From the sinister minds that brought you The Purge, Happy Death Day and Paranormal Activity, comes the Hulu original horror series Into the Dark, which turns every holiday into a complete nightmare. The horror anthology series features different actors in each episode, with a new episode being released each month focusing on a holiday from that month.

The latest episode of Into the Dark is titled “Midnight Kiss,” and it’s the second installment to focus on New Year’s Eve. It follows a group of friends who keep up their holiday tradition of partying and finding a stranger to be their midnight kiss to ring in the new year. Only this year, things don’t quite go as planned.

If you’ve been following along with my Into the Dark reviews in the past, you know I’m not one for over-the-top gore in my horror movies. “Midnight Kiss” is loaded with visuals (both of the gory and sexual variety) that were a bit much for me. So keep that in mind when watching this one. Maybe just be prepared to look away from time to time.

Aside from that small caveat though, “Midnight Kiss” was one of the stronger installments of Into the Dark. You might also recall that slashers are my favorite kinds of horror movies and this one fits into that genre. Granted, it requires a lofty suspension of disbelief as the killer’s weapon of choice appears to be a velociraptor claw which doesn’t provide a whole lot of range, but what horror film isn’t at least a little hard to believe?

One thing Into the Dark pretty consistently lacks is a twist or an unpredictable ending. While I don’t know that I could call this one “unpredictable,” it definitely had me guessing until the last 20 minutes or so. “Midnight Kiss” is one episode that will keep you on your toes.

As far as the story itself goes, it’s a pretty familiar, straight-forward one. A group of friends is threatened by a killer, and the viewer tires to piece together which one of them is claiming them as victims. Nothing completely new here, but the trick is creating and fleshing out entertaining characters and adding depth and wrinkles to the story, which “Midnight Kiss” accomplishes.

“Midnight Kiss” also features all of the typical strengths of Into the Dark. The suspense builds right from the beginning and never lets up. The characters are entertaining and pull you into the story and, as is almost always the case, it’s very well acted. Augusts Prew, who stars as Cameron, is a perfect protagonist who somehow still never really lets you full trust him. Ayden Mayeri, who plays Hannah, provides the comic relief and steals scenes throughout.

Overall, “Midnight Kiss” is likely in my top half of Into the Dark episodes. It’s close to the September episode “School Spirit,” though it doesn’t fully commit to the campy slasher format like that one did. I will say “Midnight Kiss” is stronger than last year’s New Year’s Eve episode, “New Year, New You.”

If you’re a fan of slashers, you’ll enjoy this one. As I said though, be prepared to look away form the screen if you’re at all squeamish. That velociraptor claw can do some damage!

“Midnight Kiss” will debut on Hulu on Friday, December 27. Be sure to check out our reviews of previous episodes and check back each month to see just what Into the Dark has in store next.

 
 

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