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Into The Dark S02 E06 Crawlers Main

Into the Dark - Season 2, Episode 6: “Crawlers” TV Episode Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Premiered on Hulu | Blumhouse Television

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Directed by Brandon Zuck
Written by Catherine Wignall and Mike Gan
2020, 81 minutes, Not Rated
Premiered on Hulu on March 6th, 2020

Starring:
Pepi Sonuga as Misty
Jude Demorest as Chloe
Giorgia Wigham as Shauna
Olivia Yiang as Yuejin
Cameron Fuller as Aaron
David Carzell as Officer Dominic
Virginia Louise Smith as Mrs. Shore

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Review:

St. Patrick’s Day is a strange holiday. It’s always seemed like an excuse to get hammered on green beer and call into work the next day. That’s an oversimplification, to be sure, but being dedicated to getting drunk as a way of celebrating Irish culture and their patron saint comes off as a bit superfluous. Maybe it’s just me.

Then again, maybe it’s not just me. March’s entry for the Into the Dark series, entitled Crawlers, highlights the excesses (and the backlash) of the culture of alcoholic celebration and frat life with an edge of biting satire and a cheeky sense of humor while serving as another variation of Jack Finney’s archetypal 1955 story, The Body Snatchers (better known in film as Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

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Misty (Pepi Sonuga; Leprechaun Returns) is having a hard time lately. Following an encounter at the local frat house where she was roofied and sexually assaulted, she’s on the outs with her best friend, Chloe (Jude Demorest; Bipolar). Chloe doesn’t believe her, and she’s far too obsessed with partying and living the hedonistic side of college life. On top of that, she’s taken on a new best friend named Yuejin (Olivia Yiang; Legacies). Still, she attends the annual St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl to try and repair the breach. Something is amiss, however – a cop, Officer Dominic (David Carzell; Star Trek: Picard), is attacked and bitten by a drunk college kid and the students are behaving in an even more drugged fashion than usual. The town drug dealer and conspiracy theorist, Shauna (Giorgia Wigham; Scream: The TV Series), joins the group with the crazy theory that the town is being taken over by aliens who arrived in a meteor crash in 1978. They soon realize that not all conspiracy theories are that far-fetched. The question is: What are they going to do about it?

Crawlers makes heavy use of Shauna in voiceover and video cuts where she explains the situation and provides amusing commentary. Along with the use of character title cards for everyone’s first appearance, it’s a stylistic choice that lends an air of levity to the proceedings that could put off some viewers. It works well with the color palette, however – everything is saturated green and there is always a fog hanging around every environment. That overall flavor profile gives Crawlers an old-school, B-movie aesthetic that has another interesting effect: juxtaposition.

The schlocky look and feel are there for compare and contrast with the film’s moral agenda and message. Crawlers cleverly and poignantly makes a strong point about rape culture (especially in the privileged circles of college life) and how hard it is to be believed when something has happened. It’s hideously relevant in 2020, when times are changing for the better, but the growing pains are hard for many people. The character of Aaron (Cameron Fuller; Barely Lethal) is the conduit for that message: he’s believed to be a date rapist and sex offender, but the truth is anything but. Through the truth of his story and Misty’s treatment of him, there’s a clever role reversal that shows there are three sides to every story – yours, theirs, and the truth.

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From the pacing to the order of events to the underlying message, Crawlers is cleverly written and smartly directed. Writer Catherine Wignall and director Brandon Zuck are a couple of names to watch. You can see a natural instinct for a story well told in both of their efforts.

Crawlers continues Into the Dark’s tradition of using holidays and events to highlight the oddities and idiosyncrasies of human behavior in horrific fashion. It’s one of their best entries and stands alongside Culture Shock, Pure, and All That We Destroy. It’s also an enjoyable twist on the Body Snatchers archetype, a tale that never goes out of style.

Yeah, it’s definitely NOT just me. St. Patrick’s Day is a weird-ass holiday.

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Grades:

Episode: 4.5 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US

About The Author
Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Writer
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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