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Into the Dark - New Year, New You - Review + POLL

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If you read my preview for this episode then you probably already have a general idea of my feelings about it. In short, I didn't like it. I was really disappointed in how it panned out especially considering I'm a fan of Carly Chaikin and I was so excited to see what Blumhouse's first female director was going to do.

Sadly, Into the Dark's New Years episode is sorely lacking on the story, script, and definitely the fun.

The night begins with Alexis (Suki Waterhouse) inviting her friends Chloe (Melissa Bergland) and Kayla (Kirby Howell-Baptiste from The Good Place over to her old family home to ring in the new year. We learn they're waiting to see if uber successful pal Danielle (Carley Chaikin) is actually going to show up.

In the opening scene of the episode we caught a glimpse of Danielle and the lifestyle brand videos she makes on YouTube. Apparently she's incredibly popular, broadcasting her self-help videos and Very Very Vegetable wellness juices to the masses. She's a bonafide YouTube celebrity and often crosses paths with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio.

Surprisingly, Danielle does eventually show up at Alexis' house and from that point a majority of the episode is just watching these girls talk to each other, reminisce about vague nondescript high school memories, and drink alcohol. Literally. Half the episode is banal chit-chat. Don't get me wrong, normally I would be fine with female friendship bonding, I mean I loved One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, I have no problem watching fun sleepover and party scenes but this episode doesn't give us any of that.

The girls talk about boys (apart from Kayla who is a lesbian, but we'll get into that later). Their conversations are incredibly shallow, the dialogue is empty, soulless, and bland. The story is written by Adam Gaines, and Sophia Takal (the director) collaborated with him on the teleplay but it feels like a story written by men who don't know how young girls talk to each other.

We don't learn much about who these girls are as people and periodically Alexis zones out while staring daggers into the back of Danielle's head. In these lapses of strange silence, we often get fade-outs to a lake of some sort. These flashbacks are never fully explained. All we learn is that Danielle is apparently a manipulative, psychotic killer. Except, they all are kind of manipulative psychotic killers.

Once the night finally takes a turn into horror, Alexis tries to force Danielle into admitting the fact she bullied a girl named Kelsey (no idea who that is and not sure the movie did either) into committing suicide. I'm guessing the incident when that happened is related to the lake flashbacks, but again, it's never confirmed. We never see what really happened to Kelsey unless you can make out the foggy faded clips swimming before Danielle and Alexis's eyes on occasion.

Eventually Alexis and Kayla leave Danielle alone with Chloe and Danielle is able to manipulate Chloe into becoming a ruthless killer in a matter of minutes. The house divided, Danielle and Chloe are able to lock both Alexis and Kayla in the steam room where Danielle plans to let them die. She shows no real emotion at all when saying this and Chloe barely seems concerned about it. I mean clearly these girls can't have been that close of friends if they were willing to murder each other at the drop of a hat.

As if to make matters worse, Kayla is the first girl to die and THEN her girlfriend is the next to die! It's sloppy and ill-conceived writing. Frankie didn't need to die at all, there really wasn't any reason to bring her to the house except to add more death. Chloe kills Frankie with barely any goading since I guess all she needed was the slight possibility of having a good job to access the inner serial killer within.

Chloe is next up to die by being shoved down the stairs in the middle of a fight and then Alexis and Danielle face off in a very short fight. I mean it has to be short, they wasted 3/4's of the episode and it's only in the final ten minutes we see a real physical confrontation between these two. It doesn't last long before Danielle is thrown out the window and lands in the pool, dead. Except, would she even be dead that fast if she lands in the water under the house? I don't know.

We're told through their final argument that Alexis is pissed because she did all the work and yet Danielle is the one who got famous. What work? Are they implying Danielle ripped Alexis off? I don't know because none of it makes sense!

Another thing that bothered me was Alexis saying Danielle tormented Kayla for being gay, yet when Kayla tells Danielle she's dating a girl, Danielle says she didn't know she was into girls and Kayla doesn't seem phased by it. So did Danielle know she was a lesbian in high school rro not? If Danielle was such a vicious bully to them why would they have stayed friends at all?

Also we never get an explanation for the scar Alexis sports on her cheek! If we did it was very brief and I may have missed it but the only real reference we get is in the beginning when the little girl she's with asks her if that's why she quit acting. It's all too vague to paint a clear picture.

Here's to hoping the Valentine's Day episode is a big improvement.

A new episode of Into the Dark will premiere Feb. 1st on Hulu.

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