Spoiler-Free Review of “Helstrom” on Hulu: Where’s the horror?

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“I’m not here to hold hands or save a cat from a tree or respond to false alarms….”

Helstrom is a new superhero horror series on Hulu, which premiered as part of their Huluween line-up on October 16th 2020 with 10 episodes available to stream now (approximately 55 minutes in length). It stars Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, and Elizabeth Marvel.

Based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Daimon Hellstrom (Son of Satan), the series follows siblings, Daimon and Ana Helstrom. The estranged siblings possess supernatural abilities that aid in their quest to exorcise demons and eliminate threats, while they come to terms with their dark past.

Here is the trailer:

A horror superhero series could be filled with lots of potential, but it’s concerning that Marvel removed its name from the title. Either way, I went into this show hoping for some welcomed dark horror, along with some new unique characters. But does Helstrom do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Helstrom Elizabeth Marvel

Images courtesy of Hulu

Elizabeth Marvel is bloody fantastic!

I was a fan of hers already, but wow does she play this part well. She is the mother of Daimon and Ana and is showing signs of being possessed by a demon. We’ve seen show after show featuring some kind of demon possession, but I have to say that she frightened me and in a very good way.

Ana’s wardrobe is to die for.

Helstrom Ana

Images courtesy of Hulu

Every single time she made an entrance, I was drooling over her wardrobe and then some. Ana was the stronger character for me throughout the series, but her amazing outfits definitely helped capture my attention.

The Cons:

Helstrom on Hulu

Images courtesy of Hulu

Slow, unfocused, and sloppy.

I really had high hopes for this show and the cast had the potential to really bring it to life, but the execution did not translate well. The pacing is extremely slow, the reveals are not rewarding enough, and the characters don’t have enough layers to keep you invested. 

There have been plenty of shows about demonic possession and jaded antiheroes reminding us of the good vs. evil premise that just do this better. Shows like Lucifer, Constantine, Outcast, and Supernatural come to mind.

Unworthy of the horror label.

I was actually really excited to watch another horror superhero premise. There is something to be said about the dark line between right and wrong and the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of humanity.

Unfortunately, Helstrom never really earned its horror badge. There were a few cringe-worthy scenes that were displeasing to the eye, but that’s about it…

So am I in or out?

Helstrom on Hulu 2

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in for the fashion, but unfortunately I’m out on this watch.

The show fell into the forgettable limbo of overdone demonic possession shows for me. The pacing was slow and there were a lot of missed opportunities. 

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Helstrom in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” on AMC: Walkers are now Empties

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“We’re monuments to the past…but we are the future.”

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is the latest series in TWD universe. It will run for a limited time with two seasons, featuring 20 episodes in total. World Beyond stars Aliyah Royale, Nico Tortorella, and Alexa Mansour.

This series centers around a live-in compound where two sisters decide to explore life outside the walls in order to track down their long lost father, introducing them to threats and reveals along the way.

Here is the trailer:

If you are a fan of TWD, then you may be super excited to get another series added to the lineup of TWD (now approaching its 11th final season) and Fear TWD, which just started its sixth season, but we also know that there is a Rick Grimes film series coming our way and apparently a Daryl and Carol spin-off, so it may seem like the zombie apocalypse is never-ending.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond presents us with a young-adult centered cast, but does it do enough to keep you coming back for more? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

 

The Walking Dead World Beyond 4

Images courtesy of AMC

Connection to the three circles.

If you have been watching TWD, then you know there are a lot of questions and theories surrounding the mysterious three circle symbol. We get this talk about someone being an “A” or a “B” on TWD and Fear TWD has also featured a full episode devoted to this symbol so it is coming up again in World Beyond, which might give us more information and reveals to connect the dots.

Compelling flashbacks.

The flashbacks we witness are violent, raw, and emotional. I thought that they had the most action and deserved even more screen time. Sometimes you can learn everything you need to know about a character from them and we also get this somewhat interesting link between two of the main characters.

The Cons:

The Walking Dead World Beyond 2

Images courtesy of AMC

Having a young-adult focus is not enough.

There are certain shows that have really nailed the young adult vibe. Teenagers are thrown into the apocalypse and have to deal with this threat while handling their own issues. Shows that have done this well are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stranger Things.

But why were they so successful? It’s because they balanced the far-fetched supernatural components with everyday problems while allowing us to see all sides of the characters. The characters were far from perfect, but it worked and it gave the premise an authentic quality even in the midst of fantasy.

While this show has the set-up to follow this same formula, it is not connecting. Sending a group of teens on a mission needs more. Think of classic films like The Goonies and Stand by Me. There is humor and incredible bonds that form along the journey.

I’m not saying that World Beyond can’t get there, but it’s off to a slow start…

The Walking Dead World Beyond 1

Images courtesy of AMC

Uninspiring characters.

The acting isn’t bad on this show. In fact, I’m a big fan of Nico Tortorella (Younger, Scream 4, The Following). However, the characters are just kind of blah. The sister bond isn’t grabbing me the way it should and even when Nico’s character starts having an emotional dialogue during episode 2, it was a snooze fest. 

If I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care if the “empties” snack on them.

There’s still room for character growth, but I am losing interest.

So am I in or out?

The Walking Dead World Beyond 3

Images courtesy of AMC

Unfortunately I’m out on this one.

I am a long-time devoted fan of TWD franchise and I have watched every single season of TWD and Fear TWD even through its ups and downs, but I don’t want this to feel like a chore and so far it has felt that way.

Connecting the three circle mystery is not enough to keep this show going. While I appreciate that it will only run for a limited amount of time, there just isn’t enough going on to bring me in.

When I think back to the earlier seasons and even the pilot episodes of both TWD and Fear TWD, I remember being on the edge of my seat and completely shocked. That didn’t happen here. I think that perhaps the show should have started off with the earlier flashback to lure the viewer in, but there was not enough going on in either of the first two episodes to hold my attention.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Walking Dead: World Beyond in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 6 episode 1: “The End Is the Beginning”

Happy Tuesday TV fans! After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 6 episode 1 season premiere, I really had only one question on my mind: “Is Mr. Jones dead or alive?”

Fear TWD season 6 episode 1 1

Images courtesy of AMC

Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.

In season 6 episode 1, “The End Is the Beginning,” we confirm Morgan’s fate, but he’s not out of the woods just yet. New characters and threats emerge, as Morgan finds himself conflicted over his beliefs, but will he survive?

My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 6 episode 1 are:

5

“I’ve never seen them walk away from a meal.”

Enter Isaac, who seems to have perfect timing, as he helps save Morgan’s life. Isaac says that he is a former Marine and he also has some medical training, as he takes a look at Morgan’s condition.

Morgan still has the bullet inside him and the smell of gangrene is keeping the walkers away for now, which could come in handy.

But can we really trust a new stranger? At least we know Morgan is alive…for now. Phew!

4

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Surviving his bullet wound is not the only thing Morgan has to worry about as Virginia hires a bounty hunter named Josiah who is not afraid to take someone’s head with one swing of his axe. He keeps the heads in labeled boxes and delivers them with pride while his hound helps sniff out his bounty.

Fear TWD season 6 episode 1 2

Images courtesy of AMC

Morgan recognizes that Isaac’s timing is odd and he also seems to know a lot about him. Isaac explains that he used to work for Virginia’s team but Morgan’s tapes taught him that there was a better way. His main priority is to get back to his pregnant wife so he can help deliver their baby safely, but Morgan is keeping his guard up for sure.

3

“I’m right here.”

Morgan agrees to help Isaac reach his wife as they travel to a dried up lake, which might make a potential safe haven for his friends. Since the walkers can’t sense him, he decides to go through the crowd alone, but things don’t go according to plan as Isaac starts taking out walkers to help.

Fear TWD season 6 episode 1 4

Images courtesy of AMC

Morgan can easily turn around and keep walking, but he decides to shout out to the walkers that he’s right here, as the two make a pretty impressive tag team.

2

“I can’t be who they need me to be.”

Morgan and Isaac are able to reach their destination, but we learn that Isaac has been bitten, which means he is already dead. He explains that all he needed to do was get Morgan where he needed to be, but Morgan is still having doubts about his purpose after everything he has been through.

Josiah shows up with bad timing and we get this intense face-off between him and Morgan. Morgan is able to defeat him, but Josiah taunts him and tells him that he knows he doesn’t have it in him to end his life.

Well, so much for that, as Morgan takes Josiah’s head in one swift motion, sending his head on out to Virginia. Morgan also picks up the key that Josiah retrieved from his last bounty and there is a lot of mystery surrounding it already.

1

“Morgan Jones is dead and you are dealing with somebody else now.”

Virginia’s reaction is pretty interesting when she discovers Josiah’s head in Morgan’s box. She seems up for the challenge, but her threats don’t really seem to impact Morgan.

Isaac was able to successfully remove the bullet in Morgan’s chest before he passed, but it looks like Morgan is embracing a new identity now. I have to also mention that it was incredibly sweet that they named the baby after Morgan!

Fear TWD season 6 episode 1 5

Images courtesy of AMC

He abandons his staff and picks up Josiah’s axe instead, wearing the cowboy hat as well which gave me some bad-ass Rick Grimes vibes.

It looks like Morgan is going to go recruit some help to get his friends out of there and I have a feeling we will witness a tag team with him and Daniel…

Now that we know Morgan is all right, what about our other characters? It looks like we will catch up with them all soon and I am hoping that we abandon some of the fluff that took up the majority of the last two seasons and get back to the raw, wild vibe from the earlier seasons.

I think we have the potential to get there.

We don’t know who saved Morgan’s life initially or what is going on with these keys. We also don’t know who the men are spray painting the wall so it looks like we have quite a bit of set-up to keep us busy for a while.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Fear the Walking Dead in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE..

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Haunting of Bly Manor” on Netflix: Perfectly Splendid

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Everything yields to time…even the soul.”

The Haunting of Bly Manor is the second season of The Haunting of Hill House horror anthology series. Based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the second season takes a fresh take on the classic ghost story. The Haunting of Bly Manor stars Victoria Pedretti, T’Nia Miller, Tahirah Sharif, Amelia Eve, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Carla Gugino. The second season premiered on October 9th 2020 with nine episodes (approximately 55 minutes in length).

Dani is looking for a fresh start in London and comes across an ad for a live-in governess position at Bly Manor. Upon her arrival, she quickly discovers that there is a mystery surrounding the property, endangering the lives of the children as well as her own.

Here is the trailer:

The Haunting of Bly Manor has the potential to take this ghost story to the next level, but after the disappointing 2020 film, The Turning, it may need to do a lot more to keep its audience invested. Does The Haunting of Bly Manor live up to the welcomed scares of the first season? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Haunting of Bly Manor Dani 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Chilling and intense scares.

I wouldn’t say that the second season scared me as much as the first one, but it was a different kind of fear building throughout the episodes. It was more of an unrelenting chill that wedged itself deep within my bones. While it was a different approach, the fear was real and there were some genuinely scary moments sprinkled in that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Haunting of Bly Manor Rebecca

Images courtesy of Netflix

Incredible characters.

You will recognize some familiar faces in season two as many of the actors from the first season returned to reprise different roles, which was a lot of fun. Some of the newcomers were absolutely brilliant as well and I have to say that the characters all had so much depth.

I think that the women really stood out for me in the second season. Each character flashback or reveal was so powerful and it really helped me connect even more to the characters.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Images courtesy of Netflix

Reveals that are worth the wait.

Each puzzle piece was threaded together with perfect execution. As soon as I thought I had something figured out, I was thrown for a loop. The slow burn build was extremely rewarding and well worth the wait. Even though the episodes were on the long side, I was completely mesmerized by every single scene.

The Cons:

The Haunting of Bly Manor Carla Gugino

Images courtesy of Netflix

I really don’t have one con to list. The only thing I will mention is that this may be more of a beautiful piece of gothic romance rather than a true ghost story. However, I thought that worked perfectly. What I witnessed transcended the need to classify this show to a specific genre. The presence of a storyteller really allowed the classic words to come alive across the screen while bringing in new elements to the story.

So am I in or out?

The Haunting of Bly Manor Dani

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 1000 percent!!!!!!

This may be the best show I have watched all year. I thought that everything was executed perfectly. This show struck me to my core. I laughed, I cried, and I found myself beyond connected to all of these characters. There is something to be said about a piece of work that can resonate with you that much even after it’s over.

Perfectly splendid and then some!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Haunting of Bly Manor in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Walking Dead” season 10 episode 16: “A Certain Doom”

Happy Friday TV fans! After watching AMC’s The Walking Dead season 10 episode 16 season finale, I learned that the way we survive is…together. 

Please note MAJOR spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.

In episode 16, “A Certain Doom,” the group faces off against Beta and The Whisperers while dealing with an overwhelming walker horde. Meanwhile, heroes are made and old friends return.

My top 5 moments from The Walking Dead season 10 episode 16 season finale are:

5

“This is the only way.”

A plan is quickly hatched to get through the horde of walkers, which means that several of our favorite characters will need to camouflage themselves with skins and blood to get through undetected. The plan is to reach the wagon to lead the horde away, but we witnessed some chilling and intense moments during this scene.

Beatrice draws the short straw and ends up brutally eaten by the horde while Carol lets her die.

It was clear from the start that not everyone would make it, but this moment of hesitation within Carol was an interesting one. She made the conscious decision to turn around and keep walking, giving us an every man for himself approach. This decision makes a lot more sense and provides us with some understanding when we get toward the end of the episode, however.

4

“It’s okay…”

Maggie is back! After seeing her in the very beginning of the episode, I was wondering when she would show up to save the day. After Gabriel and Judith are trapped, it looked like Gabriel was going to hold the line so that his friends could get to safety.

Gabriel put up a valiant effort, but Maggie and her new masked friend burst through the doors with perfect timing to save the day.

Welcome back Maggie!

TWD Maggie Returns 10 16 AMC

Images courtesy of AMC

So, who is this masked stranger and where did he or she pick up those crazy moves? We’ll have to wait to find out, but I’m actually intrigued.

3

“I ain’t no hero. You could be.”

We’ve been watching the character growth and transformation of Negan over the seasons and it seems like our anti-hero is embracing this new side of him, but it’s not always easy shedding your previously selfish ways.

TWD Daryl and Negan 10 16 AMC

Images courtesy of AMC

We get this epic moment where Negan calls Beta out as a “shithead” so that he is distracted enough for Daryl to put him out of his misery after blinding him.

Only we get this weird moment where Beta actually seems elated to be eaten alive…

I think it’s about time he was defeated…

2

“It has to be me.”

Lydia really stole the show for me. After having a talk with Carol, she opens up and tries to get Carol to welcome a friendship between them. Lydia clearly states that she is not looking for a new mother, but Carol initially brushes her off and tells her to find her own way.

Later on, the group loses the wagon and decide to lead the walkers off a cliff, but it means someone has to jump first to bring them over the edge.

Carol volunteers as tribute and we get this emotional moment where she stands at the very edge, but Lydia grabs her hand at the last second and Carol finally allows her emotions to run free, embracing her.

TWD Carol and Lydia 10 16 AMC

Images courtesy of AMC

It looks like Carol finally wants to live and I have to say that it’s about time. Well done, Lydia!

1

“We still have things to do here.”

Well, right. This is TWD and we know that we have one more season to wrap things up. At the end of the season finale, we finally get to see Connie and learn that she is alive…although she is pretty beaten up for sure.

TWD Connie 10 16 AMC

Images courtesy of AMC

Connie needs some assistance, but the person to pick her up is…Virgil. Yep, remember him? We’ll have to see how this unfolds, but I’m happy that Connie is all right for now. We need to see a reunion between her and Daryl as soon as possible!

Meanwhile, we circle back with Eugene and the others, but it doesn’t look like Stephanie hung around. Eugene is ready to keep looking for her, but they are then surrounded by strangers in uniforms who tell them to put their weapons down.

Friends or foes? I’m not sure, but it looks like we have our major set-up ready for the final season.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on TWD in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Monsterland” on Hulu: The Darkest Parts of Humanity

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

Monsterland is a new horror anthology television series on Hulu. It stars Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling, Nicole Beharie, and Mike Colter. The series premiered on October 2nd 2020 with eight episodes (approximately 55 minutes in length).

Based upon the short story collection, North American Lake Monsters, Monsterland reveals some deep and dark truths lurking beneath the surface. While supernatural and horror elements do play a part, the real horror lies within humanity.

Here is the trailer:

Horror anthology series are surfacing left and right and with Halloween right around the corner, you are probably in search of some good solid scares. However, Monsterland may be more of an unsettling emotional roller coaster ride rather than your typical horror series. Is Monsterland worthy of a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Incredible performances.

Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling, and Nicole Beharie really stood out for me, but there were a lot of familiar faces in each episode and I thought that each character did a great job. Since this is anthology style, each episode focuses on a new character in a different town, but every performance held up and was probably the best part of the series for me.

A different take on horror.

One thing I did appreciate in this series was the attention to the darkness embedded within humanity. Sometimes our decisions can eat away at us and while there are some cringe-worthy moments sprinkled in to each episode, the real fear is that we are the actual monsters and have to come to terms with our past and accept the consequences of our actions.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

The episodes are way too long.

The episodes are about 53 minutes in length each and they really drag at times. I think that this concept could have worked much better with 35 minute episodes. I understand the need to build up character development through a slow burn approach, but I found myself tuning out quite a bit.

Dark and depressing.

I went into this series hoping for some welcomed horror and I found myself really upset watching each episode. The episodes are emotionally unsettling, which isn’t necessarily a con, but it didn’t help with the slower pace. Other than episodes 1, 5, and 8 (the best episodes of the series for me), the rest of the episodes were dragged out and forgettable, but they did have some worthy performances that should be noted.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m about 50/50 on this one.

I appreciated the different take on horror here and I was drawn in for a few of the episodes, but I was disappointed overall and thought that the episodes were way too long. If you are looking for an anthology horror-esque show other than American Horror Story, I recommend The Haunting of Hill House (season 2 drops next week) or Hulu’s Into the Dark, which had a unique seasonal theme.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Monsterland in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

 

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The Babysitter: Killer Queen” on Netflix: They’re Back

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Join us and be the best version of yourself…”

The Babysitter: Killer Queen is the sequel to the brilliant horror comedy, The Babysitter, which starred Samara Weaving. The sequel was released on Netflix on September 10th 2020 and runs for an hour and forty-five minutes. It stars Judah Lewis, Emily Alyn Lind, Jenna Ortega, Bella Thorne, and Robbie Amell.

In the sequel, we catch up with Cole approximately two years after that fateful night when his babysitter and her demonic cult friends tried to have him sacrificed to the devil.

Here is the trailer:

The Babysitter: Killer Queen has a difficult job, as it is tasked with keeping up with the original film, which was just pure horror comedy fun. The sequel lacks the presence of Samara Weaving as its lead, which does give other supporting characters the chance to step into the spotlight. But does it measure up? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

 

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 1

Images courtesy of Netflix

Our favorite characters return!

Well, we are missing one key character, but I have to say that it was a lot of fun to see our favorite demonic cult misfits return from the dead. Sonya is back with cookies, Allison explains the difference between “fuck-me pumps” and “fuck-you pumps,” John shows off his dance moves, and Max just wants to kill people and is actually really psyched to see Cole showing some improvements since he was last here.

The humor and chemistry between these characters is pure magic. More please!

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 2

Images courtesy of Netflix

Jenna Ortega steals the show.

If you’re like me, then you may be worried that the film is missing something without Samara Weaving, but luckily Jenna Ortega steps in perfectly as the character to root for. New girl, Phoebe, is bad-ass and then some. She really gave quite the performance and I have to say that I actually preferred her to Cole.

He could really learn a thing or two from her…and perhaps he will. I loved Jenna Ortega in You season 2 and I am looking forward to seeing her in Scream 5, but she definitely delivered in this film.

A satisfying ending.

There will be no spoilers in this review, but let’s just say that you will definitely want to stick around for the end. A lot is revealed and it actually helped turn the film around for me. 

The Cons:

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 3

Images courtesy of Netflix

Too much set-up and way too long.

The first film ran for about 85 minutes, which was the perfect length. We got a little set-up in the beginning and then we were thrown into the heart of the movie rather quickly, which kept up the fun and pace. In the sequel, the movie really drags and is much too long. We get a lot of set-up about Cole’s life in the beginning which I could have personally done without.

Flashy over-the-top scenes.

Even though the kills were outrageous in the first film, they somehow felt more raw and believable. The kills and effects in this film were way over-the-top and just felt silly at times. The magic from the first film was absent in a lot of scenes, but there were some flickers of it here and there.

So am I in or out?

The Babysitter Killer Queen Netflix 4

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one.

I absolutely adored the first film and I had high hopes for the sequel, but it felt like the same plot in a different setting for the majority of the movie. There wasn’t anything really original about the film, but it did have its charms. While not all of the humor landed, there were some parts that were genuinely funny and I loved the chemistry between the characters.

The ending helped make this film a lot more enjoyable, but not every film should get a sequel…

That being said, there are glimmers of fun and nostalgia in this film and I think that it is worthy of a watch if you are a fan of the first film. 

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Babysitter: Killer Queen in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you have time, I would love it if you would check out my book, Dash and Seek in the link below. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Dash and Seek is available here!

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Ranking the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” movies from Best to Worst

“What you waiting for, huh? What are you waiting for?!”

I Know What You Did Last Summer 4

Images courtesy of Showtime

A question that all fans of IKWYDLS know all too well. The popular film franchise is based on the book by Lois Duncan, which I actually read before I saw the first film. If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it. Things happen differently in the book, which may allow some of your favorite characters to get some deserved redemption.

When I think about 90’s slasher movies, I automatically jump to films like Scream, IKWYDLS and Urban Legend. They are fun, entertaining, and they keep you on the edge of your seat. Humor and teen drama weaves its way in while we witness some pretty intense scares as well.

I was super excited that Showtime added the IKWYDLS films to its lineup, which gave me a chance to catch up on all three films. Yes, there are three films…we’ll get to that later. The deadly fisherman with a hook for a hand becomes all too real after four friends make a fatal mistake that will haunt them forever…or at least for the next few summers.

Please note some spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the I Know What You Did Last Summer films and why.

1

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

I Know What You Did Last Summer 1

Images courtesy of Showtime

The original film is the best one by a landslide. Released in 1997, it stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillippe.

There is something really unsettling about this film in all the right ways. The villain is truly terrifying, the music is creepy, and some of the scares still haunt me till now. Seriously, I check my closet every single night before I got to sleep because of what happened to poor Helen (SMG).

I Know What You Did Last Summer 2

Images courtesy of Showtime

The characters are far from perfect. They make a terrible mistake that comes back to haunt them. The killer doesn’t just want to eliminate them…he wants to mess with them and make them question everything and everyone around them.

Standout Death: 

Spoiler alert. Do not read if you have not seen this movie!

I Know What You Did Last Summer 5

Images courtesy of Showtime

Helen Shivers played by Sarah Michelle Gellar had the potential to be a fantastic Final Girl, but Julie James took that crown. However, her chase scene leading to her tragic death may be one of my favorite scenes in any slasher movie. I was rooting for her the entire time and the film really shook things up by killing her off. I’m still mad about it…

2

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer 1

Images courtesy of Showtime

The sequel is really not that bad. Released in 1998, it stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, and Mekhi Phifer. Julie James is back and wins a trip to the Bahamas with her roommate, Karla. Julie and Ray are on the rocks, but luckily our favorite fisherman shows up in a few clutch moments.

While some of this movie is slightly outrageous, we do get some fun characters, including one played by Jack Black. We witness a fun karaoke performance, a tanning bed nightmare, and a lot of rain to really add to the ambiance.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer 3

Images courtesy of Showtime

Plus, there is a pretty big twist at the end which did help things.

Standout Death: 

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer 5

Images courtesy of Showtime

Not a death scene, but the tanning bed scene does come to mind. Julie decides to try and relax, but the killer locks the tanning bed, which is beyond terrifying.

3

I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006)

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

Images courtesy of Showtime

So, I had no idea for the longest time that this film even existed and after watching it, I know why. The film was released in 2006 and it stars Brooke Nevin, David Paetkau, and Torrey DeVito. None of the original cast appear in this film although we do get a brief mention about what happened to them when the new characters are researching our infamous fisherman killer, Ben Willis.

The beginning of this film is actually kind of interesting. The group of friends decide to play a prank on everyone that actually ends up deadly and they try to cover it up.

That’s pretty much the only interesting part of the movie. The acting is horrible, the kills are gory, but eh, and the twist at the end is so ridiculous that you may think you actually fell asleep during the movie. I won’t reveal the twist here, but wow…and not in a good way.

Standout Death: 

The tractor scene comes to mind, but honestly nothing really sticks out on this one.

I almost wish this movie had come out with a different name. It really doesn’t do the franchise any favors.

While there have been talks about an IKWYDLS television series, I haven’t seen too much on this. I would honestly love to see IKWYDLS take a page out of Scream’s book and give us a film with the original characters while introducing us to a new set of potential victims. Maybe Ben’s son had a son…or daughter? Just a thought…

Which I Know What You Did Last Summer films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on the IKWYDLS films in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you enjoy the IKWYDLS movies, you may enjoy Dash and Seek! I would love it if you would check it out in the link below. Thank you so much!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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READ IF YOU DARE…

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Spoiler-Free Review of “We Summon the Darkness” on Netflix: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“There is a lot of evil out there…and you seem like nice girls.”

We Summon the Darkness follows three female friends on a road trip during the 80’s, as they head out to a heavy metal rock fest. The film was released on Netflix on August 8th 2020 and is 90 minutes in length. It stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Johnny Knoxville.

The girls meet some male strangers during the metal rock fest and invite them back to their vacation home, but things take an unexpected twist when sadistic intentions are revealed.

Here is the trailer:

We Summon the Darkness takes a shot at nailing the 80’s slasher/thriller vibe and has an attractive and talented cast, but does the film do enough to truly stand out when so many other films and shows are channeling some 80’s nostalgia? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

We Summon the Darkness Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Nailed the 80’s vibe!

I love the 80’s and I know that we have been getting quite a bit of programming featuring some nostalgia, but I thought it was done so well in this film. The clothes rocked, the music was on point, and I felt myself being seamlessly transported back to another time.

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Girl power and then some!

The opening of the film immediately gave me some Death Proof vibes and I loved that. We immediately believe that these three girls are friends and are out for some harmless fun. We soon learn that these three ladies are capable of a lot more, but I thought that they all had great chemistry together and I wanted to go along for the ride.

Twists I never saw coming.

You may think that you have seen this type of movie before, but there are actually some really great twists in this one. I was thrown for a loop a few times and I think that the film did a good job of shattering some tropes while keeping us entertained.

The Cons:

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Supporting characters needed to step up.

I loved the girls, but the guys really didn’t hold my attention. Maybe that was the point, but I thought that we could have elevated these performances more and I kept forgetting about their existence to be honest.

A little something missing.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this film just needed a little bit more. It was entertaining and a lot of fun, but there was a slight edge I needed and didn’t get. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this film, but I thought it needed a slight push over to the dark side even more to make it something truly incredible.

So am I in or out?

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in about 75 percent on this one.

The movie was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the watch, but I feel like the film was inches away from being something truly brilliant. That being said, this movie fit right in to my weekend lineup and I recommend that you give it a watch for sure.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on We Summon the Darkness in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you enjoyed this film, you may like my book, Dash and Seek! I would love it if you would check it out in the link below. Thank you!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “1BR” on Netflix: Chilling and Disturbing

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

Sometimes when something seems too good to be true…it is.

1BR is a horror thriller film that released on Netflix on August 23rd 2020. The film is just over 90 minutes. It stars Nicole Brydon Bloom, Giles Matthey, Taylor Nichols, and Celeste Sully.

Sarah arrives in L.A., ready for a fresh start and is beyond excited to be selected for an apartment that seems to good to be true. She soon realizes that the over-friendly community may be hiding something, but once you move in, you can’t always move out…

Seriously, you can keep that security deposit…

Here is the trailer:

1BR cuts right to the chase, immersing us in a cult-like setting that will have you on the edge of your seat. As pieces of the puzzle unravel, Sarah must figure out where her loyalties truly lie, but the consequences of betrayal are beyond terrifying.

1BR keeps the terrifying thrills coming throughout the film, but is it truly worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

1BR Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

We cut right to the chase.

There is a little setup in the beginning of the film as we are introduced to Sarah. We learn that she left her father to start over in L.A. and has a dream of becoming a costume designer while working as a temp in the meantime.

Sarah is a loner without any attachments, but that’s all we really know about her. Once she moves in to her new apartment, the weird occurrences and thrills are released, maintaining a fast pace throughout the film, which worked perfectly in my opinion.

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Extremely terrifying.

I was actually really frightened throughout this entire movie. There is this fear that cuts deep to your core when some unspeakable acts involve people. There’s nothing supernatural going on in this movie, which makes the terror that much more real.

Not predictable.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I didn’t have everything figured out and the ending left me with even more questions, sparking up a conversation worth having. In that respect, it reminded me of films like Midsommar and Get Out. There is just a lot to talk about, which is a good thing.

The Cons:

1BR Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Not for sensitive viewers.

There is an advisory for gore and they are spot on. There were some scenes that were very difficult for me to watch. This is not necessarily a con, but I do want to put this warning out there.

So am I in or out?

1BR Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent!

This movie was unique and disturbing without holding anything back. If you are looking for a terrifying thriller, you’re in the right place!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on 1BR in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you enjoyed 1BR, you may enjoy my horror thriller book, Dash and Seek. I’d love it if you would check it out in the link below! Thank you!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

Main promo smaller

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!