flavorless, but Marcus Dunstan’s Pilgrim charts a course for redemption. Guess that’s what happens when the minds behind multiple Saw sequels, three Feast flicks, and The Collector franchise take cosplaying to a disturbingly enraged level.

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into the dark pilgrim trailer

Horror movies built around holidays are a time-honored tradition, from Black Christmas to Halloween to My Bloody Valentine, and beyond. But one holiday that is often overlooked in the genre is Thanksgiving, which can lay claim to terrible trash like Thankskilling and not much else. Enter Into the Dark, the Hulu horror anthology series from Blumhouse. The next installment, Pilgrim, is Thanksgiving themed to the max – it even includes killer pilgrims. So if you’ve been hungry for Thanksgiving horror, this might be enough to satiate you. Watch the Into the Dark: Pilgrim trailer below.

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Uncanny Annie Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Welcome back, Into The Dark fans! Paul Davis directed Season 1’s inaugural October entry The Body, and he’s back to play a most wicked game in Season 2’s kickoff Uncanny Annie. A bit of tabletop terror on Halloween night that tricks us with an unexpected holiday plotline, but it’s all macabre flavored treats. Suckers for rules to live by in horror scenarios will remember “Uncanny Annie” and her stacked deck of “Truths” or “Mischief,” starting Season 2 with a bit more zip this time around.

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