B-List Delights: Down into the dark



Jennifer and Guy panicking after the key breaks.

Macy Fowler, Academic Beat Leader

Hulu has created a horror anthology series named “Into the Dark.” So far, there is only one season, with twelve episodes, each based on a different holiday. The fifth episode of the installment is Down (2019), directed by Daniel Stamm. The movie follows two strangers, Guy and Jennifer, who are working late the night before Valentine’s Day. As they are going down in the elevator, it suddenly stops. They are unable to reach anyone for help, since everyone has left for the long weekend. None of the buttons in the elevator are working, including the fire alarm and help button. The two strangers make small talk as they wait for someone to rescue them, but they are hopelessly stranded.

Jennifer watching Guy carefully. [Credit to Bloody Disgusting]

Natalie Martinez, who plays Jennifer, is a witty and slightly withdrawn person. Her counterpart Guy, played by Matt Lauria, seems carefree and quite open. He initiates the conversation and the two quickly get to know each other. After the coworkers share an intimate moment, Guy reveals the secrets he has been hiding from Jennifer.  She quickly finds that he is indeed her lying to her and shows his true self, a psychopathic and quick tempered security guard. He had seen her several times around the building before and decided to take the other guards’ shifts so that he would have time to spend with Jennifer. Pulling out a key after their long argument, Guy goes to turn the elevator back on, but the two begin to fight. The key is snapped in half and they are unable to twist it. Jennifer and Guy have to devise a plan to escape, but as the days go by, Jenn quickly realizes he is even worse than imagined. She is threatened with death, as Guy does not want to go back to jail. The ending shocked me the most, as I was not expecting it whatsoever.

The meet cute genre is quite cliche to many people, so the twist of a guy practically kidnapping a woman to get to know her was a smart idea. It shows the other side of meet cutes, where things are not as happy as they seem. Down had a few jumpscares within the movie, but it mainly focused on the psychological aspect of the film. With plenty of twists and turns, I found the plot quite interesting and kept me focused, especially towards the end of the movie. It is one of the few Valentine’s Day horror movies that I enjoy and would watch again. The production company, Blumhouse Television, has created other movies with similarly twisted ideas. Their most popular and highly argued movies were The Purge, Happy Death Day, and Hush. The company focuses on producing low-budget horror films, but many have risen past the B movie label, like Insidious, Get Out, and Split.

Hulu’s concept to create a series where each horror movie is based on a holiday is somewhat original. In 2016, nine filmmakers worked together to create the movie Holidays, with multiple short stories. Hulu took it a step further to adapt each holiday into a movie, with a dark twist. Some of them did not pique my interest very much, such as Pookah, which is Christmas themed. An actor moves into town to find work, and finds a job portraying a new toy called Pookah. The costume takes over the actor, Wilson, and controls him to do horrible acts. As of now, Hulu has only released five episodes, but will release another on May 1. Every episode is released near the holiday it correlates with, and the last episode of the season will be released on September 6. The concept of releasing episodes around the holiday it is based on is quite smart, and I am excited to watch the other movies that will come out in the upcoming months.