Ranking “Into the Dark” Season 2

Technically spanning 3 years (late 2019-early 2021) the second season of Hulu’s Into the Dark certainly faced hardships, in the wake of worldwide challenges.  While it took 5 months longer than usual, they still delivered 12 unique tales of terror, all based around a different holiday.

So with the second season now ended (and hopefully a third one on the way), we thought it would be fun to look back and rank every entry in the season!

12. “My Valentine” (Valentine’s Day)
5. My Valentine
Fast editing and over-stylized visuals can work if they’re used properly and in the service of something.  Other times, they’re just used so a movie looks trendy and edgy, but the result is quite hollow.

“My Valentine” sadly goes with the latter as it plays out more like a music video than an actual movie and doesn’t really seem to know it’s a horror movie until the very end.  In another medium (like a short Tik Tok video), it might have played out better, but as a nearly 90 minute horror narrative, it just doesn’t know what to do with itself.

11. “Midnight Kiss” (New Year’s Eve)
4. Midnight Kiss
Much like the previous entry, “Midnight Kiss” isn’t really sure what kind of movie it wants to be.  For the first 75% of its runtime, it’s more of a romantic drama about a group of friends and the many issues and baggage they’ve developed over the years.

To its credit, it does a great job of featuring main characters who are gay, but aren’t portrayed in a stereotypical manner.  But as a horror movie, it kind of forgets that it is one until it’s too late.  It commits the same sin as “My Valentine” but scores higher because from a technical/filmmaking perspective it is a better put together movie.

10. “The Current Occupant” (Independence Day)
10. Current Occupant
This one deserves credit for trying a unique idea and concept, it’s just that sometimes they don’t always pay off.  Taking a surreal and metaphorical approach to real world political issues, “The Current Occupant” is a great premise that probably would have worked better as an arthouse short film than a feature length story.  It’s well-shot and visually interesting, but it struggles to pad out its whole runtime.

9. “Delivered” (Mother’s Day)
8. Delivered
Creepy, obsessive people make for some of the scariest horror villains because people like that really exist and we’ve all met them.  Coupled with the vulnerability of a pregnant women being kidnapped, “Delivered” plays out like a tense play between two characters.

Tina Majorino does a decent job, but the more the story plays out, the more it feels like we’re just watching an imitation of 1990’s Misery.  It’s not a bad movie, it just doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

8. “Pooka Lives!” (Easter)
7. Pooka LIves
This past season included Into the Dark’s very first sequel with “Pooka Lives!”  The giant demonic Furby had already scared us at Christmas back in 2018, but now it was here to ruin Easter as well.

Less trippy and surreal than its predecessor, this installment really drives home the commentary on commercialism and internet culture.  It’s also complimented by a stellar cast that includes Felicia Day and Will Wheaton.  They say there’s no telling what Pooka will do, so perhaps we will see him again.

7. “Blood Moon” (Spring Full Moon)
12. Blood Moon
The second season ended with a werewolf movie that felt more like a character/family drama than your typical werewolf movie.  The fear and tension doesn’t come from the creature itself, rather from the fear of discovery by the mother of that creature who’s just trying to raise her son in as normal an environment as possible.

While the werewolf itself doesn’t emerge until the final act, this movie ranks higher than “Midnight Kiss” or “My Valentine” because of its superb acting, and the fact that it remains tense throughout.  It was a really strong entry to end the season with, especially since we have no idea when it will be back.

6. “Crawlers” (St. Patrick’s Day)
6. Crawlers
By far the cheesiest movie on this list, “Crawlers” is actually a lot of fun.  It’s dumb, ridiculous, and campy, but is very aware and owns it.  An alien invasion during a bar crawl on St. Patrick’s Day evokes a great deal of B-movie fun.

The whole movie has a real Invasion of the Body Snatchers vibe and almost feels like an outright parody.  It doesn’t take itself as seriously as most of the other movies here, but because of that, it winds up being one of the more entertaining ones to watch.

5. “Pilgrim” (Thanksgiving)
2. Pilgrim
Thanksgiving is a holiday that very rarely gets horror movie attention so Into the Dark was perfect for bringing to life this pilgrim themed story.  “Pilgrim” does a great job of slowly building tension and terror throughout its runtime.

The titular pilgrims begin as just awkward and uncomfortable, but as the movie goes on, we discover just how terrifying and disturbing they really are.  Between its writing, art direction, and overall style, this one definitely feels the most cinematic out of the bunch, like it could it done well released in theaters.

4. “Tentacles” (Valentine’s Day)
11. Tentacles
This season’s second Valentine’s Day entry in 2021 was far better than “My Valentine” in 2020!  “Tentacles” was advertised as a sort of sex-themed exploration into body horror and extreme kinks, however that’s not entirely the case, and it’s not a bad thing.

It’s far more disturbing from a psychological perspective as it takes all the normal baggage, anxiety, and issues that come with dysfunctional relationships, and runs with them into horror territory.  And while it does delve deeply into the supernatural, it holds these cards close to its proverbial chest for most of the runtime, keeping its audience guessing.

3. “Good Boy” (Pet Appreciation Week)
9. Good Boy
Very often, pets become part of the family with some even treating them like their own children.  This pet-themed entry of Into the Dark ran with this into frightening territory as a socially awkward woman who adores her dog discovers that her dog seems to be killing people.

It does a great job of being legitimately creepy, while still being just campy enough that it’s fun.  But what really makes the whole thing work is Judy Greer’s performance, which runs the full spectrum of sympathetic, funny, and scary.  She’s seriously an underrated actress who’s amazing in everything she’s in, and doesn’t get nearly enough lead roles.

2. “Uncanny Annie” (Halloween)
1. Uncanny Annie
Kicking off the second season was an awesome Halloween-themed movie that felt like a horror version of Jumanji.  Granted it plays out like your typical teen horror, but it’s done well with some awesomely creepy visuals and practical effects.  It’s the perfect movie to watch with friends on Halloween night, and it would honestly be amazing if they actually made this into a real board game!

1. “A Nasty Piece of Work” (Christmas)
3. Nasty Piece of Work
Technically this is more of a horror/thriller that happens to be set during Christmas, but it’s the perfect satire of corporate culture.  It’s witty, perfectly cast, and feels like a fun blend of Office Space and Ready or Not.  For anyone who’s ever been frustrated with their job, or felt that their bosses were completely out of touch, it’s quite the cathartic viewing!

Which one is your favorite and least favorite?  Let us know in the comments!

Into the Dark is streaming exclusively on Hulu

For more rankings, reviews, and other fun horror/sci-fi/fantasy content, follow Halloween Year-Round on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

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