*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*
“Who do you believe?”
Cruel Summer premiered on Freeform on April 20th 2021. The series is set to air ten weekly episodes. It stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Harley Quinn Smith, Michael Landes, and Froy Gutierrez. Each episode runs for approximately 50 minutes.
The events we witness take place over three summers in the 1990’s as a teen goes missing and another girl mysteriously takes her place.
Here is the trailer:
Cruel Summer adapts a typical teen thriller formula into something different by presenting us with three timelines that jump back and forth. It’s something bold and unique, but does it get in the way of this already entertaining plot? Let’s find out…
Images courtesy of Freeform
Mean Girls meets Single White Female.
Sure, it’s been done before, but this is a formula for success. I really loved this vibe and I was drawn into the plot and mystery completely. I can’t predict what is going on and I am actually really excited to see what happens next.
I also really like that I’m not sure who to root for just yet. The opening two episodes present us with different perspectives and of course things are not as they seem.
The performances are actually pretty on point and I thought that Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith was really great and I’m excited to see her in this role.
Images courtesy of Freeform
Much like Little Fires Everywhere, this show is also bringing us some 90’s nostalgia with the fashion and music soundtrack. I’m not sure it was truly necessary for this show, but it’s an added bonus and I am enjoying the throwback so far.
Images courtesy of Freeform
Trippy time jumps.
While I appreciate that this show is trying to do something different, the trippy time jumps become really confusing and distracting. I actually think that the show is really good without these flashes every few minutes and while the actresses do a great job of reminding us which Jeanette and Kate we are dealing with, my head started to hurt after a while.
So am I in or out?
Images courtesy of Freeform
Even with the trippy time jumps, this show is really addicting. I think that it might quickly become one of my favorite shows and I am really excited to see the mystery unfold over the next several weeks.
I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Cruel Summerin the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…
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!
“So who wants to go next?” If you have ever watched the movie, The Craft, then you know about the slumber party game, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Maybe you tried this out in your own basement and failed miserably or maybe you called your mom to pick you up early from a sleepover party just to avoid this very type of game. No judgment please. Either way, this show focuses around that very same game with an added twist that will have you wondering if any slumber party game is safe. After watching Truth or Dareearlier this year, I’m having my doubts.
The Hulu series is based on the book by Zoe Aarsen and follows a group of teenage girls who enjoy pre-gaming at a cemetery as part of their Halloween tradition. A night of seemingly harmless fun turns into something dark and twisted, as each character hears a description of how they will die before they are levitated by the group. While this is not the version of the game I remember, it certainly adds for dramatic effect, especially when the characters realize that they are in danger of dying that way in real life.
The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Hulu as of October 12th 2018. After watching all of the episodes in one day, I can tell you that the series can best be described as cotton candy sweet with some light and fun horror sprinkled on top.Yes please! The show reminded me of a mix betweenPretty Little Liars and The Craft and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised overall. If you are looking for jump scares or nightmare-worthy horror, this is not necessarily the show for you, but there are some cringe-worthy moments for sure. October is the perfect month to watch your fair share of horror and and Light as a Feather delivers as a binge-watching worthy treat. Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience. My top 5 reasons to check out Light as a Feather are:
A concept that immediately draws you in.
The fact that we are all familiar with the slumber party game, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” definitely helps draw you into this show right away. The show also does a great job of diving right in and not giving you too much back story that will have you tuning out. While we do get to learn about each character, I thought that the flashbacks flowed together perfectly. Sure there are some moments featuring teenage drama that you may find unnecessary, but let’s not pretend like that’s a reason to turn off the show. Think Mean Girls, Heathers, and PrettyLittle Liars.
I don’t know about you, but I love to binge-watch. Each episode is about 25 minutes long so it is absolutely possible to finish this show in a weekend or even a day if you are feeling ambitious. The writers did a great job of ending each episode on a cliffhanger that will have you automatically pressing play for the next one to start. Sometimes you don’t even realize how far you have gotten because each episode is fast paced. It’s also OK to walk away for a moment and grab your popcorn if needed because you will not need to analyze every second of the show to understand what is happening. No need to rewind unless you really want to. The show is pretty straightforward and the recaps at the beginning of each episode fill you in on everything that’s important. The show is just pure entertainment without all the fuss and I have to say that I appreciated that, especially while taking a break from other shows and films that require more attention.
You can’t easily predict what is going to happen next.
You may think you have already figured out the show just from watching the preview and maybe you have, but I think that the show does a really nice job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. The mystery behind the game unravels with each new episode and the questions that you may have stirring around in your brain are answered, but the answers aren’t completely obvious, which is refreshing.
McKenna Brady played by Liana Liberato.
I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely invested in the characters on this show and no one stood out in particular other than McKenna Brady, played brilliantly by the talented Liana Liberato. I always look for a connection to a character and McKenna is someone I could see as my own best friend. While her friends and family have redeeming qualities, there is something magnetic about McKenna. She is smart and capable, but she is not perfect. She falls into the classic scenario of hanging out with the mean girls at school and knows that she is guilty of this. However, McKenna has a lot on her plate and I commend her strength and loyalty. While I initially got a Single White Female vibe from the antagonist, Violet, I saw some potential here as well. Either way, I was pleasantly surprised by Liberato’s performance and she really helped elevate the rest of the show, redeeming some other performances that were leaving a little something to be desired.
Throwback to fun horror movies in the 90’s.
What I really enjoyed about this show was that it was the perfect throwback to films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Urban Legend, and The Craft. I grew up watching these movies and I enjoyed that they were the perfect blend of slasher and terror scares with some predictable, but fun teenage drama thrown in. I personally enjoy fun horror movies like this that don’t have me terrorized with nightmares for the rest of my life, but everyone likes something different. Either way, I thought that this show provided me with the entertainment I expected and even pleasantly surprised me, leaving me wanting more. Ready to watch?
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughtson Light as a Featherin the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
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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 outand 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.
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