I was chuffed to be granted access to Blumhouse’s episode for one of the best online tv shows for Hulu’s— ‘Into the Dark.’ Culture Shock, episode ten screened at Cinepocalypse Film Festival before it made it’s way to Fantasia International Film Festival 2019. The episode is available on the HULU movies platform. This article is a double episode review with They Come Knocking and Culture Shock. Two Hulu movies reviewed spoiler-free for this awesome genre-twisting series.
They Come Knocking
Firstly, let’s get into They Come Knocking. This online tv shows themed around fathers day. The poster for this one alone made me excited to see it. As usual, the casting is phenomenal and this episode features a long-haired Clayne Crawford (The Perfect Host 2010) as dear-old-dad. Along for the road trip, to bid a final farewell to their mother is Josephine Lanford (Wolf Creek 2017) and her sister Lia McHugh (The Lodge 2019.) Let me just say that Lia’s performance as Maggie was outstanding especially given she cries quite a bit.
This type of set up is one of my absolute favorites in horror films. Something creepy outside wanting to be inside set against a remote location is just cool. The trio set up camp, reminisce and reopen old wounds before retiring for the night. Mid slumber, there is a knock on the door of their family-sized Winnebago. Some children are outside and they want in. Not content with being refused entry they promise eerily that the family will need to eventually come out.
Adam Mason is back for his second stab at this great anthology series. His previous episode was one of my favorites, I’m Just Fu*cking With You. Here again, he doesn’t fail to deliver the sneaky scares I am becoming more and more addicted to. They Come Knocking was written by Shane and Carey Van Dyke. Most recently they both wrote The Silence and Chernobyl Diaries which is currently streaming on Netflix.
This episode draws the entire premise from its opening poem flashed onto the screen. While I like the idea of what these pesky, creepy kids are…it kind of sucked the scare right out in the second half when it took on a more dramatic theme over its previous horror one.
I give They Come Knocking
3 great performances out of 5
- The Silence: Written by Shane and Carey Van Dyke review
- Life Changer: Adam Mason was a consulting producer. Now showing on Netflix.
- Hangman: Written and directed by Adam Mason.
- More Anthology horror: Dark Whispers is an all Australian female-led film.
- Creepy kid movies: Stray aka Evil Boy.
Culture Shock Full Movie Review
Well wouldn’t you know it but I think this is now my favorite episode. With only two more installments to go, director Gigi Saul Guerrero, known for her “Tex-Mex” film making brings it.
The story is laden with massive dollops of political undertones, references to ideas seen in the media about how to manage future prisons, and some unexpected violence. I’m talking flash-backs to r*pe scenes, self-inflicted stabbings, and batons to the mouth. Its writers are James Benson, Efren Hernandez, and the director herself, and I can only hope this trio team up again for some more horror in the future.
The story begins with Marisol (played by Martha Higareda) who in certain light looks a lot like a younger version of Sandra Bullock. Dreams of a better life and greener pastures spurs her into the dangerous mission of crossing the border in the same week as her baby is due.
The script utilizes the many ways in which people in dire situations can be stripped of not only their hard-won money but of any type of control over their situations as they lay their lives in the hands of strangers to get them where they need to go.
Awesome Casting For Culture Shock
The cast is heavy with recognizable faces including the esteemed horror queen Barbara Crampton. Crampton appears as Betty when the small group of survivors looking for something more out of life reaches their destination. It’s also where the narrative takes a tonal shift splitting itself between tech horror and something akin to the 2004 movie, The Stepford Wives. That’s as far into spoiler territory that I’ll go because as I said earlier, this one’s excellent all the way through.
Culture Shock nails the theme for Independence Day. It also reminds you that just because you dream of a better life somewhere you’ve never been before, doesn’t mean it will fulfill your every desire once you get there.
The episode aired July 4th on Hulu.
SEE IMBd for previous roles listed for Martha Higarda (as Marisol), Richard Cabral (as Santo), Creed Bratton (as Attwood), and Shawn Ashmore (as Thomas.)
I give Culture Shock
4.75 the grass isn’t always greener somewhere else out of 5