**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…
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 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?
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!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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