Into the Dark: Blood Moon Review – Hulu Season Ender Has Bite
Due to the coronavirus-imposed hiatus, it feels like the season just started. However, we’ve now reached the season finale of the Hulu Into the Dark series, just one month after its return. Here’s our review of Blood Moon, the Into the Dark ender for season 2.
Into the Dark? Hulu?: Please, Tell Me More
image via Hulu
I feel like we go over this every month (see also: my Tentacles review) but sure. Into the Dark is the monthly movie series on Hulu. Produced by Blumhouse, the series uses classic holidays and other notable events as the inspiration for each monthly offering.
There are a few holidays that they have repeated each season, probably for two reasons. One is that holidays like Halloween are so important to horror that you kind of have to make an installment each time. And the other is that other holidays are just ripe for inspiration. I’m speaking here of holidays like Valentine’s Day or Independence Day. Heck, they’ve made two Valentine’s Day movies (My Valentine and last month’s Tentacles) this season alone.
But as I’ve said before, they’re very creative on what constitutes a holiday. At first, I thought this month’s movie, for instance, was an early Mother’s Day treat. However, it’s actually tied to the spring full moon. Sure, that’s a thing. (The actual blood moon isn’t until May, though. Real moonheads know.)
The Moon Is Back And She Wants Blood: The Plot Summary
Before we get to the review of Into the Dark: Blood Moon, I should probably tell you what it’s about. Mom Esme (Megalyn Echikunwoke) has just moved to a new town in the desert with her ten-year-old son Luna (Yonas Kibreab). Although it’s clear that they’re hiding something, at first their life in the desert seems like it’s going to be okay.
image via Hulu
She rents a furnished house with plenty of room, including a basement, for example. She also gets a job at a bar working for Sam (Joshua Dov), who’s kind and fair. But not everyone in this town is like Sam or like the hardware store owner (Marco Rodriguez) who lets Esme pay in installments. Barlow Townes (Gareth Williams), who’s the law in this community, for instance, is suspicious of Esme from the start. And when strange things start happening, like a violent attack on the local livestock, his suspicions only grow.
At the same time, though, Esme is just trying to make a home for Luna. He understands that he’s different from other kids, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for him to accept.
Into the Dark: Blood Moon Review (Slight Spoilers)
From the start of this movie, there’s little surprise or suspense about what exactly is going on with little Luna. I mean, just look at his name. Or the name of the movie. So obviously, as the Senior Possible Werewolf here at Comic Years, I was ready to see some werewolf stuff.
And they didn’t really give me any. As with The Wolf of Snow Hollow, they use werewolf stuff only as a tool to tell a bigger and a different kind of story. At its heart, this is a movie about a single mother trying to protect a son with special needs–very special needs. So if you’re looking for a chilling and/or gory tale about wolves gone wild, then this might not be the film for you. It’s kind of a slow-moving story, and when it comes to the wolfy reveal, well, they certainly made a choice. Further, like some other Into the Dark installments, it feels like they have more time than story.
image via Hulu
If I had any qualms with this film, besides the ones I’ve mentioned, one would be the rather paltry backstory. I have so many questions, like, how long has he been turning? Was he, I ask as my voice climbs up so many octaves, a baby werewolf? We get brief snatches of their past, but I would have liked to have seen some more of it to make the story feel richer. And while I appreciate the novel approach here, the moody werewolf story has gotten cold to me. Bring me some humor, some werewolf joy, and some warm blood.
However, none of this, including the lack of traditional scares or werewolf beats, makes this a bad movie. The performances, particularly Echikunwoke’s, are all strong. As Esme, the mom, she has the toughest role in the film and she easily pulls it off. We can understand her fears and her determination, even if we may not always agree with her choices. She might be the mom of a werewolf, but that latter part’s just noise. Ultimately, she’s a mom who, like many moms, will do what it takes to keep her child safe in the world for as long as she can. And sometimes, the world itself is scarier than any big bad wolf.
Into the Dark: Blood Moon will be available on Hulu on March 26.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this movie when it begins streaming. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on werewolfery at literally any time. Tell us in the comments, on our social media, or find me when the blood moon rises.
featured image via Hulu
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at [email protected]