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Into the Dark - Crawlers - Review

What do you get when you mix an angsty conspiracy theorist, a seemingly typical frat boy, a traumatized 20-year-old, and a party girl on St. Patrick’s Day? An alien invasion, apparently. This month’s installment of Into the Dark was better than expected, but still lacked the fundamentals of a good horror movie.

Let me first introduce you to our cast of characters: Shauna (Giorgia Whigham - The Punisher), the drug dealer who’s narrating the story. She’s fun, but she knows when to be serious. Also, yeah, she thinks the moon landing was faked. Misty (Pepi Sonuga - Famous in Love) is our resident sad girl, for good reason. Last year, she was drugged and presumably assaulted by a member of the frat on campus.

Here, we meet Chloe (Jude Demorest - Star) and Aaron (Cameron Fuller - The Last Ship). Chloe is Misty’s carefree, positivity-will-cure-your-depression best friend, and Aaron is another member of the frat who turns out to be more than just a guy in a frat. There’s also the sharp-tongued Yuejin (Olivia Liang - Legacies) who is Chloe’s new best friend, a replacement of Misty if you will. I won’t. The concept of “mean girl replaces nice old best friend” is so worn out that I’m pretty over it.

One big problem with Into the Dark is that it has a very hard time creating characters I actually care about. Most of the time I’m just waiting for everyone to die. This episode had more likable characters than usual, but even the good ones got on my nerves a few times. Shauna, I know you’re Not Like Other Girls, but did you have to say it three times in the span of an hour and a half?

The worst, unsurprisingly, are Chloe and Yuejin. Not only is Chloe just all-around annoying, but she also doesn’t shy away from telling Misty that she straight-up doesn’t believe that she was assaulted. At first, it’s subtle -- judging glances, eye rolls, etc. But then it gets to the point where, close to the end, she literally says “this is not your made-up bullshit” in reference to the alien invasion. Chloe yells at Misty, and runs away, calling her “psycho” when Misty tells her they need to prick her finger to see if her blood is red or green. It makes sense that this isn’t normal, but to flip that switch on your so-called best friend that quick is… Yikes. She sucks.

The issue with Yuejin is that she’s fine -- she’s just terribly written. She was literally created to be a buffer between Chloe and Misty, when, in my opinion, I think we could’ve done completely without her. She adds almost nothing to the plot except to be a person of doubt, and then later, when she becomes an alien, to add drama to an already dramatic scene.

There’s also a weird amount of inconsistencies in this episode. At one point, when everyone is pricking their finger to convince each other they’re not aliens, Shauna hesitates. Why? We don’t know. It’s never explained. In the same scene, Alien!Yuejin then stabs Shauna in the shoulder, yet that’s the end of it. She never seems like she’s in pain after that, it never becomes a problem for her. 

We also never got an explanation as to where everyone in the town suddenly disappeared to. While we can assume they all became aliens, we also don’t see nearly as many aliens at the end of the episode as in the beginning. It was just a bit strange that that wasn’t really touched on.

The worst part of this episode, by far, is when Shauna decides to bring everyone to her house to get advice from her mom (Virginia Louise Smith - Scandal). It’s not even anything to do with the plot, but there’s a part where they emphasize the number of weapons Ms. Shore has, and to do so they do a jumpy camera motion with dubstep playing in the background. I had to pause it for a second to take it all in.

There were some good things about the episode, though! The cast all worked phenomenally together -- they had incredible chemistry -- and the directing was fun. Each voiceover featured a paused slow-zoom which I think made it a lot more fun and modern. The acting was also much better than some previous Into the Dark episodes, and for that, I was very thankful.

My favorite part of the episode was when Misty and Shauna were about to go into the frat house and Misty explained to Shauna why she was hesitant. Shauna acted much more maturely than Chloe apparently did when she found out, saying “yeah, hi, believe women, it’s 2020!” before grabbing Misty’s hand and gently tugging her into the house.

Overall, I liked the episode a lot more than I thought I would. I’m gonna be honest with you guys, the trailers for these installments are almost never good, so when this one was especially bad, I was afraid it would transfer into the episode, but it didn’t! While I would’ve loved to be more scared, as it is a horror-anthology, I can forgive it with the news that Pooka is back next month. Join me then! 

What did you guys think? Who were your favorite characters? What were your favorite scenes? How does this compare to other Into the Dark episodes for you? Let me know in the comments!

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