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 “Pooka 2: Pooka Lives” and it is a sequel/spinoff to its very best episode. That’s right, Pooka is back and he’s meaner than ever. The new episode follows a former writer who has been chased out of New York by the followers of a popular internet personality. Forced to return to his old hometown, he and his old friends set out to create a new internet sensation based on the beloved Pooka doll. They didn’t expect that sensation to take on a life of its own.
“Pooka!” is the strongest episode of the Into the Dark series because of its great story and memorable characters. “Pooka 2: Pooka Lives” brings back the titular character but also brings an entirely new cast of characters around it. The stories of the two episodes are completely separate, so don’t look for a continuation of the old Christmas story from season one.
This new story starts off with some backstory on the creator of the Pooka doll, who murdered her husband before lighting herself on fire. It’s certainly a dark introduction, but the episode quickly jumps back to the typical Into the Dark formula, introducing us to a character with a mysterious past and building suspense around that character.
The suspense continues to build, with the typical Into the Dark creepiness to which we’ve become accustomed. Then Derrick (Malcolm Barett), the aforementioned disgraced writer, create their internet sensation and the creepiness takes off from there.
There is a fair amount of humor spread out across the first 30 or so minutes of “Pooka 2,” but at some point the story flips and this latest installment becomes a straight up horror-comedy. Derrick and his cast of friends – played by Felicia Day, Lyndie Greenwood, Jonah Ray and Gavin Sternhouse – provide some laugh-out-load moments in the back half of this episode.
With that being said though, there are also some jump out of your seat moments provided by the newly reimagined Pooka. It’s no longer just a guy in a ridiculous, oversized mascot costume. Now, Pooka has taken on a life of its own and it may just be the most horrifying creature Into the Dark has given us to date.
“Pooka 2: Pooka Lives” is the Avengers: Endgame of Into the Dark. No, it doesn’t bring together all of the characters we’ve seen in previous episodes, but it does give us all the best aspects of what we’ve seen so far in this series. We get the strange suspense of episodes like “Pure,” the nightmarish horror of episodes like “Uncanny Annie” and even the over-the-top comedy of episodes like “A Nasty Piece of Work.” The title of “best episode” may still belong to “Pooka!,” but this latest installment is a more-than-worthy follow up.
“Pooka 2: Pooka Lives” will debut on Hulu on Friday, April 3. 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. Also, check out my rankings of the top 10 episodes leading up to “Pooka 2: Pooka Lives.”
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.”