Spoiler-Free Review of “Hold Tight” on Netflix: Harlan Coben’s new mystery has its ups and downs

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

“Sometimes it feels like you’re running off a cliff…”

Harlan Coben’s Hold Tight (Zachowaj spokój) premiered on Netflix on April 22nd 2022. The Polish mystery thriller series features six episodes available to stream now. It stars Magdalena Boczarska, Leszek Lichota, Krzysztof Oleksyn and Agata Łabno. Each episode runs for approximately 42-50 minutes.

When a teen goes missing after his friend dies, a community begins to fall apart with deadly secrets and lies.

Here is the trailer:

Hold Tight brings back familiar characters from Harlan Coben’s The Woods, but does this story pack enough of a punch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Talent across the board…

From the adults to the teens, every actor put forth a valiant effort with their character portrayal. I was just as interested in the story-line involving the teens as I was with the adults. This isn’t always easy to pull off but I think this series did a decent job with this aspect.

A mystery with layers.

If you’re a fan of Harlan Coben series, then you know to expect a mystery with tons of layers and sub-plots. That’s the formula and it works well for the most part, pulling in the audience as we try to pick up the clues that will lead us to the end reveal. There were a lot of moving pieces in this one, but I thought the reveals at the end were worth sticking around for.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Lacks a little bit of edge…

Don’t get me wrong, the series is definitely watchable, but this one felt slower than other Harlan Coben series. I wasn’t hooked the same way I was with The Stranger, Stay Close, and The Innocent. I just wanted a little bit more to completely lure me in.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in about 75 percent…

Hold Tight is a solid mystery that will keep you guessing. The reveals are worth it, but be prepared for a slower pace overall.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Hold Tight 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 “Prey” on Netflix: Don’t Go Hiking with Your Buddies in the Woods…

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

“This isn’t a hunting ground…”

Prey premiered on Netflix on September 10th 2021. The German survival thriller film stars David Kross, Hanno Koffler, Robert Finster, Livia Matthes and Maria Ehrich. It runs for approximately 90 minutes.

Two brothers and their friends go hiking in the woods together and quickly discover that a mysterious shooter is trying to hunt them down one by one.

Here is the trailer:

Prey reminds us once again that it’s never a good idea to go wandering around the woods. Does this thriller film do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Creepy setting and premise.

Sometimes less is more and the woods are always a solid setting for any kind of thriller or horror movie. They can be serene and inviting, but they can also be extremely dangerous and this film reminds us that being lost in the middle of nowhere can be terrifying on its own. 

The mysterious shooter angle works as well. The characters don’t know why they are being hunted down, but the threat is real and unforgiving. 

Images courtesy of Netflix

Riveting tension between the characters.

Much like Netflix’s The Ritual, this movie is about more than surviving. This is a group of close friends and family members and a lot unravels once they realize that their lives are in danger. As past secrets and reveals come into the light, the shattering of relationships is even more compelling than the threat against their lives and I thought the performances were really believable overall.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Netflix

Takes a while to get going…

The movie is only 90 minutes long but it felt like I was watching it for a really long time. The first half of the movie was slow-moving for me and the thrills just weren’t thrilling enough.

However, the second half of the movie was a lot stronger and I was genuinely invested up until the ending. I think there will be mixed reviews on the ending, but I thought that it was chilling and effective.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in about 75 percent…

The movie took a while to get going but the second half was a lot more interesting and thrilling. I thought that the performances and character dynamics were really exceptional and the simple eerie premise of this movie worked in its favor.

If you are a fan of films like The Ritual and Alone, you will enjoy this one, but just manage your expectations accordingly.

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

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!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “American Horror Stories” Feral on FX on Hulu: Deeply Disturbing…

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

“You excited to go camping?”

American Horror Stories released its sixth episode, “Feral” on August 12th 2021. The episode is available to watch on FX on Hulu. Episode six stars Cody Fern, Aaron Tveit, Tiffany Dupont, and Blake Shields. The episode runs for approximately 40 minutes.

A young couple and their son decide to go camping in a national state park to find some much needed relaxation, but they soon discover that something terrifying is lurking in the woods.

American Horror Stories: Feral reminds us why it’s never a good idea to go camping in a horror movie as we discover something beyond disturbing, even though it was somewhat predictable. Is it worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of FX on Hulu

Creepy setting and premise.

Sure, horror entries involving the woods have been overdone, but there is something so genuinely sinister and creepy about them. I thought that the camera effects in the beginning of the film really worked and the opening scene was genuinely scary.

Images courtesy of FX on Hulu

Cody Fern is a lot of fun!

Cody Fern plays an Australian park ranger with a quirky sense of humor that just lights up the screen. The movie follows the formula of your average B horror film, but Cody makes it entertaining for the viewer and gives us something to be excited about!

That ending…

There will be no spoilers in this review but that ending was beyond disturbing. It chilled me to my core and gave me something else to be afraid of. Well done, AHS!

The Cons:

Images courtesy of FX on Hulu

Camping by the numbers.

The majority of the episode followed a camping by the numbers formula. A couple goes into the woods, something creepy happens, and then we deal with the aftermath before investigating it further. While the performances were solid, there was something very predictable and uninspiring going on for the majority of the episode.

However, I thought that once Cody Fern showed up, things changed and then we were thrown several AHS curve balls along the way to grab our attention again.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of FX on Hulu

I’m in!

The episode wavered back and forth with its pacing, but once it took off, I was hooked until the end, which may give me nightmares for the rest of my life…

Another solid entry for American Horror Stories!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on American Horror Stories 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!

Spoiler-Free Review of Harlan Coben’s “The Woods” on Netflix

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

If you thoroughly enjoyed your watches of The Stranger and Safe, Harlan Coben’s latest crime thriller series is out for you to binge-watch now. 

The Woods is a Polish series that premiered on Netflix on June 12th 2020. It features 6 episodes (45-50 minutes in length) and it stars Grzegorz Damiecki, Agnieszka Grochowska, Hubert Milkowski, and Wiktoria Filus. The series is available with subtitles or dubbed in English.

Like the addicting and binge-watch worthy The Stranger and Safe, The Woods is also brought to us from author and creator, Harlan Coben. It is a mystery thriller that centers around Pawel Kopinski. Twenty-five years ago, Pawel’s sister went missing, along with three other teens from their summer camp, but new evidence comes to light, suggesting that the case may not be shut just yet.

This show has the potential to fulfill your craving for a new mystery thriller, but does The Woods measure up to The Stranger and Safe? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

The Woods Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

A mystery that immediately pulls you in.

Much like with The Stranger and Safe, Harlan Coben is a genius at bringing us into a crime filled world with secrets and reveals at every corner. The mystery surrounding Pawel’s missing sister is a compelling one. It hooks you onto the show and keeps you guessing until the very end, which is what I expect these shows to do.

The Woods Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Ship-worthy chemistry.

Don’t get me wrong, the series is a crime thriller mystery, but I absolutely loved the chemistry between Pawel and Laura. They fell in love twenty-five years ago and when they meet up in the present, you could just feel the passion between them once again. Sure, they don’t really have too much time to dwell on this, but it helped me connect with the characters more and I thought their performances were believable and well done.

The Woods Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Seamless flashbacks.

It’s not easy pulling off flashbacks that advance the plot, but I thought that they worked extremely well in this particular series. I was actually more interested in the flashbacks than present day events and I thought that they freed us up from the slower pace at times. The character dynamics were great and you really felt the terror and anxiety rushing through each character as secrets were revealed.

The Cons:

The Woods Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow pace.

The series is only six episodes and each episode isn’t terribly long, but the series had a tendency to drag in many places. The monotonous music and dull lighting didn’t help at times as I had to keep forcing myself to pay attention. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of moments where you will focus on what is going on completely, but I was just hoping for a faster pace like with The Stranger and Safe and I didn’t really get that here.

Too many sub-plots.

If you have read my reviews on The Stranger and Safe, then you know that I often comment on the multiple sub-plots throughout these series. However, they seemed to stick out even more in The Woods because of the slower pace.

We get this present day case that Pawel is working on and I’m not even sure what actually happened with it because it steered off course too much. While many of the sub-plots make sense later on and add to the mystery, they could be extremely overwhelming and unnecessary at times.

So am I in or out?

The Woods Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one. The series is only six episodes long so it does make a good weekend binge-watch, but I wouldn’t necessarily move it up to the top of your list just yet. 

Perhaps I set my expectations a little bit too high here. I adored both The Stranger and Safe and I was counting the days up until the release of this series. While The Woods does deliver as a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing, it lacks in a lot of other areas and is just kind of OK overall.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Woods in the comments section below. You can check out my review of The Stranger here!  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!