From the sinister minds that brought you The Purge, Happy Death Day and Paranormal Activity, comes the new Hulu original horror series Into the Dark, which turns every holiday into a complete nightmare. The new horror anthology series will feature different actors in each episode, with a new episode being released each month focusing on a holiday from that month.
We’ve gone through a full year of Into the Dark and made it all the way back to Halloween. That’s where the latest episode, titled “Uncanny Annie,” comes in. This horror version of Jumanji will certainly get you in the holiday spirit as you watch a group of college students get sucked into a nightmarish board game.
If you’ve read any of my previous Into the Dark reviews, you know I’m not really much of a horror fan because I enjoy my sleep at night and true horror movies typically end in me being up all night. Well, “Uncanny Annie” is dangerously close to a nope at times. Annie herself is incredibly creepy, and aptly named as she might as well be a permanent resident of the uncanny valley.
Like I said though, dangerously close. It really has more of a playful vibe than actual horror. At one point there’s even what is essentially a sword fight with death itself. And while Annie is creepy, the rest of the threats aren’t going to be coming to me in my nightmares tonight.
The episode really is a complete remake of Jumanji. One of the characters even references the old board game movie. If you enjoy that type of film, you’ll enjoy this one. I just haven’t been able to come up with a name for a Jumanji-horror mashup. So for now I’m going with Zathorror. If you know, you know.
One of the things I enjoy about thrillers like this is the element of surprise, and that’s something many episodes of Into the Dark have lacked. This one delivers on that front though. You know when you start a horror movie and you can confidently pick out which characters are going to die and which ones will survive. Well, with this one, you’ll be wrong.
That’s not to say every element of the story will catch you off guard. One of the few misses in “Uncanny Annie” is a plot point that’s supposed to lead to a major reveal at the end. Once they start developing this point, you’ll see what’s coming from a mile away.
As is typically the case with Into the Dark, the cast is fantastic. This episode is filled with interesting characters who are all likable in their own ways. They’re also well acted, for a somewhat campy college horror movie. One thing horror tends to miss badly on is the reaction to death. This one does a pretty good job as the characters react at least somewhat believably.
Another thing I’m not a big fan of when it comes to horror is gore, and this one does have a bit of it. It’s far from the goriest horror I’ve watched and probably not even the goriest Into the Dark, but just be ready to look away at times. There’s a fair amount of blood.
Overall, Zathorror, um… “Uncanny Annie” is one of my favorite installments of Into the Dark and a great start to the second season. It is definitely creepy, but I won’t be losing any sleep tonight. I just may not be playing any new board games for a while.
“Uncanny Annie” premieres on Hulu on October 4 and kicks off the second season of Blumhouse’s Into the Dark. Be sure to check out our reviews of previous episodes as I will continue to bring you an advanced warning as to just how much sleep each episode might cost you.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”