Into the Dark premiered October 5th on Hulu. A new, themed episode drops every month.
[Ed. note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]
By Chris Flanagan
I’ve got to hand it to Hulu for attempting something as unique as their new series Into the Dark. Its ambitious and intriguing release schedule calls for one episode of the show to debut each month for the next year with every episode centering around a specific holiday that occurs within its month of release.
The Body, Into the Dark’s premiere episode, takes place on Halloween night and focuses on Wilkes, a hitman who is attempting to complete a job but is delayed when reluctantly needing the help of a group of strangers to finish his mission. From the beginning, Wilkes is an interesting character which is mostly due to his pessimistic worldview towards people and their actions being believed as important. This results in moments of dark humor with his Halloween companions as it directly clashes with their sense of optimism and blissful ignorance.
For me, the premise of a hitman being able to easily do his work under the guise of Halloween was immediately interesting and the character of Wilkes, while saddled with clichéd deadpan delivery while being somewhat predictable, became entertaining and oddly charming throughout the episode. This increases when Maggie, a disgruntled employee and party-goer, enters the picture realizing that he might be the one thing that could rescue her from a life of boredom. Truthfully, Maggie and Wilkes were the only reason I continued with this episode as their continued development provided a reason to keep watching in order to see how their story would resolve. While both had great onscreen chemistry, their strengths also shined a light on the deficiencies of the supporting cast. I would also argue that it wasn’t entirely their fault as they were consistently let down by a poor script. As mentioned earlier, the story was interesting and kept me engaged for longer than expected in order to see it reach a conclusion, however, as the script continued to fail the cast you could begin to see the corners of storytelling that were cut and it quickly became apparent that this was a made-for-tv Blumhouse production that seemed to compromise rather than push any boundaries.
Overall, Into the Dark: The Body was a good watch – not a memorable one. Despite that, I look forward to the second entry of the series and will more than likely keep with it as each story will be completely different from the last and in this case it offers me hope for what this could be in the months to come. The story has some predictable beats that could’ve easily been edited better to a reasonable runtime, however, I still found myself mildly entertained by the end and served as a nice reprieve from nightly network television.
I give Into the Dark‘s first episode a C+.