Spoiler-Free Review of “House of Darkness” on Hulu: Justin Long should Steer Clear of Creepy Houses…

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

“Once upon a time…”

House of Darkness released on Hulu on January 7th 2023. The supernatural horror film stars Justin Long, Kate Bosworth, Gia Crovatin, and Lucy Walters. It runs for approximately an hour and twenty-eight minutes.

After meeting a mysterious woman at a bar, Hap agrees to drive her home, which turns out to be an extravagant mansion in the middle of nowhere. After she invites him inside for drinks and conversation, things take a sinister turn.

Here is the trailer:

House of Darkness has a great cast and a killer premise, but does this slow burn film pay off in the end? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Great cast.

Justin Long is no stranger to horror films so I was super excited about him starring in this one. Kate Bosworth was fantastic as always and I thought she played her part very well. Even the supporting characters did a great job with what they were given. The performances were the best part of this film and I’m not sure that I would have kept watching this one without this cast.

Enjoyable scenery.

Even though the film was primarily shot in just a few rooms in the mansion, they had such a Gothic feel. The use of dim lighting, the fireplace, and even the furniture created a vibe that accompanied this film very well. There was very little background noise or music in this film, allowing me to concentrate on a lot of other details while the plot unfolded.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Serious pacing issues…

This film was just under 90 minutes long, but it felt like I was watching it FOREVER at one point. I’m all for a good slow burn, but this one desperately needed something to happen. The dialogue was awkward and excruciating at times and if it weren’t for Justin Long and Kate Bosworth, I would have turned off the movie.

Don’t get me wrong, something finally happened in the end, but I’m not sure that the payoff was that rewarding. It was predictable and could have happened much sooner…

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m 50/50 on this one…

I’m in for Justin Long and Kate Bosworth, but this film fell flat, leaving me wanting so much more, which was really disappointing.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The I-Land” on Netflix: “LOST” Fan Fiction Gone Wrong

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

So I casually turned on Netflix yesterday and a trailer popped up for The I-Land.  I immediately felt like it was a cheesy LOST ripoff, but the LOST fan in me was beyond curious, so I gave it a whirl and I ended up watching the entire show in one day.  At first I thought that the show was meant to be a spoof, but I quickly learned that the show was trying to find an identity for itself, although I’m not sure it ever quite found it.

The I-Land is coded as a limited series and it features 7 episodes that are about 40 minutes in length each.  It stars Natalie Martinez, Kate Bosworth, Ronald Peet, and Sibylla Deen. 

Several strangers wake up on a deserted island and don’t remember anything about who they are and how they got there.  Tempers immediately flare and mysteries start to unlock, attempting to give us LOST meets The Matrix.  The strangers quickly realize that the island is extremely dangerous, but perhaps the biggest threat lies among them.

The Pros:

I Land 9 16 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Lots of twists and sharks…did I mention sharks?

The show does provide us with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, bringing us along for the ride.  I love shark movies so I’m always up for some toothy predators and the show continues to provide us with some twists until the very end.  Not all of them are satisfying, but they did keep my attention.

The cast.

I’m a huge Kate Bosworth fan and Blue Crush is one of my go-to guilty pleasure movies.  After all, it’s a cruel, cruel summer.  I also enjoyed Natalie Martinez’s performance in Into the Dark’s “Down” episode on Hulu, so I was excited to see her on this show as well.  The cast had a lot of potential, but a lot of that potential was stifled by some poor dialogue, but I liked their performances and characters enough to care about what happened to them…at least somewhat.

The flashbacks.

The flashback pieces were actually really interesting and I wish the show had spent more time on this rather than on some of their outrageous plot shifts.  In particular, K.C.’s flashback (Bosworth) was probably the most interesting part of the show and I don’t understand why these flashbacks didn’t start occurring until the show was almost over.  They could have been introduced and sprinkled throughout the show, which would have probably prevented so many viewers from tuning out after watching 1 or 2 episodes.

The Cons:

I Land 9 16 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

A really poor imitation of LOST.

The first episode literally opens with the main character’s eye opening, as she takes in her surroundings and sees the island.  Does this sound familiar?  That’s the exact opening of LOST and the similarities don’t stop here.  We get a failed attempt at some kind of love triangle and the fade-out music sounds a lot like the soundtrack behind LOST, which honestly just irritated me.  The show is actually different from LOST, but these obnoxious ripoffs will not help viewers tune in more if that was the goal.

The dialogue is atrocious.

I mean really atrocious.  “Hey, you seem like a bitch…no you do!”  “How do you think we got here?  I don’t know.”  Seriously it was like pulling teeth during certain parts and I don’t know why the most animated conversation involved a character’s right to sunbathe.  Good thing those sharks broke up the party.  I was cheering for them at this point.

The show is all over the place.

Once we get to episode 3, we start learning about the secrets of the island and we get more of a sci-fi feel.  The first two episodes were so bad that I almost didn’t care at this point.  However, since there were only 7 episodes, I continued to watch and we did get some interesting moments.  I just don’t understand why we waited until the very end of the series to bring in some of these more worthy elements.

So am I in or out? 

I Land 9 16 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Unfortunately, I am out on this one.  The LOST fan in me is extremely annoyed and angry, but I’m mostly out because this show actually had a real glimmer of potential.  If the show had focused more on introducing us to the interesting flashbacks, they may have actually kept their audience.  The talent of the actors was completely wasted on this and the twist at the end was not very satisfying.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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