Into the Dark (2018)


Israel Broussard (Happy Death Day)
Aurora Perrineau (Truth or Dare)
Dora Madison (Bliss)
Frank Whaley (Luke Cage)
Samantha Mathis (American Psycho)

94506290_10163515007515333_2681161054246928384_nChelsea Stardust’s All That We Destroy is the antithesis Mother’s Day feature to Troma’s splattery, schlocky exploitation (Mother’s Day) that once dominated May’s most honorable Sunday (for genre fans). Where Charles Kaufman favors shock and awe, Stardust brings method and layered trauma to this month’s Into The Dark segment. It’s a portrait of a serial killer under mama’s containment, but not in a mentor/trainee scenario. Screenwriters Sean Keller and Jim Agnew splice scientific reinvention, parent/child complications, and the unanswerable constants of human nature into a true crime podcast’s next subject. Making a murderer, Into The Dark style.dca1b830-6d09-11e9-a3dc-758db1ea2737_800_420Samantha Mathis stars as Dr. Victoria Harris, a renown geneticist who works from home in close proximity to son Spencer (Israel Broussard). Victoria’s current project involves cloning, memory loss, and a recycled tragedy from Spencer’s past, which explains why the boy is under issued house arrest. An opening sequence that involves Spencer and Victoria’s latest “Ashley” (Aurora Perrineau) makes it clear that we’re witnessing no mere business trial. Victoria is doing this for Spencer’s sake, and the more we learn about his current condition or relationship with “Ashley,” the darker Victoria’s motives and caretaking becomes.IJFWY4On an aesthetic level, All That We Destroy modestly likens to Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade given how they’re both independent features (on different levels) that build all-involving futuristic worlds. Each time an “Ashley” awakens, she’s covered in this sludgy black primordial goop like rejuvenating motor oil. We’re grounded to the Harris estate much like Spencer, but Stardust maximizes details like holographic smartphones made from rectangular glass or communication devices that can project users into an alternate realm for face-to-face chats no matter location. Hence how Victoria contacts husband Parker (Frank Whaley), who’s off premises while Victoria fights for their child’s well-being alone. Stardust’s world is cerebral, entrapping, and thoroughly imagined, making the most of minimalist means.Screen-Shot-2020-02-21-at-1.32.41-PMOn the flip side, All That We Destroy continues Into The Dark’s visual proclivity to not play up the festiveness of holidays. When Hulu and Blumhouse announced their holiday horror venture, collaborative expectations assumed something livelier in tonality. Stardust’s themes undoubtedly align with Mother’s Day, but the drabness of sterile household drama and surgical sincerity run a bit dry at times. Victoria’s morally ambiguous treatment of Spencer implies a mother’s undying love that’s so different than Parker’s more matter-of-fact, disassociated father. Based on storyboarded arcs, we’ve seen killers be humanized as children while interacting with loved ones who desperately want to help. All That We Destroy goes a step further based on Victoria’s motherly devotion, but bloodline complications fail to riff on terrifying psychological torment with sustained “mad scientist” tragedy.ITD_IJFWY_SEW_21292RVictoria’s parental capacity for compassion is also her biggest fault, as extended absences from company premises lead to quotes like, “If I were a man they’d call me an eccentric or a genius, not an overprotective mother.” Mathis’ performance separates ma’s from pa’s (in this scenario) by connecting with Victoria’s protective instincts at all costs. For how detached Israel Broussard’s Spencer remains while a rotating door of Aurora Perrineau-played victims relives the same hell in different vessels, Mathis’ hope falls on blank stares. As a parent, there’s nothing scarier than not being able to save or “fix” your child. Victoria’s “progress” is rooted in these very fears, which Mathis helplessly evokes in fits of unenviable helps All That We Destroy is never having to question *if* Spencer is a killer. That’s all sorted out in the film’s opening scene. Stardust opens the door for character-building additions such as his artistic talents (sketches are intriguing), the addition of Dora Madison as love interest/nosy neighbor Marissa Cornell, and more than just stories about animal abuse or playground misbehaving. We’re able to appreciate core chemistries and acting, even though establishing details are base-value generic. As I said, you’ve seen these serial killer signs laid out over and over, with little more to be added here. Themes of sacrificial victimization, biological advancement, and a mother’s forever championing are far more intriguing.into-the-dark-may-3-800x337All That We Destroy is a tale of heartache, inevitability, and how a mother’s role can never be overstated. Chelsea Stardust demonstrates a keen eye for finding value in indie productions, even if the story itself is somewhat expected despite human replication breakthroughs. Samantha Mathis gives her life for child, Israel Broussard coldly attempts to kick his habit, and in the end, we’re treated to parenthood tribulations no mother or father could fathom navigating. Violent cinematography and Broussard’s commitment to robotic depravity are the highlights here, making for another by-the-books Into The Dark watch that’s recommendable enough for your late-night streaming needs.



Jessica Rothe (La La Land)
Israel Broussard (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)
Suraj Sharma (God Friended Me)
Steve Zissis (Her)
Ruby Modine (Shameless)
Phi Vu (Logan)
Sarah Yarkin (Foursome)
Rachel Matthews (Looking for Alaska)
Charles Aitken (The Knick)
Laura Clifton (The New Guy)
Missy Yager (Manchester By The Sea)

Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)College student Ryan wakes up in his car on Tuesday, September 19. Returning to his dorm room, he walks in on his roommate Carter and Carter’s girlfriend Tree. He resumes work on an experimental quantum reactor (which they call SISSY) with fellow students Samar and Dre. After Bronson, the school dean, shuts down the project for triggering several power outages, Ryan follows a series of picture sent to him and is murdered by someone dressed as Babyface, and wakes up again on Tuesday the 19th. After encountering several events he had already experienced that day, he explains the situation to Carter and Tree much to their confusion as both Lori and John Tombs are dead. Tree explains her experience reliving Monday the 18th, and she and Carter agree to help Ryan.Jessica Rothe and Phi Vu in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)They go back to the lab but the killer is not there, Ryan explains SISSY to Tree and Carter and he learns that the reactor was responsible for creating the loop. Fearing that he’ll be sharing the same fate as Tree, Carter decides they should hide in plain sight at a Basketball game. The new Babyface tracks Ryan down, but Tree knocks him out and unmasks him to reveal another Ryan. The second Ryan claims that he’s from another dimension and stumbled into theirs trying to close the previous loop and warns that the original must die for the loop to close. Terrified, Ryan activates SISSY, and as Dre, Samar and Dean Bronson walk in, it releases a powerful energy pulse that knocks everyone unconscious.Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Phi Vu in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)Tree wakes up in Carter’s room on Monday the 18th, and relives her original time loop, with certain differences: Lori is friends with Carter and does not make Tree a cupcake, and Carter is now dating Danielle who is much friendlier than before. Ryan theorizes that SISSY caused Tree to drift into another dimension, but when Tree learns her mother is still alive in this dimension, she decides to stay.Missy Yager and Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)That night, Tree goes to the hospital to intercept serial killer John Tombs before he escapes, but is confronted by a police officer who attempts to arrests her for brandishing an axe. Babyface kills the officer and when Tree says she knows the killer is Lori, she appears behind her and pulls her into an elevator to save her, revealing that Lori is not the killer. She tells her that Babyface cannot be Tombs because she just took him in for surgery. As they make their way out, babyface stabs and kills Lori, then chases Tree to the roof, where she accidentally falls to her death. She wakes at the beginning of her loop, and demands that Ryan and his team help her escape it, requiring they test dozens of algorithms. At Carter’s suggestion, Tree serves as the group’s recorder, killing herself at the end of each day so they can start again.Happy Death Day 2U (2019)These deaths include electrocuting herself, drinking drain cleaner, skydiving without equipment, and even throwing herself into a wood chipper. Waking up from a loop in which she throws herself from a bell tower, her injuries catch up with her and she faints. Waking up in the hospital, she is greeted by Carter and Dr. Gregory Butler, who was having an affair with Tree before, but now he doesn’t recognize her at all. Tree remembers that Lori was having an affair with Dr. Butler so he warns him about her death and sends him to go save her. Tree steals a gun to go after Tombs, only to find Lori already dead. Babyface attacks and Tree shoots him dead. However, a second Babyface appears, forcing Tree to kill herself and Babyface by igniting a set of gas tanks.Jessica Rothe and Steve Zissis in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)Tree relays the information she’s learned through out her time loop to the group and they finally discover the correct algorithm to close the loops for good, unfortunately SISSY shuts down after Samar accidentally downloads a virus from his email causing a 7-hour delay. Faced with a choice of which reality she wants to be in when both time loops close, Tree decides to remain in the current dimension as she does not want to lose her mother again, even at the expense of her relationship with Carter. Carter urges Tree to consider the consequences of living a life that is not truly hers, and states that her experience with grief helped shape the person she is now. Regardless Tree decides to spend the night with her parents at a hotel to avoid Babyface, on the way however Tree begins to realize her mistake of living in this dimension as her mother recalls birthday memories to Tree that she does not remember and tells her that she would always remain with her father if she had another chance at life.Jessica Rothe, Sarah Yarkin, and Phi Vu in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)That evening, the news reports that Carter was murdered along with Lori and the Officer at the hospital, so she calls Ryan and begs him not to close the loop, but he doesn’t answer. Tree kills herself so she can save Carter and Lori, by driving at full speed towards the University’s power plant just before the loops close. The loop restarts, and Tree decides to return to her own dimension. She advises Lori to end her affair with Dr. Butler, discovers that Danielle is cheating on Carter, and has a final conversation with her mother.As the group starts up SISSY Bronson unplugs and confiscates it before the group can activate it. Believing she is too weak to survive another loop, Tree insists they retrieve the device. The group enlists Danielle to distract Bronson while they recover SISSY. As Ryan readies the device, Tree goes to the hospital to rescue Lori from Tombs, but is trapped by the second Babyface – revealed to be Dr. Butler. Tree deduces everything she learned during the time loops, that Dr. Butler’s wife Stephanie found out about his affair with Lori and in order to bury the evidence of the affair, he drugged John Tombs and equipped him with a knife and Babyface mask so that when he woke up he would stab Lori to death, taking the blame for the murder. Dr. Butler however reveals that Stephanie was in on the scheme as well, wanting to save their marriage, she appears and shoots Lori and they disarm Tree together.Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)Stephanie the gives Gregory a gun to finish them off, but he betrays and shoots her as well stating that he is finished with her. Carter shows up to distract Butler and Tree runs away as he goes after her. After leading him into an MRI room, Tree outsmarts Butler by activating the MRI magnet pinning him to it with a wheelchair and killing him by releasing a screwdriver into his abdomen. As the group activates SISSY again, Bronson discovers the ruse and storms into the lab to disable the machine. Lori survives and she and Stephanie are taken away by the hospital staff, Tree apologizes to Lori and tells her that she wishes thing could’ve turned out better for them. As Samar and Dre fend off Bronson and two security guards, Tree and Carter kiss as SISSY activates, sending Tree back to her original dimension on Tuesday the 19th. Tree wakes up on the floor of the science lab in the same area she was before the loop, with everything the same as before except the second Ryan is now gone, Tree asks Carter who Danielle is and he has no recollection of her much to her delight.Jessica Rothe and Ruby Modine in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)In a mid-credits scene, Tree, Carter, Ryan, Samar and Dre are forced to do community service to pay for the damages to the science lab. They are approached by two men from DARPA who escort them to their laboratory, where SISSY has been moved for further experimentation. They state that they need someone to serve as a test subject to figure out how it works, to which Tree says she knows the perfect candidate. In her bedroom, Danielle wakes up screaming in horror, revealing that she is now in a time loop of her own.Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day 2U (2019)Surprisingly entertaining !! It definitely worth a watch. This film isn’t perfect and is possibly quite unoriginal but it’s still tons of fun and puts a fresh twist on the concept. The characters are likable and the humor is brilliant at times. It’s just lots of fun and excitement. Very enjoyable !!



Jessica Rothe (La La Land)
Israel Broussard (The Bling Ring)
Ruby Modine (Shameless)
Rachel Matthews (Ms. White Light)
Charles Aitken (The Girl on the Train)
Laura Clifton (The King)
Jason Bayle (Jeepers Creepers 3)
Rob Mello (The Best of Me)
Billy Slaughter (The Campaign)
Phi Vu (Logan)

Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day (2017)Theresa “Tree” Gelbman wakes up on her birthday in the dorm room of classmate Carter Davis after a drunken binge the previous evening. Tree ignores her father’s calls, dismisses Carter as she leaves his room, throws away a birthday cupcake given to her by her roommate Lori Spengler, and has an affair with her married professor, Gregory Butler. That night, on her way to a party, Tree is lured into a tunnel and murdered by a hooded figure wearing a mask of the campus mascot.Tree wakes up the next morning in Carter’s bed with the previous day’s events repeating. Unnerved, she relives the day and avoids the tunnel, instead heading to a fraternity house for a surprise party. However, the masked killer follows her to the party and kills her again. Tree realizes that she is in a time loop and tries to avoid her death by barricading herself in her room, but the killer hides in her room and kills her again.Upon waking up, she relays her story to Carter, who suggests that she take advantage of the loop to identify her killer. She spends the next several iterations trailing suspected classmates and getting killed each time. After a loop where she is bludgeoned, she faints shortly after waking up. She awakens in the campus hospital where she learns that her body shows evidence of recovery from multiple traumatic injuries, indicating that she has retained physical damage from her previous deaths. Shortly after escaping the hospital, she is pursued and killed again.Jessica Rothe in Happy Death Day (2017)Waking up in Carter’s bed again, Tree convinces Carter of her predicament by showing that she holds knowledge of the day’s events. Tree tells him that she does not like who she has become since distancing from her father after her mother’s death. Later, Tree sees a local news report on John Tombs, a serial killer being held at the campus hospital. Concluding that Tombs is her killer, Tree rushes to the hospital to warn of his escape. Tombs breaks free and nearly kills Tree, but Carter follows and rescues her. Tombs kills Carter before chasing Tree to a nearby bell tower where she manages to subdue him with a crowbar. Realizing that Carter will remain dead if she does not restart the loop, Tree hangs herself. Believing she has solved her murder, Tree is happier and more relaxed during the next loop. Tree ends her affair with Butler and meets with her father. That night, she goes to the hospital and attacks and kills Tombs. Relieved to finally be free, she celebrates her birthday in Carter’s room and eats the cupcake given to her by Lori.Tree wakes up in another loop. Confused and angered that killing Tombs did not stop the time loop, Tree returns to her room where Lori offers the cupcake again. Tree realizes this was the only time she had ever eaten the cupcake and died in her sleep. Tree deduces that Lori is the true killer; Lori had poisoned the cupcake, but when Tree did not eat it, she utilized her job as a nurse in the hospital to drug and frame Tombs for Tree’s murder. Tree tries to coerce Lori to have a bite, however when Lori refuses, Tree contemplates taking the cupcake to the police. Lori lunges at Tree, locks the door and confesses that she was jealous of her affair with Butler before engaging in a fight. Tree manages to stuff the cupcake into Lori’s mouth before kicking her out of a window, sending her falling to her death. Tree and Carter muse over the day’s events in a restaurant. He offers her his room for the night, and Tree wakes up the next day believing herself to be in another loop. Carter reveals it to be a prank, and the two kiss. This looked interesting from the trailer… and seeing as horror movies are repetitive nowadays, my expectations were low for this film. After seeing the movie, I must say that this was definitely a good, fun flick. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already