Spoiler-Free Review of “We Summon the Darkness” on Netflix: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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

“There is a lot of evil out there…and you seem like nice girls.”

We Summon the Darkness follows three female friends on a road trip during the 80’s, as they head out to a heavy metal rock fest. The film was released on Netflix on August 8th 2020 and is 90 minutes in length. It stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Johnny Knoxville.

The girls meet some male strangers during the metal rock fest and invite them back to their vacation home, but things take an unexpected twist when sadistic intentions are revealed.

Here is the trailer:

We Summon the Darkness takes a shot at nailing the 80’s slasher/thriller vibe and has an attractive and talented cast, but does the film do enough to truly stand out when so many other films and shows are channeling some 80’s nostalgia? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

We Summon the Darkness Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Nailed the 80’s vibe!

I love the 80’s and I know that we have been getting quite a bit of programming featuring some nostalgia, but I thought it was done so well in this film. The clothes rocked, the music was on point, and I felt myself being seamlessly transported back to another time.

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Girl power and then some!

The opening of the film immediately gave me some Death Proof vibes and I loved that. We immediately believe that these three girls are friends and are out for some harmless fun. We soon learn that these three ladies are capable of a lot more, but I thought that they all had great chemistry together and I wanted to go along for the ride.

Twists I never saw coming.

You may think that you have seen this type of movie before, but there are actually some really great twists in this one. I was thrown for a loop a few times and I think that the film did a good job of shattering some tropes while keeping us entertained.

The Cons:

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Supporting characters needed to step up.

I loved the girls, but the guys really didn’t hold my attention. Maybe that was the point, but I thought that we could have elevated these performances more and I kept forgetting about their existence to be honest.

A little something missing.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this film just needed a little bit more. It was entertaining and a lot of fun, but there was a slight edge I needed and didn’t get. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this film, but I thought it needed a slight push over to the dark side even more to make it something truly incredible.

So am I in or out?

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in about 75 percent on this one.

The movie was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the watch, but I feel like the film was inches away from being something truly brilliant. That being said, this movie fit right in to my weekend lineup and I recommend that you give it a watch for sure.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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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…

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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!

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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Safe” on Netflix: The Perfect Binge-Watch for fans of “The Stranger”

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

If you thoroughly enjoyed your binge-watch of The Stranger, you might have been endlessly skimming through Netflix recommendations for something to measure up. Well fear not, as Netflix gets it completely right with its latest recommendation…Safe.

Safe actually premiered on Netflix on May 10th 2018, but it has been gaining popularity ever since The Stranger premiered. It features 8 episodes (40-45 minutes in length) and it stars Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, Amy James-Kelly, Amanda Abbington, Marc Warren, and Hannah Arterton.

Like The Stranger, Safe is also brought to us from author and creator, Harlan Coben. It is a mystery thriller that follows Tom Delaney’s search for his missing daughter, Jenny. Once again, dark secrets are exposed as several threads begin to unravel together, leaving us on the edge of our seats with constant twists and turns.

The show has a very similar feel, almost making it seem like part of a thriller anthology series, but does Safe measure up to The Stranger? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Safe Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

Once again, an amazing cast!

Michael C. Hall was absolutely brilliant as Tom Delaney and as a huge fan of Dexter, I was pleased to see him thrive in another role. The rest of the cast was fantastic as well, making the character dynamics that much more more intriguing.

Safe Netflix 7
Images courtesy of Netflix

Another surprising mystery.

Even though I preferred the approach of an actual stranger exposing dark secrets, I thought that the mystery behind Safe was just as compelling. Once again, I found myself completely invested to see how things would unfold, coming up with my own theories and suspects along the way. The show is far from predictable and each episode leaves you wanting more and more.

The Cons:

Safe Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

Too many sub-plots.

Much like The Stranger, we ended up lost in several side plots and characters along the way. Some of them connected to the main mystery centered around Tom Delaney and his daughter, but others seemed out of place and strange. That being said, I thought that Safe did a better job with this than The Stranger, connecting as many dots as possible for us without completely overwhelming us.

So am I in or out?

Safe Netflix 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in 100 percent again! After watching The Stranger, I was endlessly searching for something similar to watch and I love that we now get the chance to discover the hidden gem of Safe. I didn’t even know about this show when it premiered, but hopefully more fans of The Stranger will discover it and give it a chance because it can stand on its own as a worthy thriller series.

Even though I think that I enjoyed The Stranger a little bit more, Safe did not disappoint at all. Once again, Netflix delivered with the perfect binge-watch and we can never get enough of Michael C. Hall, so that was an added bonus!

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

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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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Purge” season 2 episode 10: “The Purge Doesn’t Work”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  After watching USA network’s The Purge season 2 episode 10 season finale last night, we were reminded that “the truth is the only thing more powerful than this regime, so demand the truth no matter the cost…your lives depend on it.”

Please note MAJOR spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  

In last night’s episode, “7:01 AM,” Esme attempts to tell the public the truth, but the NFFA is not going to let her make this broadcast without putting up a fight.  Meanwhile, Ben and Marcus face off, Ryan’s group is ready to blow things up, and Michelle’s life hangs in the balance.

My top 5 moments from The Purge season 2 episode 10 Season Finale are:

5

“There is no way in hell that I’m gonna let you die.”

Marcus is not questioning things any longer and it looks like he has finally found his true purpose at the Triage center.  Michelle is not doing so great, but Marcus is able to save her life.  It looks like Michelle was actually trying to make things right after all and I have to say that I’m perfectly fine with that.

Marcus deserves a chance at real happiness and it looks like he and Michelle will continue to work with the Resistance to help others in need.

Will we get to see Marcus in any future Purge movies as a result?  We know that the Triage center always plays a major part and I would love to see more from his character.

4

“Don’t tell me this was all for nothing.”

Meanwhile, Esme breaks into the NFFA command center and is trying to release the footage from Olivia Hughes’s murder off Purge, but she can only send the file to the broadcast room, which really doesn’t leave her a lot of options.

Vivian meets up with her in the stairwell and agrees to grant her access into the room, but of course their boss, Curtis, breaks up the party.  Curtis initially seems like he believes Esme, but ends up shooting at her and poor Vivian is shot instead. 

Luckily, we find out at the end of the episode that Vivian is actually all right and is now working for the Resistance.

Go V!

3

“You’re trying to play God, but you’re not God. I AM!”

OK psycho Ben, you need to calm down.  Ben wakes up in the Triage center after Marcus brought him there to help him and he decides to return the favor by brutally murdering a bunch of doctors with a scalpel, claiming that they are robbing Purgers of their rightful kills.

Marcus ends up facing off with Ben and is able to stop him, but he doesn’t kill him.  Rather, he leaves him outside and says that the Purge will take care of him, but Ben somehow makes it out of there OK and is now left being creepy as ever with his God mask.

I guess if there is a Resistance, there still has to be a group dedicated to the Purge and it doesn’t look like Ben is going to stop the violence anytime soon.

2

“You see, it is a lie.”

After Ryan and his crew are able to blow things up and successfully steal their score from the Jackals, things are looking up for them, as they decide to head down to Panama to start new lives.  Only Ryan cannot leave Esme behind and decides to go after her.

Ryan tells Esme that he is where he’s supposed to be and plans on stalling the NFFA to give Esme enough time to broadcast her message, hoping that they will be forced to arrest Esme rather than kill her.

Ryan shows off some impressive shooting skills while Esme is able to successfully broadcast her message.  She explains that the Purge doesn’t work and goes into detail about Professor Adams and her study, revealing footage of the NFFA breaking into Olivia’s house off Purge.

Ryan is eventually killed and the NFFA comes face-to-face with Esme, but it is now after 7:00 AM and yet they still get the call to take her out.

Esme is shockingly killed and the NFFA claims that her broadcast was “fake news,” but Esme’s actions are not in vain.

1

“Our country deserves better.”

At the end of the episode, we learn that Darren is leading the Resistance movement, which features an image of Esme in the background, trying to tell the truth while fighting against the NFFA.  Vivian and Turner are also working for the Resistance, giving Turner a chance to really become someone worthy.

Marcus and Michelle are there as well and Ryan’s group ends up wiring his share of the money to the movement so that they can really make a difference, uniting our characters together.  Well, I guess except for psycho Ben, who seems to do better on his own.

Overall, this was a jam-packed season finale with so many twists and surprises.  I loved the fun cameo from Ethan Hawke in the beginning and I have to say that the season finale presented me with some twists that I did not see coming.

I hope this paves the way for a season 3 because I’m certainly not done with The Purge series just yet!

Stay tuned!

What did YOU think of the season 2 finale?  Did you predict who would survive?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Purge below in the comments section.  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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Purge” season 2 episode 6: “Happy Holidays”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  After watching the USA network’s The Purge season 2 episode 6 last night, we finally got to see the man behind the voice of The Bobby Sheridan Show, as he reminded us that “You’re nobody in America unless someone wants to Purge you.”  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.

In last night’s episode, “Happy Holidays,” Esme is on the run from the NFFA, which forces her to turn to an unlikely source for help.  Meanwhile, The Campus Killer is certainly making a name for himself, but things get tricky when he returns home for break, and Marcus and Michelle invite Sam over for a chat.

My top 5 moments from The Purge season 2 episode 6 are:

5

“Either my guys join or I turn you in.”

Ryan tries to keep things moving for the plan, but things are getting much more complicated now that his former captain has joined in.  The rest of the group does not trust her and rightfully so and it’s likely that she will turn the tables on Ryan and his group in the end.

Does Ryan have another plan up his sleeve?

We’ll have to find out, but I can’t wait to see what happens once all of the players are in place.

4

“She has committed an act of treason.”

After following up on some leads, Esme’s discoveries have been noticed by her supervisor, who reports that this is now a “Priority 1 Manhunt.”  The NFFA shows off just how powerful they are, using every single form of technology against Esme to try and track her down.

Luckily, our girl is aware of some of the blind spots, which works to her advantage, but this is only a temporary solution.

It also looks like the girl she was training at the NFFA is on her side, as she changes several camera views to try and help Esme.  At this point, Esme needs all the help she can get because I’m not sure that one can truly outrun the NFFA.

I’m still rooting for her anyway!

3

“So messed up…”

Yeah, you can say that again Ben, although you are proving to be quite the good liar under pressure.  After being questioned about Andy’s death, Ben reveals that he was just nervous because he was smoking weed, which apparently is a class Y offense.

Ben returns home during school break with his girlfriend and it’s clear that the urge to Purge has not gone away just yet, as his older brother continues to push his buttons.

The Campus Killer is certainly making a name for himself,  but now that Ben’s girlfriend has found his bloody God Purge mask, it looks like Ben is about to be exposed.

Will Ben really try and kill his girlfriend to keep this secret?  We’ll have to wait and see, but she better watch her back for sure!

2

“I need your help.”

I had a feeling that Esme was going to turn to Ryan for help and she does in this episode.  Ryan is skeptical at first, but decides to help hide Esme, realizing that they are ultimately both good people and want the same thing.

Ryan asks Esme if she thinks she can really take down the NFFA and perhaps she can if she gets some support here, but it’s not going to be easy.

Esme is welcomed in as the newest member of the team, so perhaps she can also help Ryan deal with his Captain problem…

1

“I wasn’t the only one.”

Marcus is still in shock over Michelle’s confession, but he is not about to let things go, as he decides to text Sam from Michelle’s phone, asking him over for a chat.  Only Sam shows up with his wife, April, to make things even more awkward.

April apparently knows about the affair, but says she had no idea that Sam tried to Purge Marcus.  At first, Sam says he didn’t do it and even tries to put the blame on Michelle, but eventually has a change of heart when Marcus holds his face above the stove burner.

Sam takes down his part of the contract, but we get another twist and learn that he wasn’t the only one and that apparently the whole neighborhood wanted to Purge Marcus.

So, what did Marcus do to piss everyone off?  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Purge below in the comments section.  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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Ranking the top 5 moments from “American Horror Story: 1984” season 9 episode 3: “Happy Jingles Day!”

Happy Thursday TV fans!  After watching the FX network’s American Horror Story:  1984 season 9 episode 3, I started to wonder if there truly is method behind madness or if some people are just evil?  Well, it looks like we are about to test this theory out and then some.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  

In last night’s episode, “Slashdance,” we get a glimpse into Rita and Ray’s past, discovering that everyone has something to hide at Camp Redwood.  Meanwhile, there are still two killers on the loose while impostors run around dressed up as Mr. Jingles to celebrate the anniversary of the massacre.  My top 5 moments from the American Horror Story:  1984 season 9 episode 3 are:

5

“You totally missed it!”

Everyone gets quite a scare when multiple Jingles start appearing, as we quickly learn that it is Jingles Day.  Several kids decide to prank people to celebrate the day of the massacre because apparently it’s tradition, but they are in for a big surprise when the real Mr. Jingles shows up to break up the party.

I guess he isn’t too impressed by the day in his honor, as he proceeds to brutally kill these impostors, but he hesitates when he comes across one with an inhaler, which suggests that perhaps Mr. Jingles doesn’t want to kill everyone…

4

“Oh honey, I wish you could see your face right now…”

Brooke and Rita make it to the car, but Brooke starts to panic when her friends take too long to catch up.  She thinks that she should go for help, but Rita has other plans when she injects Brooke with a tranquilizer, providing us with an interesting twist for sure, as we learn that Rita has been less than honest with the rest of the group.

But why does everyone seem to be so focused on Brooke?  We already got a glimpse into her past and I’m sure some of Joey’s family members might want to seek out revenge, but is there something else from her past that has not surfaced yet?

3

“Maybe it isn’t all my fault.”

So, we learn that Rita is not Rita at all and her real name is Donna Chambers.  She is a psychologist who studies serial killers and she paid Mr. Jingles a visit in the asylum a week before he escaped.  Donna gets Mr. Jingles to open up and chat, as she explains that she thinks that something in his life caused him to be this way.

Donna certainly seems to blame pornography and the military quite a bit, but she wants to see Mr. Jingles in his natural habitat, as we discover that she was the one to help plan his escape.  Donna talks about redemption, but I’m not sure if Mr. Jingles is really making that much progress during his killing spree…although I guess sparing one life is something?

Donna is also far from innocent, as she meets the real Nurse Rita on the way to Camp Redwood and decides to take on her identity.  While it initially seemed like Donna killed poor Rita, Rita wakes up later on when Xavier and Montana are hiding from Mr. Jingles and begins screaming even after they tell her to be quiet.  Rita’s day doesn’t get any easier, as Mr. Jingles decides to shut her up permanently…by shoving an oar in her mouth.

2

“What the hell are you doing down there?”

“I’m dying!”  The campy horror humor continues in this episode and several moments made me laugh out loud.  Ray doesn’t learn from his past mistakes, as he repeatedly leaves his friends to die to save himself…but what goes around comes around.  Ray yells out, “See ya,” when riding off on the motorcycle…right before Mr. Jingles decides to decapitate him.  So long, Ray!

1

“Why the hell haven’t you killed her yet?”

Fake Rita was not the only twist during the episode, as Montana comes face-to-face with the Night Stalker at the end of the episode.  While it initially seemed like Montana was in some real trouble here, the two proceed to make out and Montana asks him why he hasn’t killed her yet.

So now of course, I am extremely interested in Montana’s past and motive and it looks like we will get to see a glimpse of it in next week’s episode.  The twists and turns keep coming our way and I have to say that I am absolutely loving the new season!

American Horror Story:  1984 episode 3 Music Soundtrack Highlights:

Chicago – If You Leave Me Now “HQ/HD”

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Maneater

Kajagoogoo – Too Shy

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on American Horror Story:  1984 below in the comments section.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, 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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “The I-Land” on Netflix: “LOST” Fan Fiction Gone Wrong

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

So I casually turned on Netflix yesterday and a trailer popped up for The I-Land.  I immediately felt like it was a cheesy LOST ripoff, but the LOST fan in me was beyond curious, so I gave it a whirl and I ended up watching the entire show in one day.  At first I thought that the show was meant to be a spoof, but I quickly learned that the show was trying to find an identity for itself, although I’m not sure it ever quite found it.

The I-Land is coded as a limited series and it features 7 episodes that are about 40 minutes in length each.  It stars Natalie Martinez, Kate Bosworth, Ronald Peet, and Sibylla Deen. 

Several strangers wake up on a deserted island and don’t remember anything about who they are and how they got there.  Tempers immediately flare and mysteries start to unlock, attempting to give us LOST meets The Matrix.  The strangers quickly realize that the island is extremely dangerous, but perhaps the biggest threat lies among them.

The Pros:

I Land 9 16 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Lots of twists and sharks…did I mention sharks?

The show does provide us with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, bringing us along for the ride.  I love shark movies so I’m always up for some toothy predators and the show continues to provide us with some twists until the very end.  Not all of them are satisfying, but they did keep my attention.

The cast.

I’m a huge Kate Bosworth fan and Blue Crush is one of my go-to guilty pleasure movies.  After all, it’s a cruel, cruel summer.  I also enjoyed Natalie Martinez’s performance in Into the Dark’s “Down” episode on Hulu, so I was excited to see her on this show as well.  The cast had a lot of potential, but a lot of that potential was stifled by some poor dialogue, but I liked their performances and characters enough to care about what happened to them…at least somewhat.

The flashbacks.

The flashback pieces were actually really interesting and I wish the show had spent more time on this rather than on some of their outrageous plot shifts.  In particular, K.C.’s flashback (Bosworth) was probably the most interesting part of the show and I don’t understand why these flashbacks didn’t start occurring until the show was almost over.  They could have been introduced and sprinkled throughout the show, which would have probably prevented so many viewers from tuning out after watching 1 or 2 episodes.

The Cons:

I Land 9 16 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

A really poor imitation of LOST.

The first episode literally opens with the main character’s eye opening, as she takes in her surroundings and sees the island.  Does this sound familiar?  That’s the exact opening of LOST and the similarities don’t stop here.  We get a failed attempt at some kind of love triangle and the fade-out music sounds a lot like the soundtrack behind LOST, which honestly just irritated me.  The show is actually different from LOST, but these obnoxious ripoffs will not help viewers tune in more if that was the goal.

The dialogue is atrocious.

I mean really atrocious.  “Hey, you seem like a bitch…no you do!”  “How do you think we got here?  I don’t know.”  Seriously it was like pulling teeth during certain parts and I don’t know why the most animated conversation involved a character’s right to sunbathe.  Good thing those sharks broke up the party.  I was cheering for them at this point.

The show is all over the place.

Once we get to episode 3, we start learning about the secrets of the island and we get more of a sci-fi feel.  The first two episodes were so bad that I almost didn’t care at this point.  However, since there were only 7 episodes, I continued to watch and we did get some interesting moments.  I just don’t understand why we waited until the very end of the series to bring in some of these more worthy elements.

So am I in or out? 

I Land 9 16 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Unfortunately, I am out on this one.  The LOST fan in me is extremely annoyed and angry, but I’m mostly out because this show actually had a real glimmer of potential.  If the show had focused more on introducing us to the interesting flashbacks, they may have actually kept their audience.  The talent of the actors was completely wasted on this and the twist at the end was not very satisfying.

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

Best,

Amy Koto, 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!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Light as a Feather” Season 2 Part 1 on Hulu: “Slumber Party with a Serial Killer…what can go wrong?”

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

So maybe a slumber party with a serial killer isn’t the best idea, especially when you and your friends are being stalked by an evil supernatural force that has a thing for games, but where would be the fun in that?  After the addicting and fun premiere of Light as a Feather season 1, I have been anxiously waiting for new episodes to arrive and they are finally here!  If you are craving some Pretty Little Liars drama mixed in with an I Know What You Did Last Summer feel, then you are in the right place!

Light as a Feather is based on the popular Wattpad story written by Zoe Aarsen.  In season 1, five teenage girls head out to a graveyard for some underage drinking and a seemingly harmless game of Light as a Feather.  If you are not familiar with the popular slumber party game, now might be a good time to re-visit the film, The Craft, which is one of my personal favorites as well.

During the game, each girl takes a turn and their death is described to them in detail.  Things start to get weird when the girls begin dying exactly as it was determined in the game.  McKenna Brady and her friends realize that they are being targeted by something supernatural, but is there a way to end the game without hurting others in the process? 

Season 2 still centers around McKenna Brady, who now inherits the burden of carrying out the game, which leads to more players, more twists, and of course…more drama.  Season 2 will feature 16 episodes in total.  The first 8 episodes have been released on Hulu and are currently streaming as of July 26th 2019.  The remaining 8 episodes will be released October 4th 2019 on Hulu.

The show stars Liana Liberato, Haley Ramm, Brianne Tju, and Jordan Rodrigues.  We also get several new characters introduced into the mix, including characters played by The Walking Dead’s Katelyn Nacon and Angel and Dexter’s Julie Benz, who I am always happy to see!  Season 2 has a lot to live up to, but can it hold steady and keep the game going?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

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Image courtesy of Hulu

The performances of Haley Ramm (Violet), Liana Liberato (McKenna), and Brianne Tju (Alex).

It’s not easy living up to the success of season 1, but these three ladies rock!  They truly embrace their characters, which made the watch much more enjoyable for me.  Plus, while the first season focused more on the aspects of the game, we get some needed character growth and development in season 2.  I was particularly interested in Violet’s backstory, who is becoming one of my favorite female antagonists on TV and Ramm’s portrayal of her is fantastic!

Fast paced episodes and more cliffhangers!

I’ll say this, Light as a Feather does not disappoint when it comes to keeping you on the edge of your seat.  Season 2 provides us with more twists and the end of episode 8 will immediately have you wanting more.  I still thoroughly enjoyed the quick episodes, which run about 25-30 minutes in length, which means you can easily breeze through and binge-watch the first part of season 2 in about 4 hours, which comes in handy when you have a lot of other shows to watch!  This show can easily drag certain things out for too long so I appreciated that we kept the short episodes going and I enjoyed a lot of the twists thrown our way, which made the game and plot interesting enough for me.

The Cons:

Light as a feather 7 27
Image courtesy of Hulu

A lot of teenage drama.

I don’t personally mind watching some teenage drama and I am a fan of shows like PLL, but I also want to balance in the supernatural threat evenly with the social drama going on.  There are new relationships forming, break-ups, and arguments among friends, but it sometimes felt like our characters were more worried about these social issues rather than the supernatural one that could actually threaten their lives and everyone they care about…

Slow start to the game.

The first three episodes provide us with a lot of setup and things really don’t start taking off until episode 4.  Since we only have 8 episodes right now, that was slightly disappointing.  We also see the game from McKenna’s perspective and she deals with blackouts, which means we only get bits and pieces of the actual game, which made the threats to the new players slightly underwhelming for me.  There was a really creepy and gruesome vibe in season 1 and I was hoping that would continue in season 2, but I only saw some glimmers of it and I guess I just wanted to see more of the actual Light as a Feather game.

So am I in or out? 

Light as a Feather 7 27 5
Image courtesy of Hulu

I am still a huge fan of the series and I will continue to watch it, but I was slightly disappointed with season 2.  The premise of this show makes it difficult to keep it new and fresh and I totally understand that, but I think that season 2 needed to find a better balance between the supernatural game and the teenage drama.  We still have the second half of season 2 and we are left with another huge cliffhanger, so I will definitely be tuning in to find out what happens next.

Overall, perhaps I set my expectations too high for season 2, but it was still an entertaining watch for me.  It just didn’t hold a candle to season 1.  If you enjoyed season 1, I still recommend that you watch season 2, but I am interested to find out what other fans think as well.  The game is far from over and it seems like we may explore the origins of it further, which has a lot of potential.  Plus, you never know which side Violet is going to end up on and McKenna has her own inner turmoil to deal with, so there is a lot left to uncover.  Stay tuned!

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

**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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Ranking my top 5 Horror TV Shows: “Well good news I found a piece of pie with no blood on it. Anybody want a bite?”

Greetings TV Fans!  With all of the excitement centered on the release of the trailer for the upcoming Halloween film, I started to really think about some of my favorite horror films of all time and then I realized that there are quite a few TV shows that fit the bill as well.  Whether you enjoy campy horror, slasher suspense, or zombies galore, horror TV shows have been around for quite a while and still stand the test of time.  For today, I am going to be ranking my absolute favorite horror TV shows.  Please note that for this list I have decided not to include TV shows that overlap in fantasy, supernatural, and sci-fi.  For example, shows like Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and True Blood will not be included because I think they have so many other layers with elements of horror.  That being said, if you have read my blog before, you know that I am a huge fan of these shows, but I wanted the chance to let some other horror TV shows take the spotlight.   Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch any of the series below yet. My top 5 horror TV shows are:

5

Slasher

I recently got the chance to binge-watch the first two seasons of Slasher on Netflix and I have to say that the show pulled me in right away.  If you are a fan of slasher films like Scream, this is the show for you.  The first season centers around the character, Sarah who finds herself caught in the middle of a series of murders that are very similar to the murder of her own parents.  The opening episode is beyond terrifying featuring the killer, The Executioner, who will give you nightmares for sure.  The second season follows a completely different story-line and has more of an Agatha Christie type feel, as we learn about a group of friends who were responsible for killing a girl many years ago and try to put together the missing pieces when they later return.  Each season brings different elements to the table, but has a healthy dose of gore, mystery, and twists that are not that easy to guess, which is refreshing.

4

Scream Queens

I am a huge fan of campy horror and I thoroughly enjoy films like Shaun of the Dead, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, The Evil Dead franchise, and The Cabin in the Woods.  I think there is something to be said about the perfect blend of horror and comedy that is just pure genius.  Even though Scream Queens only lasted two seasons, this show had me laughing out loud and screaming whenever the Red Devil made an appearance.  The show follows a sorority who is targeted by the killer, but I have to say that Niecy Nash playing the security guard, Denise is the absolute best part of the show.  While you may think you have seen a million movies like this before, Scream Queens really delivers and I was beyond disappointed when the show was cancelled.

3

Bates Motel

Have you ever wondered what turned Norman Bates into the infamous killer in Psycho?  Bates Motel gave us the chance to really dive into the dark and creepy world of Norman Bates.  The show is a prequel and we get a glimpse into Norman’s life as a teenager.  The acting on this show is outstanding and the characters really draw you in, as you almost feel sympathy for Norman as you see the events that lead to his breakdown.  The show has an eerie and mysterious feel, drawing the viewer in seamlessly.  While we don’t see as much blood and gore in this particular show, Norman’s actions are bone-chilling and beyond creepy, which scare us in an entirely different way.  When Norman dresses up as his mother, it’s scary how he is able to emulate her mannerisms and words to perfection.  While the show answers many questions from Psycho, it also does a great job of paving its own identity, causing you to be on the edge of your seat at all times, never knowing what to truly expect from the Bates family.

2

Ash vs Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead is another show that is the epitome of campy horror.  Bruce Campbell is a genius and I have been a fan of the Evil Dead franchise for a long time.  The show gave fans the chance to fall in love with Ash Williams, or “Ashy Slashy,” all over again, accepting that the only person who can stand in the way of evil is not afraid to deliver a well thought out pun just before destroying a deadite in grotesque and creative ways.  The show also allows fans to get to know the Ghost Beaters, Kelly and Pablo, who team up with Ash against the she-devil, Ruby, played by the absolutely fabulous Lucy Lawless.  The show recently aired its series finale, but provided fans with three seasons of fun, gore, comedy, and great music.  You are seriously missing out if you do not check this show out.  “Groovy.”   

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Scream
  • It
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Goosebumps
  • The Strain
  • Hannibal
  • The Walking Dead franchise

1

American Horror Story

It should be no surprise that my favorite horror TV show is FX’s American Horror Story.  The show is created by Ryan Murphy and does an amazing job of covering every element of horror.  Each season features a different premise with a new type of evil never lurking too far away.  While each season is unique in its own way, my absolute favorites are Coven, Hotel, and Murder House.  The show is not afraid to test boundaries and will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  There have been some moments on the show that have been so frightening that I was not able to sleep without seeing Twisty the Clown appear in my nightmares.  The show does a great job of bringing one’s fears to the surface, but it also really looks into the darkness that exists within society as well, which really elevates the show.  The most recent season focused on a cult, proving that humanity can be just as capable of performing evil as spirits and vampires.  I was also very intrigued by the comparison of each season to a circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno Dante’s journey through each circle exposes him to different types of sin and evil that exist in the world and within society, which adds even more complexity to American Horror Story.  I am beyond excited to see what the next season brings and what sins it will explore next.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite horror TV shows. 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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