April 14, 2024

INTO THE DARK: BLOOD MOON (2021) – Not enough bite in this werewolf tale

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Rating: ⭐⭐

This is the final episode in Season Two of the Into the Dark anthology series. The series have had so many delays and missed episodes that I have no idea at all what festival this episode’s yarn on werewolf is supposed to be themed against. Right from the onset, Blood Moon teases the viewer on its tale of werewolves, showing the bloody remains of what must have been a vicious attack on an innocent human. The twist being that the werewolf appears to be embodied in a young boy. We soon learn the grim truth that he is being protected from causing any harm to others by his mother once a month when the moon is at its fullest,

As the episode progresses, we begin to realise also another ugly truth. This one directly involving the viewer. The film makers have no intent of showing us the werewolf and seem content to just tease with quick edits, sound effects and lots of imagination. This may not be bad thing as it does require a fair amount of creativity to invoke the sense of danger and fear to the viewer without actually showing anything. In fact for the most part I would say that director Emma Tammi succeeded in doing this, thanks in part to an engaging performance by Megalyn Echikunwoke, a relative unknown actress of Nigerian and English descent. However, there is just so much that an audience can take, or in this case, not take, before patience begin to take its toll. I am not sure about the rest of humanity, but I for one was actually waiting to be “rewarded” by my patience with an all out, no holds bar, bloody ending. The ending was bloody all right, but alas, we never get to see the mayhem and once again, the film’s lack of budget shows and we are left with our own imagination to fill in the gory details. At the end of the day, Blood Moon is more about the relationship between a single mom and her young son as he grows up as they struggle with a family issue that the son happens to be a werewolf. Perhaps this whole episode would have resonated better if we replaced the werewolf element with some other more human complication such as drug abuse, or some form of physical or emotional handicap, and present it as a human drama episode rather than in a horror anthology.

Given the rocky times that this Hulu anthology series have been experiencing, I strongly doubt if it will return for a third season. Despite its many misfires, I have to confess that I had always been a fan and looked forward to see what each month’s episode will deliver. When it works, the series can feel like a blessing to horror fans looking for something original and memorable. I would like to remember the series for its better stories rather than the misfires like Blood Moon.

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