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Into The Dark S02 E11 Tentacles Main

Into the Dark - Season 2, Episode 11: “Tentacles” TV Episode Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Premiered on Hulu

into the dark s02 e11 tentacles poster large

Directed by Clara Aranovich
Written by Nick Antosca and Alexandra Pechman
2020, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Premiered on February 12th, 2021

Casey Deidrick as Sam
Dana Drori as Tara
Kasey Elise as Esther
Evan Williams as Grant

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It feels a bit like life is starting to return to normal – Into the Dark is back on Hulu, and the opener from director Clara Aranovich is just in time for Women in Horror Month! That’s a nice one-two punch. If you’re anything like me, horror is the capstone that keeps your personal arch standing tall. We’ve all taken a beating for the last year; thankfully the premiere film shoots you right through your little black heart with some lovey-dovey horror that’ll make you think twice about those romances that sweep you off your feet.

Sam (Casey Deidrick; Teen Wolf) is a photographer who’s grown tired of the repetition of commercial work and the absence of a creative outlet. Tara (Dana Drori; Freaky) is a homeless drifter who has a fetish for screwing around in open house showings (who also happens to be on the run from a seriously bad guy with unique appendages). When they meet, it could almost be wordless. The attraction is immediate and intense. They’re soon a happy couple fixing up their nest and spending all day screwing each other’s brains out. Still, questions remain: What is Tara running from? Who are Grant and Lina? Why is Sam so tired all the time? Is that a tentacle digging around in Sam’s ear while he’s sleeping?! The more intense their relationship gets, the more he discovers that he’s never met a woman like Tara. For that matter, there’s never been a woman quite like Tara.

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Into the Dark is coming right out of the chute with a love story that’s oddly touching for a body horror with the beats of a classic ‘80s erotic thriller. It’s a movie that does such an effective job with the eroticism that you forget you’re watching horror at times…at least until the tentacles show up. Casey Deidrick and Dana Drori have real chemistry together. The house itself becomes something of a character as they renovate it, and that plays together well with the pacing. It’s one of those movies that’s patient and subtle until it’s not; once the shit starts, it starts in earnest. In other words, it’s classic Into the Dark. Every month brings you a different type of nightmare altogether, but Tentacles burrows deeply because we’ve all had that intense physical relationship where the sex is the defining factor.

There’s more, however. There’s a mythology and a creature at work that could have the kind of repeat performance power that has so far belonged solely to Pooka! and Pooka Lives!. There’s definitely more story to be told here. Tentacular shapeshifters are monsters that I want to see more of; there’s room to explore all the physical qualities and get into some really freaky shit. It also works wonderfully as an homage to the EC Comics cautionary sex tales. The finish is cheeky as hell, and I can’t help but wish they would’ve carried that a little further to cover all the bases.

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Tentacles is a true throwback, a film that genuinely feels like it could have been made twenty-five years ago. That’s particularly cool because it’s not due to overt nostalgia and pandering. I mean, I love Stranger Things as much as the next person, but you don’t always have to mimic the past to get an old-school vibe. Clara Aranovich directs the hell out of this sucker with genuine nuance and a great eye for the little things. I wouldn’t forget her name; I think it’s going to come up again.

I do have to give Tentacles one little black eye, however – I keep feeling like there’s movement in my ear, and I’m starting to eye my wife’s scar rather suspiciously…

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Episode: 4.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US

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About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer - USA
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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