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 “Blood Moon” and it puts a modern spin on a horror classic. This installment breaks the mold a bit as there doesn’t seem to be a connection to any holiday for the month of March, but that doesn’t keep it from being one of the strongest episodes of this series.
“Blood Moon” follows Esme (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and her 10 year old son, Luna (Yonas Kibreab) who are trying to hide a terrifying secret. They’re trying to start a new life in a new town after clearly running from a dark past, but something is keeping them living the peaceful life they wish they could have.
Into the Dark often crosses a line and into a realm of being just too strange for your typical audience. Whether it’s witches playing a practical joke, bizarre utopic simulations or cannibal pilgrims, there’s been a lot of very weird stuff in this series. With that being said, it was very nice to get back to such a simple and classic horror story.
Another thing Into the Dark will sometimes struggle with is having a likeable and relatable lead character or characters. That is not the case at all with “Blood Moon.” Esme and Luna are incredibly endearing and it’s hard not to feel for this struggling mother and the afflicted son for whom she cares so much.
Part of the reason the characters are so likeable are the fantastic performances from Echikunwoke and Kibreab. Both actors play their roles perfectly, with Echikunwoke clearly portraying her pain in each and every scene and Kibreab excellently encapsulating the despondent troubled child. They are also surrounded by a terrific supporting cast who get the chance to shine in both down-to-Earth dramatic scenes and over-the-top horror scenes.
“Blood Moon” also successfully navigates a subgenre that can very easily go down a very cheesy road. As you could easily guess from watching the trailer, this is a werewolf story, or at least has the bones of one. That’s a story that very often becomes very campy or even comedic, whether that is the intention or not. “Blood Moon” manages to tell a very serious and heartfelt horror story without crossing that line.
The only downside to this installment is that it is a tad predictable. A good horror story will typically keep you on your toes and have you guessing until the end. This is a fairly straight forward story that is driven by its characters and not the looming danger around every corner. It almost plays as more of a drama than a horror.
Overall, “Blood Moon” is one of the strongest Into the Dark installments to date. It’s certainly not at the top of the list when you’re talking about the scariest episodes, but it’s a nice retelling of a classic horror story with some great performances and likeable characters. It’s a heartbreaking journey to which just about anyone can relate. “Blood Moon” may not keep you on the edge of your seat, but it will certainly hold your attention.
“Blood Moon” will debut on Hulu on Friday, March 26. 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.
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he 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.”