Spoiler-Free Review of “Safer at Home” on Hulu: Excessive Gimmicks get in the way of True Thrills

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

“It could get worse before it gets better.”

Safer at Home is a horror thriller film that premiered on February 26th 2021. It is currently available to stream on Hulu. The film stars Jocelyn Hudon, Alisa Allapach, Dan Johnson, Adwin Brown and Emma Lahana. It runs for approximately an hour and twenty-five minutes.

The film takes place during the pandemic as we learn that a mandatory quarantine is still in effect well into the year 2022. A group of friends get together on Zoom for some fun when a horrific event takes over the night.

Here is the trailer:

Safer at Home attempts to channel the horrific real world events going on while creating some isolating terror of its own. After watching Shudder’s Host, it seems like many other films are anxious to find their own groove using Zoom and technology, but is this particular film worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Some disturbing chills early on.

This movie follows films like Unfriended, Searching, and Host, with a found-footage technology centered approach. This may be wearing out its welcome now, but the initial shots were somewhat believable as these friends come together to catch up during the pandemic. The actors do the best they can with what they have and portray friendships and relationships worth investing in.

I thought there were actually some really intense moments when things escalated during the online party and the initial horrific event did grab my full attention.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Hulu

Far-fetched nonsense.

This film had the potential to be really good. The initial horrific event had me on the edge of my seat and we had some moments of set-up that could have branched out into something truly extraordinary, but the movie took another route and it became far-fetched and ridiculous. It wasn’t scary anymore and it just felt sloppy.

Jam-packed with too much.

My other issue was this film was overstuffed with so much and it almost felt like they made a checklist of all of things going on in 2020 and checked them off as the film continued…

The ending was somewhat shocking, but I had almost completely tuned out by that point and it wasn’t enough to save this movie.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Hulu

Unfortunately I’m out on this one…

The opening of the film had some potential, but it quickly went off track and it failed to capture my attention. If you are looking for a similar premise that is actually terrifying, check out Host on Shudder instead.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Safer at Home 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 “Head Count” on Shudder: Beware the number Five

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

“A Hisji is a vengeful thing. Five times its name you never sing. With skin pale white and eyes of green. It’s something you’ve already seen…”

Head Count premiered on Shudder in February 2021, but the film was originally released back in 2018. The film stars Isaac Jay, Ashleigh Morghan, Bevin Bru, and Cooper Rowe. It is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

After visiting his brother out in Joshua Tree, California, Evan meets a group of friends who invite him over for some seemingly harmless fun, but all goes horribly wrong when they begin telling ghost stories around the fire and one becomes a disturbing reality, as they summon a paranormal presence unknowingly.

Here is the trailer:

Head Count leaves the jump scares behind and focuses more on a slow burn terror that latches on to you with intensity, but does its ambiguity get in the way? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Head Count Spoiler Free Review 1

Images courtesy of Shudder

Unsettling terror.

I think that this film really delivered with its slow burn approach. The pacing still worked and I was invested in what was going on the entire time. I thought that the fear really built up well and maintained suspense without revealing too much too soon.

Head Count Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of Shudder

Unique mystery.

I’ve seen plenty of films that involve a group of teens summoning an evil spirit by accident, but this film kept me guessing. I enjoyed the focus on numbers and the clues were well placed and chilling on their own.

The Cons:

Head Count Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of Shudder

Forgettable characters.

There were a few glimmers here and there, but the majority of the characters were just kind of there for the ride. I didn’t really care about what happened to them and I wanted to feel connected to at least a few of them.

I thought that Camille and Evan were the best out of the bunch, but I just wanted some more layers presented to us.

So am I in or out?

Head Count Spoiler Free Review 4

Images courtesy of Shudder

I’m in!

I thought that this movie really stood out and it kept me invested the entire time. The fear felt very real and unsettling. I thought that the ending was satisfying and even though it was left kind of ambiguous, that worked for me. Not everything was explained and I still have a lot of questions, but that means this film effectively created a conversation worth having.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Head Count 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…

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!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “A Discovery of Witches” Season 2 on Shudder: Let’s do the Time Walk again

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

“Wherever they are, they can’t stay gone forever…”

A Discovery of Witches season 2 premiered on Sky TV, Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC plus on January 8th 2021 with the first episode available to stream now. There will be ten episodes in total that will air weekly. The series stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Malin Buska, and Owen Teale. Each episode runs for approximately 45 minutes. 

Picking up right where we left off at the end of season one, A Discovery of Witches season 2 seems to be following the second book in the All Souls Trilogy series. Diana Bishop is a witch and a time walker, which allows her and Matthew the chance to travel back in time to find the lost text that everyone is desperate to get their hands on.

Here is the trailer:

A Discovery of Witches season 2 has the opportunity to really pick things up, but it looks like the plot may be straying slightly off course from the beloved book series. Will it measure up? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

A Discovery of Witches Diana Bishop

Images courtesy of Shudder

Visually stunning and gorgeous costumes.

The change in time and scenery really helped this show stand out visually. I almost felt like I was watching several paintings come to life through each transition and it looks like Teresa Palmer will be getting quite the wardrobe while stuck in the late 1500’s.

Intriguing plot.

The second book of the series is my favorite so I am very excited to see how the show measures up. So far the premiere is off to a good start, leaving us with a cliffhanger ending and some dark theories potentially tainting the love between Diana and Matthew. Deborah Harkness has posted that there will be some differences between the book and the show, which could be a very good thing. I often like to see a good balance between the two and so far the show has been succeeding with this.

The Cons:

A Discovery of Witches season 2

Images courtesy of Shudder

Slow pacing.

Much like the first season, the second season is already moving at a slower pace. This isn’t necessarily a con because I think it has a Gothic romance type of feel in many parts, but I’m ready for Diana to unleash some crazy power already. We have a ways to go with season two and I’m hoping we will reach that point, but I don’t want the episodes to feel overly long at only 45 minutes each.

So am I in or out?

A Discovery of Witches season 2 2

Images courtesy of Shudder

I’m in!

I am a devoted fan to this book series and I was satisfied with season one. I’m looking forward to the change in time and scenery for season 2 and I am confident that we will see Diana start to tap into more abilities to liven things up.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on A Discovery of Witches (season 2) in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

Girl Number Thirteen Lurking Promo

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

Girl Number Thirteen 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!

Spoiler-Free Review of “A Discovery of Witches” season 1: To Stream or not to Stream

“It begins with absence and desire.  It begins with blood and fear.  It begins with A Discovery of Witches.”  Based on the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, the television series follows Diana Bishop, played by Teresa Palmer, an alchemist and a reluctant witch, who comes across “Ashmole 782,” which is a mysterious text that has been missing for quite some time and is desired by many witches, vampires, and demons.  After discovering the text, Diana crosses paths with a vampire named Matthew Clairmont, played by Matthew Goode.  Can you guess what comes next?  Of course there is a love story, which makes things complicated, as witches and vampires are forbidden from being together.

So am I in or out?  I was initially very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 8 episodes on Sundance Now and Shudder.  I have read the trilogy and I absolutely adored the first book in particular.  When I started the television series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be slow moving at times and other characters are introduced a little bit too much, which caused me to continue to go back to see who everyone was and why they were there.  So to stream or not to stream?  If you are a fan of Twilight or The Originals, you will enjoy the series.

There are only 8 episodes, but I felt like things didn’t really get going until episode 6.  The love story is moving enough, the acting was impressive despite some empty conversation starters, and there were even some formidable villains.  You will most likely connect more with Matthew than Diana.  Think Mr. Darcy if he were a vampire.  I was also very impressed with Satu played by Malin Buska, who was absolutely brilliant.

I very much enjoyed the history of the witches and Diana discovering her powers along with the introduction of dark magic, but I would have liked to see a better balance here.  I understand the need to focus around the love story, but I think this might actually turn some fans away, as it is somewhat similar to Twilight, which could be off-putting, even though I ship Diana and Matthew a lot more than Bella and Edward.  When I read the book series, I fell in love with the creepy library atmosphere and the mystery behind discovering the text, which was glossed over very quickly on the show.  The series has gotten a lot of attention in the UK and has already been renewed for seasons 2 and 3, which opens the door to more time walking and more magic.  If you are a fan of the book series, I think you will enjoy the show and appreciate how much they try to incorporate everything, but if you are a casual fan, it may miss the mark for you.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving a good supernatural love story.  However, if you are looking for something dark and disturbing, this may not be your cup of tea.

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy 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!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

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

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover