Into the Dark: “Blood Moon” Review

Following a release schedule filled with challenges due to global lockdowns, Hulu’s Into the Dark managed to finish its second season with a werewolf themed movie in honor of the Spring Full Moon.  “Blood Moon” is a fascinating character study filled with drama and tension.  It’s well-acted, written, and directed, but it might not be what people are expecting.

It’s fun to see the full moon getting recognized in this anthology series about holidays.

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)

New Town, New Name
Immediately we’re introduced to our protagonist Esme (Megan Echikunwoke), covered in blood, as retrieves her infant son, tears in her eyes.  Years later she’s using a different name as she always does.  She and her son Luna have moved to a small town in what appears to be the American Southwest.

Isolation is usually used in horror to increase the suspense and fear, but in “Blood Moon” Esme uses it to her advantage. She’s trying to keep a low profile, and living in an isolated area is a great way to do it.

Esme quickly lands a job at a small bar and grille, but insists that she must have off on a particular day every month.  Just as speedily, she assembles a metal cage in her basement to prepare for the dreaded night of the 21st, which brings with it the full moon.

As she locks Luna in the cage, it becomes very clear that she’s not the one who transforms and that the young boy inherited this gene from his father.  Which explains why she refuses to let him play with other kids or go to school.

However the secret can only be kept for so long, especially as a young boy wishes to explore the world.  And it’s only a matter of time before suspicions are raised in the small town.

Eventually people start noticing the missing livestock…

Not Your Typical Werewolf Movie
For those expecting something along the lines of An American Werewolf in London, or The Howling, you may be disappointed as this focuses less on the special effects/transformation and more on the affect it has on an ordinary person caring for someone with this “affliction”.

It’s less a monster movie and more a character drama about the lengths Esme must go (including immoral and illegal) in order to keep her son safe.  Technically she belongs in the category with other “mothers of monsters” icons we see in Friday the 13th, Psycho, and many others, but the tragedy is that her son is still just an innocent little boy.

This whole movie rides on Megan Echikunwoke’s performance as she conveys the conflict of not wanting to harm animals (or other people) but doing so when necessary if it means keeping her son safe.  The story really is more about her, as we don’t even get the full “werewolf part” until well into the third act.

The movie’s entire success rests her performance. Fortunately it’s a great one.

If you’re interested in seeing a werewolf transformation followed by some bloody kills, then it’s probably not the movie for you.  But if you’re intrigued by a well-made character drama/thriller that’s monster movie-adjacent, you’ll definitely appreciate “Blood Moon”!

What are some are your favorite werewolf movies? Let us know in the comments!

Blood Moon premieres on Hulu Friday March 26, 2021

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