Spoiler-Free Review of “The White Lotus” on HBO Max: I’m On Vacation!

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

“Have a nice vacation…”

The White Lotus premiered on HBO Max on July 11th 2021. All six episodes are available to stream now. The limited series stars Alexandra Daddario, Jennifer Coolidge, Steve Zahn, Jake Lacy, Murray Bartlett, Sydney Sweeney, Brittany O’Grady, and Connie Britton. Each episode runs for approximately 60 minutes.

Written and directed by Mike White, the satire-dramedy follows several people on vacation in Hawaii as they attempt to deal with their issues while interacting with the staff at the White Lotus Resort and Spa.

Here is the trailer:

The White Lotus has a fantastic cast and a good balance of dark humor and drama to make a statement, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Exceptional characters.

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get when I started watching this show, but I found myself really connecting to a lot of the characters. Some of them were outrageous and extreme while others were just trying to form a true sense of self-realization. None of the characters were perfect. In fact, they were all far from it and constantly making mistakes, but I thought this made this show that much more real and interesting.

Standout character for me: Paula (O’Grady).

A reveal worth waiting for.

The beginning of the series introduces a mystery, but it fades into the background for the majority of the show. However, once you get to the last two episodes, you start to piece things together as you discover everything with your own eyes, which I thought was extremely satisfying and I’m still in shock.

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Addicting with heart and humor.

There wasn’t really a lot going on in this show, but there was also SO MUCH going on when it came to the characters. When I got to the end of the first episode, I was intrigued but I didn’t really know what I was watching.

There were some moments that were really dark and dramatic and others that actually really had me laughing out loud, which created a necessary balance to keep me coming back for more. This show was more about the characters, but it also cleverly used satire to make a point about social class and how difficult it can be to accept any kind of change.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Extreme at times.

I know it’s HBO, but some scenes just seemed way over-the-top and slightly unnecessary. I also think that some episodes could have been a little bit shorter to keep the pacing going.

Supporting characters needed to have more development.

I really liked so many of the characters, but I thought we spent quite a bit of time on some without really developing others that were so interesting. I realize that’s sort of the point in some ways, but I really would have liked to focus more time on them because they were a lot more interesting than some of the other plot points going on.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

This show was really unique and I think it successfully created a dialogue worth having. The characters were great and there was a steady balance of dark humor and drama going on to keep you coming back for more.

While there was a mystery lingering in the air, it took a backseat to the characters and I think that was a smart decision after watching the entire show in one day. The show was really more about the people and the decisions they made. I was left with chills at the end of the season and that ending really did shock me.

The White Lotus will be returning for season 2 but with a different cast and setting.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

THIS COMPETITION IS KILLER…

When former friends, Shay and Adriana team up to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt with a cash prize, they temporarily put their differences aside to outsmart their opponents. However, they soon start to realize that a dangerous threat is playing their own version of the game, stalking them during each hunt.

Winning is now a necessity as their lives are at stake. As old wounds and memories re-surface, Shay and Adriana attempt to unmask the threat before the night is over, but soon learn that Scream Hunt is not done with them just yet…

My new young adult horror thriller comes out October 7th 2021! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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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!

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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!