By Dave B.
Into the Dark: Flesh & Blood (Hulu) is the second installment in Blumhouse’s anthology horror series. In it, 17 year old Kimberly (Diana Silvers) is stricken with agoraphobia after the brutal and unsolved murder of her mother a year earlier. Kimberly is incapable of leaving her house without experiencing debilitating panic attacks. All of the house’s windows are boarded up. She can’t even go out onto her front porch to retrieve a package. Her sole companions are her father Henry (Dermot Mulroney), with whom she lives, and her therapist Dr. Saunders (Tembi Locke) who visits weekly for emotionally-charged sessions. So what will she do when she finds herself trapped alone in the house with the serial killer who took her mother from her?
Superficially, I didn’t think that Flesh & Blood would be the type of movie that would interest me. I’ve got nothing against slasher/thriller flicks in theory. But a lot of them tend to be unoriginal and therefore boring to me. That said, I love this movie! It manages to fall firmly within its genre, yet feel fresh. We’ve all seen movies that have a girl trapped with a murderous maniac, but in how many of those movies was the girl trapped because of her own unwillingness/inability to step one foot outside of her house? Not many that I can recall. More than that, although Flesh & Blood’s plot is fairly straightforward, Silvers’ fantastic performance made me feel as unsure as she feels about what is actually going on in her life. Locke’s compassionate performance and Mulroney’s over-the-top portrayal of Henry combine to provide diametrically opposed energies that constantly raise and lower the tension in the film, adding to the uncertainty about whether or not Kimberly can trust her own mind.
In short, Into the Dark: Flesh & Blood is a breath of fresh air in what is often a relatively stale genre. It's a fairly bloodless slasher film that excels at building tension, creating delightful confusion, and effectively implementing psychological horror. It’s added dimension of agoraphobia is enhanced by performances that range from great to…interesting, but that mesh together seamlessly. At 94 minutes long, this movie is definitely worth your time and I especially recommend it to two groups of people: those who have seen all that the slasher genre has to offer and are thirsting for a new take on an old favorite, and those who want to see the early work of someone who is going to be a star, because mark my words, Diana Silvers is getting ready to take the world by storm.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.