Spoiler-Free Review of “Mare of Easttown” on HBO Max: Compelling new Mystery

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

Kate Winslet returns to the small screen!

Mare of Easttown premiered on HBO and HBO Max on April 18th 2021. The series is set to air seven weekly episodes. It stars Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Angourie Rice, Guy Pearce, and Evan Peters. Each episode runs for approximately 50-55 minutes.

Kate Winslet stars as Mare, a local small town basketball hero who now is a detective. A new case is thrown her way that connects to an unresolved mystery from her past, involving the daughter of one of her former teammates. As Mare attempts to deal with the harsh reality of her own life, she tries to put the pieces together to solve this mystery.

Here is the trailer:

Mare of Easttown presents us with a bleak view on life, but its intricate details and compelling plot draw us in to this new mystery as we attempt to discover the truth along with Kate Winslet’s character. Is the series worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Review 1

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Kate Winslet delivers.

I’m already a huge fan of Kate Winslet and she is one of my favorite actresses of all time. In just the pilot episode, she has managed to completely captivate the audience with her gritty portrayal of Mare.

Mare is far from perfect and she is dealing with a lot in her life, as we slowly start to unravel some of the tragedy that has taken place in her past.

I’ve seen a lot of shows featuring a small town detective immersed in a compelling mystery, but sometimes they can get lost in the midst of the plot.

That doesn’t happen here. Kate Winslet is so magnetic on screen and even in the quiet moments, you find yourself drawn to her, which makes this show that much more interesting in my opinion.

She is the one drawing us in and the mystery almost takes a back seat.

Incredible story-telling.

Every detail of this show is so well done. Even though there is this dark and depressing undertone, it doesn’t overwhelm the show. Every character and every moment shown to the audience is important in some way.

I often get bored with some of the set-up and fluff, but I didn’t feel that way here. I thought that everything was really interesting and when we finally got to the reveal at the end of the pilot episode, I was completely immersed into this show.

The Cons:

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Free Review 2

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Slow burn approach.

This isn’t necessarily a con to me at all. I actually think that the slow burn approach works with this particular show because Kate Winslet is so strong and the other performances really hold up as well.

However, if you are looking for a fast paced action thriller, you won’t get that here. I think that the slow burn reveals are rewarding enough and I can’t wait to learn more, but prepare for a slower pace overall.

So am I in or out?

Mare of Easttown Spoiler Free Review 3

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m in!

Mare of Easttown is gritty, compelling, and all consuming. It is already so interesting and intriguing with just the pilot episode and I can’t wait to find out more. Kate Winslet is incredible and I can already see an Emmy in her future…

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Mare of Easttown 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 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 “Ju-On: Origins” on Netflix: Stomach-Turning Terror

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

If you thoroughly enjoy the horror film franchise, Ju-On or The Grudgeyou may have been counting the days until the release of the streaming television series, Ju-On: Origins.

Ju-On: Origins is a Japanese horror series that premiered on Netflix on July 3rd 2020. It features 6 episodes (28-30 minutes in length). The series is available with subtitles or dubbed in English.

It’s difficult to present fans with something truly unique and different when coming from such an extensive franchise, but the series manages to bring us back to the beginning. We witness several timelines involving a house with unexplainable connections to horrific acts of violence and murder, as a paranormal investigator tries to obtain as much information as he can to get to the truth.

This show has the potential to truly terrify you with a satisfying binge-watch, but does Ju-On: Origins do enough to step out from the shadows of the films? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ju On Origins Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

The anthology style works.

Since there are only six episodes and each one is actually pretty short, the anthology style works well. We learn about several different characters who have all entered the house in question throughout the late eighties and into the nineties, presenting us with connections and a real mystery.

The series is supposed to represent the true events that actually inspired the franchise and this particular style allows Ju-On: Origins to branch out and form its own identity.

Moves away from jump scares/tropes.

I don’t know about you, but there are several moments from The Grudge movies that still don’t sit well with me. I’m constantly checking under the covers and that sound still haunts me to this day.

The series takes a different approach and moves away from the jump scares that we are all accustomed to. Rather, it leans more on some disturbing scenes of gore and a slow burn approach, revealing that sometimes cruel and unthinkable acts of humanity may actually be more terrifying in the end, which gives the audience something to truly think about.

While the show didn’t really scare me, there were some moments that really made my stomach turn. Seriously, I skipped breakfast today just because of it.

The Cons:

Ju Origins Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow moving at first.

There are only six episodes, but things really didn’t pick up for me until episode 4. Once the mystery started unraveling more and more, I became more invested and I was actually really interested in some of the character connections and the reveals.

It would have been great if the show had this same feel from the very start, but there are moments in each episode that have that shock value to grab your attention.

Not for the faint of heart.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some real disturbing moments of gore featured in the series. However, there are also some scenes that are extremely difficult to watch and I hope that Netflix considers adding a few advisories to these particular episodes that show a violent sexual assault and an extremely disturbing scene involving a pregnant woman.

As of right now, Netflix codes the show as being for mature audiences, featuring violence. However, I think that extra advisories should be added for episodes 1 and 4. Please be aware of these scenes during your watch.

So am I in or out?

Ju On Origins Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one. I think that true fans of this franchise will thoroughly enjoy the series. If you are a horror fan looking for something quick to binge-watch, it only takes about three hours to get through all of the episodes.

The show does have some interesting qualities and I really did become more invested during episode 4, but I think we could have captured this feel from the very beginning and some of that was missed with the slower pace.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ju-On: Origins 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! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek 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!

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! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “The Outsider” on HBO: A Glimmer of Haunting Potential

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

In the midst of this slow burn crime drama, there is this potential for chilling perfection lurking in the shadows.  Combine that with an extremely talented cast, an intriguing plot, and some supernatural elements, and this could be the formula for a hypnotizing new show.

The Outsider premiered on HBO on January 12th 2020 with two full length back-to-back episodes.  The mini-series will feature 10 episodes (60 minutes in length).  It stars Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Julianne Nicholson.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Outsider follows the investigation behind the horrific murder of a young boy.  After evidence begins to appear quite quickly, things become much more complicated with potential supernatural forces at play, causing the lead investigator to question things further.

This slow burn crime drama has the potential to hook its audience completely, but does it do enough in its first two episodes to keep us coming back for more?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Outsider HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

An extremely talented cast.

The performances are so captivating and believable from the opening minutes of the series.  Having an all star cast definitely works in the show’s favor.  The characters are compelling enough and there are still a lot of secrets left to uncover, hooking us in that much more.

Some really creepy and gruesome elements.

There are some graphic images in this show, but it adds to the shock and horror behind the crime.  We also get some really creepy moments that I haven’t quite figured out yet, stirring with disturbing possibility.  The use of discord music to set some of these scenes is actually quite brilliant as well, really creating a world of unexplained mystery.

The Cons:

The Outsider HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

The pacing is slow…extremely slow.

I watched the two opening episodes back-to-back and felt like I was sitting there for over three hours.  I even almost fell asleep a few times because of that so I’m not sure that a double episode premiere was wise.

Moving forward, I will only watch one episode at a time.  There is a lot to process, but I am really hoping that the show can pick up some steam because that may be its biggest downfall.

So am I in or out?

The Outsider HBO 3
Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in…at least for now.  Episode 3 will introduce us to Cynthia Erivo’s character, Holly Gibney, and I am truly hoping that she can liven things up and start to make sense of this case.

The unexplained mystery is genuinely intriguing and I want to see this unfold, but things need to pick up so that I don’t lose interest completely.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

[twitter-follow screen_name=’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!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice 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!

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!