Spoiler-Free Review of “Brazen” on Netflix: Alyssa Milano gives it her all

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

“She didn’t expect to die that night…”

Brazen released on January 13th 2022 on Netflix. The mystery thriller film based on the novel by Nora Roberts stars Alyssa Milano, Samuel Page, Emilie Ullerup and Malachi Weir. The film runs for approximately an hour and 35 minutes.

Famous author, Grace Miller desperately tries to solve her sister’s murder with the help of a neighbor detective, as she soon stumbles upon dark and dangerous secrets along the way.

Here is the trailer:

Brazen has a decent premise with a guilty-pleasure mystery core, but does this film do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

A mystery that pulls you in.

I actually thought the mystery was a solid one. I was pulled in and I loved the secrets revealed along the way. There were plenty of twists and turns thrown our way as well to keep us invested until the end of the film.

Images courtesy of Netflix

Alyssa Milano puts forth a valiant effort.

As soon as I saw that she was starring in this film, it made me want to watch it that much more. The Charmed alum really tried her best with this one and she kept me watching even when things started to fall apart. I genuinely believed her performance and I was rooting for her the entire time.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Lifetime-esque nonsense.

I normally really like guilty-pleasure thrillers that have a slight Lifetime feel, but this one channeled it a little bit too much. There were ridiculous romance scenes that didn’t make sense with what was going on and a lot of overacting and silly dialogue. Even though the mystery was a good one, it was often drowned out by some of this unnecessary fluff.

Really predictable…

I was hoping for a major twist, but I saw the reveal at the end coming a mile away. It was just so obvious and I don’t think the film executed it properly. Perhaps I should have read the book instead because this was really disappointing.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m 50/50 on this one…

If you enjoy guilty-pleasure soapy thrillers, you can absolutely give this one a whirl, but I think you are better off watching My Secret Obsession on Netflix instead, which did a better job of balancing the Lifetime feel. The mystery is decent enough, but I would manage your expectations accordingly with this one.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Brazen 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 is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Scream Hunt is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “One of Us Is Lying” on Peacock: Everyone is a Suspect

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

“Everybody has secrets…right?”

One of Us Is Lying is a new teen mystery drama series based on the best-selling book of the same name. It premiered on October 7th 2021, featuring six episodes available to stream now on Peacock (approximately 45-48 minutes in length). The remaining two episodes will air on October 21st 2021. The show stars Marianly Tejada, Cooper van Grootel, Annalisa Cochrane, Chibuikem Uche, and Mark McKenna.

One of Us Is Lying introduces us to five teens who wind up with detention, but things get interesting when one of them doesn’t make it out alive, involving them all within the mystery surrounding the death. The remaining characters try to cope with the aftermath, as we soon learn that they all have motives to murder their classmate, but who is the killer?

Here is the trailer:

One of Us Is Lying is very much Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, but does it do enough to step away from the teenage clichés it wants to comment on? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

One of Us Is Lying Spoiler Free 1

Images courtesy of Peacock

A solid mystery to keep you coming back for more.

Sure, I’ve seen this type of show before and I actually recently read this book as well, but I do think this mystery is decent enough to keep you hitting play on the next episode. It keeps you guessing and it reels the audience in that much more to keep you invested from start to finish.

Uses the gossip app in a more strategic way than some of its predecessors.

I was pretty disappointed with the Gossip Girl reboot and it’s hard to be relevant and original when so many of these shows overlap with similar premises, but I actually thought that this show used the gossip app more effectively.

The secrets that were exposed added to the mystery and I liked that we knew the author of the app immediately to prevent things from feeling too much like the original Gossip Girl.

The Cons:

One of Us Is Lying Spoiler Free 2

Images courtesy of Peacock

Fits neatly into the tropes it comments on…

The narrator in the opening episode talks about the clicks and clichés in your typical high school setting, but the show doesn’t actually do anything to set itself apart from this. Making a comment on it is not enough for me.

All of the characters fit neatly into tropes we have seen before in these types of high school mysteries and while the characters have some redeeming qualities, I wanted something a little bit deeper here.

So am I in or out?

One of Us Is Lying Spoiler Free 3

Images courtesy of Peacock

I’m in about 75 percent…

I like this type of show and I enjoyed the book for the most part. So far I am invested during my watch and I think that the mystery is good enough to keep you coming back for more. I would have liked to see this show take a few more risks and step out of its comfort zone so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of other teen mystery dramas, but it still is entertaining enough and the quick release of the episodes makes it easy to binge-watch.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on One of Us Is Lying 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…

Unmask killer promo

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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Spoiler-Free Review of “Werewolves Within” on Demand: A Supernatural Murder Mystery

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

“Yeah this town is batshit…”

Werewolves Within originally released on June 25th 2021. The film is currently available to rent on demand. It stars Sam Richardson, Milana Vayntrub, Harvey Guillen, Cheyenne Jackson, Catherine Curtin and Michaela Watkins. It is approximately 90 minutes long.

When a new ranger arrives in a small town, he quickly finds himself thrown into a murder mystery when several residents are trapped together in the local inn after a snowstorm. Everyone is a suspect as they start to realize that they may actually be dealing with a ruthless werewolf.

Here is the trailer:

Werewolves Within has the potential to provide us with horror comedy gold, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of IFC Films

The who-dun-it style works.

It seems like a lot of recent films are following the murder mystery approach, but it works in this film. This film gave off vibes of Clue and Knives Out with its own voice as well. The characters are a lot of fun as well and Sam Richardson has great chemistry with Milana Vayntrub which made this an entertaining watch.

Fun horror comedy.

I love horror comedies and I don’t think they are talked about enough, but this film could easily fit right in with Tucker and Dale vs Evil. While I wouldn’t say that all the humor landed, a lot of it just worked effortlessly. 

The Cons:

Images courtesy of IFC Films

Pacing issues.

The majority of the film focuses on the set-up of everything. We spend so much time getting to know the players and watching them interact, but it almost took away from the best part of the movie when everything hits the fan. The ending was great but it took a little too long to get there.

I could have done without the political/social commentary.

While some moments were genuinely hilarious and a lot of fun, others felt really forced. The references were overdone at one point. Sometimes less is more and I think that Werewolves Within was decent, but it could have been better if it had just embraced the simple plot without overthinking things.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of IFC Films

I’m in!

I love horror comedies and I think that this film was entertaining overall and worth a watch. Sam Richardson is truly fantastic and there are some laugh out loud moments. The second half of the film is a lot stronger than the first and there are some rough edges, but there is enough going on in this film to enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Werewolves Within 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 “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu: Offbeat Who-Dun-It Mystery

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

“All the eyes on you all the time…”

Only Murders in the Building premiered on Hulu on August 31st 2021. The comedy crime series will have ten episodes in total. The first three are available to stream now and the remaining seven will air weekly. The show stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. Each episodes runs for approximately 30-35 minutes.

Three strangers with an obsession for a true crime podcast come together to solve a mystery in their apartment building in New York City.

Here is the trailer:

Only Murders in the Building has a quirky appeal with layered characters and a mystery at its core to draw us in for more. Does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Intriguing characters.

This group may seem odd, but that’s why it works. We’re supposed to believe that they are three strangers living in the same apartment building and that’s exactly what we get. I thought the set-up to bring them all together was clever and well done and I wanted to know more about our main characters right away.

Selena Gomez is really lighting up the screen and holding her own. Her character is so interesting and her dry sarcasm is clashing brilliantly with her two co-stars. 

I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Images courtesy of Hulu

A murder mystery balanced with character development.

The show kind of reminds me of a mash-up between The Flight Attendant, Nancy Drew, and The White Lotus. We get the mystery at the very beginning of the show to hook us right from the start, but we also spend a lot of time on our three characters. They each have secrets and issues going on in their lives that we are going to explore and we immediately want to invest in them.

The show also balances in humor quite well to prevent the episodes from feeling too heavy and I like that the episodes are only about thirty minutes each, which keeps the pacing going.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Goes slightly off track…

Some of the Martin Short scenes and flashbacks went slightly off track for me. I’m confident that everything will connect later on but I found myself losing focus a few times. Once we got back to the mystery, I was all in but this show can easily go off the rails if it isn’t careful.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in!

This show is quirky and fun with a solid mystery at its core.

I have already fallen in love with the characters and the show is doing a good job of pulling us in for more. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Only Murders in the Building 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!

**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!

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” season 1 episode 3: “You Tell Or I Will”

Greetings TV fans!  After watching Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists season 1 episode 3, I realized that Ava asked an important question:  “How do you act normal when nothing in your life is normal…when you’re forced to trust people you hardly know?”  Especially when your new circle of trust has a lot of secrets and “nothing stays secret forever.”  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “…If One of Them Is Dead,” Dana Booker continues to try to “divide and conquer,” to get to the bottom of Nolan’s murder.  Meanwhile, Alison continues to rely on Mona for help and discovers some hidden truths along the way.  My top 5 moments from Pretty Little Liars:  The Perfectionists  season 1 episode 3 are:

5

“I know a liar when I see one.”

In this episode, Dana Booker continues to consult with Nolan’s mother, Claire, as they suspect Caitlin, Ava, and Dylan’s involvement in the murder.  Claire explains that she will focus on Caitlin, as she will not want to risk her family’s future.  Claire seems to be very interested in Caitlin specifically, but why?  We know that Claire is very much aware of Caitlin’s mother’s potential scandal, but is there something more to this to further her own agenda?  Is she perhaps the one blackmailing Caitlin’s mother to begin with?  I have a lot of questions here, but it looks like manipulation doesn’t fall far from the tree, as I am starting to see where Nolan got his own blackmailing skills from.  Either way, it looks like Claire is not someone to be taken lightly and could end up being a major threat later on.

4

“She’s trying to divide and conquer us.”

Ava, Caitlin, and Dylan are happy that Alison provided them all with alibis, but they don’t know her well enough to trust her completely just yet.  They recognize that they all need to stick together, but their secrets are out there, which makes this no easy task.  They quickly realize that Dana is trying to split them up and get them to turn on one another, but will they be able to outsmart her?  We’ll have to wait and see, but it looks like these three are not getting split up anytime soon.

3

“You went out of your way to do something nice for me.”

Ava is having an extremely difficult time coping with Nolan’s death, as she turns to alcohol to numb her pain.  Most of Ava’s friendships seem to be on the superficial level so it looks like she could really end up bonding with Caitlin and Dylan.  In a touching moment, Caitlin brings Ava the present that Claire gave her, recognizing that Nolan must have meant for her to have it.  Ava is clearly moved by this gesture and I think this just solidified a new friendship between these two for good.  Later on, Dylan asks Caitlin and Ava to listen to the music piece he created for his boyfriend, which is extremely touching as well.

2

“You tell or I will.”

After tracking down a lead at the cabin Nolan went to, Ava, Caitlin, and Dylan smell something funky in the car.  They take a page out of I Know What You Did Last Summer’s book, as they discover a dead rat in the trunk along with a threatening note.  So who wrote the note and what exactly do they want?  Later on, Caitlin discovers the same gum wrapper that was in the woods, which belongs to Mason.  So is Mason the one who witnessed everything in the woods or is this a little bit too obvious?

1

“But we need to do our suspicious activity.”

Alison goes to Mona for help again, but Mona is upset to find out that she has been locked out of the network.  Alison and Mona recognize that they need to channel some old school Nancy Drew detective skills to find out more, as Mona hands over an old yearbook to Alison.  Alison begins questioning her own witnesses and tracking down leads that bring her to the very same cabin, but it looks like Alison has discovered something very important.  Alison finds the same rose that she saw in one of the memorial pictures for Taylor and starts to realize that Taylor may be alive.  After all, Alison is no stranger to faking her own death, but will she find herself in even more trouble once she continues to follow this trail of breadcrumbs?  Stay tuned!

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

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Feb 2019

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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**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!