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Into the Dark - The Body - Review + POLL

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Into the Dark has been one of my most anticipated Fall series and I’m so excited that’s finally here and I get the opportunity to cover it! As I mentioned in my explanation of the series in my preview for the show, Into the Dark is a new kind of anthology that will drop a new plus-sized (feature length) episode the first Friday of every month. The gist is, each episode will be based in the horror genre and tell a story that pertains to a corresponding monthly holiday.

First up, we have “The Body” which is actually based on a short film created by the same director of this episode. The synopsis is: “A sophisticated hitman with a cynical view on modern society finds his work made more difficult when he has to transport a body on Halloween night, but everyone is enamored by what they think is his killer costume.”

Going into the episode, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I was pretty happy with the finished product. It essentially amounts to an entertaining Halloween night cat-and-mouse chase with both comedy and horror elements, which is sort of Blumhouse Productions’ bread and butter at this point. There is a meta quality to the episode and some camp too. At times, it’s tonally uneven and the final act pretty much foregoes all comedy in favor of straight horror, but I’d still say it was a strong start to the season.


We start the episode from a first person point of view, following a camera through a dimly lit house until we land on… you guessed it, the body. Wilkes (Tom Bateman), the hitman we will be following for the duration of the episode, has already done the dirty work. Now he just needs to transport the body to new location as discussed with the man who hired him. A man we never meet or learn much about, but more of an omnipresent force that guides Wilkes.

There is a timer set, Wilkes has four hours to get the body to where it needs to go and there is even a nice visual that appears in the corner of the screen every so often to remind us that he’s on the clock. This was one of the weaker elements to the episode. The clock never feels imperative. I mean sure, we know that Wilkes needs to get a move on but I guess I didn’t find the threat of his “boss” to be all that believable. There is a moment later on where Wilkes deduces that is boss is following him and feels some paranoia but that’s about it. There’s no driving force to make him rush to get there on time. It really isn’t that important to the overall story though.

Also, I’m not sure if it’s a weakness or a strength, but the story doesn’t really end up being about Wilkes. It’s more about the trio of young adults he meets, Allan (David Hull) - who foolishly invites Wilkes back to a Halloween party because he thinks his “costume” is really cool, Dorothy (Aurora Perrineau), and the host of the party, Jack (Ray Santiago).


When Wilkes leaves the home of the man he’s just murdered, he has the body wrapped up tight and drags it towards his car. Unfortunately, his car has been the victim of several Halloween pranks, including slashed tires, putting it out of commission for the foreseeable future.

Again, Wilkes never seems that stressed out about his time crunch. He just happens to run into Allan who invites him to a Halloween party and in exchange he’ll give Wilkes a ride to wherever he needs to go. Considering Wilkes is a cold blooded murderer who demonstrates multiple times throughout the episode that he has no qualms with killing people who get in his way, you’d think he would have just done away with Allan and taken the car right then and there. Instead he goes along to the party and for “just one drink.”

I think Wilkes is a little bit of a showboat though, as is demonstrated when he winds up trapped in a room with Allan, Jack, Dorothy, and their friend Nick (Harvey Guillen) and can’t help but pontificate on the pointlessness of life. “Anything you do other than eat, sleep, shit, fuck, and kill is a symptom of insanity.” He quips before talking about how we’re all just hurtling through space on a giant rock of ice. His nihilism charms another partygoer, Maggie (Rebecca Rittenhouse) who comes dressed as Marie Antoinette and has some preachy monologues of her own. Maggie ends up trapped in the room along with him and unlike the others, she’s clearly deeply interested in everything Wilkes has to say. Even when he murders Nick, the second casualty of the night, she doesn’t seem dismayed. If anything, she’s even more into him. Maggie apparently has her own murderous desires to tend to.

Wilkes plans to kill everyone in the room and escape with body but before he can, Jack tricks Maggie into triggering the room to go on lockdown. Turns out, the entire thing is an escape room Jack had built to impress his dates. Allan, Dorothy, and Jack are able to escape with the body, leaving Maggie and Wilkes trapped behind.


The bulk of the episode follows the trio (as I’ll refer to Jack, Dorothy, and Allan for the remainder) desperately running across town trying to figure out what to do with the body with Wilkes and Maggie (who decides to help Wilkes for some reason) hot on their tails. They try to go to the police but the cop they get to listen to them winds up dead not long after when Wilkes finds them and slits his throat (they were out of cinnamon raisin bagels anyways!) Then their next plan of action is to dispose of the body all together but that proves more difficult than they anticipated, at least, according to what Allan can find on Wikipedia.

Making matters more difficult, Maggie is setting all three of them up in a frame-job that makes them look complicit in Nick's murder and the cops. Honestly what would Wilkes have done without Maggie by his side? She does most of the heavy-lifting during the chase, which he more than takes advantage of. Maggie is tech-savvy as she actually worked for Jack, assisting him in creating a virtual reality horror game. She is able to track their phones and corner them at the morgue where they're attempting the last ditch effort to rid themselves of the body and any incriminating evidence by using the incinerator.

Once Wilkes and Maggie arrive, they share a tender moment in the graveyard. At least it looks that way from the outside but I think the only people who didn't realize Wilkes was playing Maggie all along was... well, Maggie. He kisses her and she pulls away with a knife in her gut. I mean, to be fair to Wilkes, he did tell her countless times he was a murderer. She witnessed him murdering people multiple times as well.

After leaving Maggie behind, Wilkes follows the trio down into the morgue to finally finish them off. I actually thought they would end up surviving, or at least one of them, but nope. Wilkes kills all three of them, the boys getting the worst of it. Poor Allan has the worst death of all in my opinion, seeing as he's literally stuffed with embalming fluid while still alive. Jack's is a close runner-up though. Wilkes crushes his head by gouging his eyes out. Gruesome stuff. Then he places Jack's phone, which has photos of the dead bodies thanks to Maggie, and the dead police officer's badge atop his corpse, ensuring that it will look like Jack killed everyone, I guess? It's a pretty sloppy frame job if you ask me. Dorothy also dies but her death is relatively quick and easy as compared to the other two. She gets a bullet to the head and only because Wilkes is able to hold up a metal tray at the last second and the ricochet gets her.


It looks like everything is going, mostly, according to plan for Wilkes. He's taken care of all of his "complications" and he manages to get the body to where it's supposed to be with seconds to spare. But then, a twist! Apparently, Wilkes isn’t very good at his job because surprise, Maggie’s not dead! She shoots him from behind and relishes in her chance to bury him.

The episode ends with Maggie being the one with the body to drag around. I loved seeing her come back to kill him, even though I did think the twist was pretty predictable, I grew to like Maggie’s twisted character. I have to wonder if she’ll take Wilkes place now. Maybe she’ll wind up on the internet taking money for murder jobs? I mean she does state she’s a fast learner whilst tying Wilkes body up in plastic.


- The random guys at the bar toasting to every Friday the 13th movie was my favorite joke. The fact they even included Jason Takes Manhattan, they’re troopers to say the least.

- I liked the meta element of people being able to get away with anything in Halloween night. It's a joke that runs through the episode, starting with the fact everyone just automatically assumes Wilkes body is part of an elaborate costume. Though I have to wonder what exactly people thought his costume was? A murderer, I suppose. Then it crops again later when Jack hijacks the DJ (in a random cameo by Sasha Grey), and tells the partygoers that they're being hunted by a killer and everyone assumes it's a Halloween gag.

- When the gang and Wilkes end up trapped in the room, we find out the body is still alive. How!? Wouldn’t he have suffocated long before they got to the party.

- For a hitman, Wilkes doesn’t have the best track record of actually killing people, the first guy he killed didn’t die until Jack jumped on him and Maggie wasn’t actually dead either!


Wilkes’ Boss: I didn’t call you for a Gordon Ramsey impression.

Dorothy: Are you like the British American Psycho or something?

Maggie: She’s a very meaningful woman, I think, famous - but as a caricature that confirms men’s prejudices against women; frivolous, ditzy, obsessed with buying shoes. Silly, pretty, tragic little bonbon, good for porn, good for scorn, nothing in between.

Wilkes: You see there was a point during human evolution when something, some neuron pathway misfired and we all became self-aware, that is to say, we became insane. We are balls of flesh and bone on a rock of ice spinning through a dark random universe only to survive.

Alan: We gotta bleach him. Pulverize the teeth. Burn off the fingerprints. We disfigure the face. We melt him down. We drain the blood and the bodily fluids, we mix those with bleach, we also bleach the inside. We chop him up into pieces small enough that they can’t be recognized as human in case somebody finds one of them. Vinegar to soften the bones and we put each part in a different plastic bag, fill them with lye, tie the tops, and we bury them as far away from each other possible.
Dorothy: That… That is why you’re single.
Alan: Oh ok. I’m the only one of us that watched Breaking Bad?
Dorothy and Jack: (Remain silent.)
Alan: Are you kidding me? That show redefined television.

Wilkes: A drink order shouldn’t have twenty five words in it.

Maggie: You guys look great, Dunder-Mifflin for the win!

Wilkes: I don’t understand you, but I feel like you might be the first person I’ve met in a very long time that understands me.

Maggie: I just wanted a little bit of what you had.


Stay tuned for my advance preview of the next episode, titled "Flesh & Blood", when it gets closer to the premiere date!

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