'Into the Dark': Will Christmas nightmare 'Pooka' live up to standards set by previous episodes?
The creep quotient of 'Pooka' starring Nyasha Hatendi, is unlike anything else by the creators, especially if one tallies it with other episodes of 'Into the Dark'
The moment the trailer for the third episode of Hulu's anthology horror series, 'Into the Dark', dropped, there was a lot of buzz surrounding it - especially regarding whether it would be able to live up to the standards already established by the preceding two episodes.
The third installment of the one-episode-a-month series, titled 'Pooka', looks like everything above and beyond the hype. Granted it doesn't come as a shock considering it's from Blumhouse Productions aka the makers of 'The Purge' and 'Paranormal Activity', but the creep quotient of 'Pooka' seems unlike anything else by the creators, especially if one tallies it with other episodes of 'Into the Dark.'
As the show has already established, each monthly episode revolves around a festival that signifies the month, so 'Pooka' was undoubtedly a Christmas nightmare. Ahead of its release, so far what seems to set it apart are the hilarious amounts of social satire in the episode as could be seen in the trailer. It's something that will give viewers the creeps, and simultaneously make them crack a grin.
The plot is simple if looked at from a superficial level - a struggling actor finally giving in to circumstances after moving to a new town and agreeing to take up a job of donning a rabbit costume for kids' parties. The horror revolves around said costume, the titular 'Pooka.' Basically, Pooka is the hottest selling kids toy in town with children being obsessed over it and parents struggling to get their hands on a piece to make their child's Christmas memorable, but that isn't all.
Turns out the costume Wilson, our protagonist, puts on to entertain kids, has a mind of its own and a sinister one at that. A close look at the trailer shows how brilliantly actor Nyasha Hatendi, who plays the lead, does a remarkable job of bringing out the creep factor in the psychological thriller that could be compared to the likes of iconic films like 'Donnie Darko' and 'Fight Club.'
Mostly because at one point viewers might question whether the murderous activities the Pooka gets up to on screen is all on its own, or if it's Wilson's alter ego slash delusional subconscious that's making him go the criminal way without his knowledge.
From the trailer and other sneak peeks, the portrayal looks crisp, and the approach is unique and fresh, in the sense that even horror maniacs won't be able to anticipate the twist the plot unleashes on them. Sneak peeks also reveal how Hatendi pretty much carries the episode through its progression and really allows viewers to feel the first-hand experience of the horror his character undergoes.
And, while it's nothing major that will make one lose sleep over with regards to the way events unfold in the episode, it is expected to definitely make you feel there should have been more - or at least crave a continuation - once the episode is over.
All of that is mostly because of this titular Pooka costume. What the episode presumably lacks in terms of jump scares, it definitely makes up with the ever so creepy 'Pooka' theme song. It's catchy yet eerie and latches itself onto viewers like a faint crawling sensation at the back of your neck which you simply can't seem to shake off.
And, it's funny - in the sense that a grown, manly man is walking around wearing a giant rabbit costume. But this costume is murderous, so it's a maniacal rampage and you never know what to expect next. So, if you've thoroughly followed 'Into the Dark' so far and are wondering if 'Pooka' will be able to live up to the standards set by the gory first episode, 'The Body,' or the unique take on slasher horror that the second episode 'Flesh and Blood' was, this is your cue to amp up those anticipations as 'Pooka' will pretty much blow your mind once it arrives this December 7, on Hulu.