Spoiler-Free Review of “Lovecraft Country” on HBO: Jaw-Dropping Terror

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

“Stories are like people…you just try and cherish them and overlook their flaws but their flaws are still there…”

Lovecraft Country is a new series from executive producers Misha Green, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams. The show premiered on August 16th 2020. It will feature 10 episodes, airing weekly (approximately 55-60 minutes in length). The show stars Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, and Courtney B. Vance.

Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country introduces us to Atticus Freeman, a former African-American soldier who is on a quest to find his missing father during the 1950’s. His uncle and former childhood friend agree to help him, as they encounter threats involving racism and the supernatural along the way.

Here is the trailer:

Lovecraft Country starts off with an out of this world opening that will immediately have you questioning reality. While the show brings us some frightening horror that will leave goosebumps on your flesh, the real terror is embedded within the racism and white supremacists, reminding us that monsters and evil can come in many forms.

But, has Lovecraft Country done enough to continue capturing our attention week after week? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Lovecraft Country HBO 1
Images courtesy of HBO

A talented cast with lots of potential.

The characters are intriguing, but we have a lot to learn about them. However, I can say that the performances are already beyond brilliant. I just hope that we get the character development we need because these three actors are so incredible and I want to continue watching them shine across the screen.

Lovecraft Country HBO 2
Images courtesy of HBO

The last thirty minutes of the pilot episode are beyond terrifying.

My attention may have been wavering throughout the setup of the episode. The pilot is actually quite long, but when I got to the last thirty minutes, it was like time stood still. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and there were some moments that actually truly frightened me. I definitely felt the J.J. Abrams vibe here, but it worked. More please! Although…I might have to watch with the lights on.

Lovecraft Country HBO 3
Images courtesy of HBO

Visually breathtaking.

The lighting and the colors used were just stunning. I also thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack. It really helped transport me somewhere else without overdoing it.

The Cons:

Lovecraft Country HBO 4
Images courtesy of HBO

Slow moving at times.

It felt like there was a lot of setup throughout the episode, but almost for the wrong things. I wanted to know more about our main characters, but my attention began to trail off several times and this was a long episode.

I’m not really sure what this show wants to be.

While I knew that there would be several genres blending together in this show, I was a little lost at the end. There are elements of sci-fi, horror, and drama, but I’m not sure if the show has necessarily claimed its true identity just yet. However, I’m still invested enough and I would like to find out more.

So am I in or out?

Lovecraft Country HBO 5
Images courtesy of HBO

I’m in about 75 percent! The last thirty minutes changed my tune quite a bit. The show reveals a lot and really exposes the horror of Sundown towns and extreme racism. There is enough going on to give this show the potential to become something truly magnificent. However, I’m hoping that its wavering identity doesn’t get in the way because this talented cast deserves an entertaining story. Either way, I’m planning on watching the remaining episodes and I have high hopes.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “October Faction” on Netflix: Freakish Potential with Flat Delivery

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

A Mr. and Mrs. Smith type couple that fights supernatural monsters while balancing in some normal family drama.  Sounds like it could be oozing with eerie potential.

October Faction premiered on Netflix on January 23rd 2020 with 10 new episodes (40 minutes in length).  It stars Tamara Taylor, J.C. MacKenzie, Aurora Burghart, Gabriel Darku, and Maxim Roy.

The show is based on the comic series, The October Faction, introducing us to the Allen family.  After a family tragedy, The Allens move back to their hometown, but the supernatural threats continue to track them down.  Deloris and Fred’s twin children, Viv and Geoff, also deal with their own share of issues, especially when they start to discover that they may have some supernatural abilities of their own.

This is not the first time we have seen a horror/supernatural series try to balance out monsters and demons with family drama.  Think of successful series like Supernatural, Charmed, and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.  While the show has a lot of promise and potential, it seems like a lot of it was stifled by the uninspiring execution, along with the timing of being released the day prior to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

That being said, October Faction does have some redeeming qualities, but is it worthy of your next binge-watch?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

October Faction Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

A fantastic villain with otherworldly abilities.

Played by Maxim Roy, Alice, really breathes new life into the show.  The mystery surrounding her is the most intriguing part of the series and she really performs some cringe-worthy acts with her powers that will make you think twice about going up against her.

Likable characters.

The Allen family may have a lot of dark secrets, but they also deal with everyday problems as well.  The balance works well, as we leave the monster hunting in the background and focus on the character dynamics.

The twins, Viv and Geoff, have to deal with a lot of identity searching in high school and their performances are believable and captivating.  Plus, they have some pretty awesome abilities too!

The Cons:

October Faction Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

Way too much set-up in the opening episodes.

The show starts off really slow and boring with a few sprinkles of potential here and there, but it was honestly a struggle to watch episodes 1-3.  Normally, if this was a weekly show, I would have tuned out by now, but I gave it a chance since I could watch all the episodes at once.

Surprisingly, episodes 4-9 are actually quite brilliant and the plot really takes off with interesting twists and reveals.  However, I can’t ignore the fact that the first three episodes are just so uninspiring and I have a feeling many of you might tune out.  However, if you are willing to take a chance, episode 4 is where things really start to pick up.

So am I in or out?

October Faction Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

This is a tough one.  I’m in for episodes 4-9, which were binge-watch worthy, but overall, I am out because the opening episodes were so dull and the ending was kind of all over the place.  I’m frustrated about this one because this show could have been fantastic and it almost felt rushed and clumsily put together.

I would recommend that you watch shows like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Light as a Feather first if you are looking for an entertaining supernatural watch, but if you are willing to put the work into watching October Faction, there are some entertaining moments sprinkled in.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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**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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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

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**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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “NOS4A2” on AMC: A Faint Spark Glimmering in the midst of all the Backstory

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

“There are people in this world with abilities.”  Based on the book of the same name by Joe Hill, NOS4A2 follows Vic McQueen, who discovers an old bridge that will take her and her motorcycle anywhere in the world to find lost things.  We are also introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who kidnaps young lonely children, promising to drive them off to Christmasland, but visions of sugarplums have been replaced with nightmares of darkness, as he attempts to essentially drain the life force of the children to maintain his own youthful appearance.  While it appears that he is a vampire, there is definitely some mystery surrounding him and we have a lot left to discover.

NOS4A2 is available to watch on AMC and season one features 10 episodes.  The pilot premiered on June 2nd 2019.  The show stars Ashleigh Cummings, Zachary Quinto, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, and Jahkara Smith.  We are immediately introduced to the villain, Charlie Manx, who appears to be a creepy old man waiting in a car, but we quickly learn that he is extremely dangerous and is in the business of stealing children, luring them with promises of candy canes and Christmas forever.

The Pros:

Nos4a2 6
Image courtesy of AMC

The acting is convincing and the characters draw you in.

I’m already a huge fan of Zachary Quinto’s work and he does not disappoint in this series, fully embracing the role of the villain.  Even with all the makeup, Quinto makes this creepy old man seem beyond twisted.  I was also pleasantly surprised and entertained by Ashleigh Cummings, who plays our main protagonist, Vic.  The performances are real and compelling and both of these characters appear to have a lot of layers for us to peel back and discover.  In addition, I was intrigued by the character of Maggie, played by Jahkara Smith, who appears to be some kind of psychic librarian, using scrabble pieces to discover clues.  Sounds like a pretty cool ability to me.

The first ten minutes and the last ten minutes give us a glimmer of potential.

I thought that the opening and closing of the season premiere was mysterious and creepy.  I wanted this vibe to continue for the rest of the premiere, but I’m hoping that this glimmer of hope can somehow translate into the remaining episodes, as this show has the potential to be something truly dark and unique.

The Cons:

Nos4a2 5
Image courtesy of AMC

Too much backstory all at once.

While I have not yet read Joe Hill’s novel, the show gave us way too much backstory for a season premiere, which made the pilot seem heavy and boring.  I understand the need to introduce us to these characters, but perhaps Vic’s backstory could have been sprinkled over all of the episodes instead, while introducing us to her interesting abilities.  Also, we barely get to see the villain in the episode and I feel like the time could have been divided up a little bit better to fully capture our attention.

Slow paced premiere.

In addition to the excessive backstory, there was just a really slow paced feel after the opening minutes of the premiere, which initially drew me in.  There are a lot of elements to be discovered here, but I just felt like there was way too much fluff for the majority of the episode and I found myself tuning out quite a bit, which is not a great sign for a season premiere.

So am I in or out? 

Nos4a2 4
Image courtesy of AMC

As of right now, I am on my way out, but I give all shows three episodes to change my mind.  There are some redeeming qualities here and the world of Joe Hill seems intriguing, introducing us to some Stephen King like elements that could be genuinely terrifying and different.  However, the pace of the show needs to pick up and we need to scratch the excessive backstory and focus on the journey ahead across the mysterious bridge.  I’m ready to lose myself, but I need much more in order to do so.  Fingers crossed that the next episodes can capture my full attention!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on NOS4A2 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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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!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

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!