Friday, June 12, 2020

Into the Dark: Good Boy (S2E9)

Release date: June 12, 2020
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Judy Greer, McKinley Freeman, Maria Conchita Alonso, Ellen Wong

Into the Dark is a Hulu collaboration with Blumhouse to make a monthly movie-length horror feature from Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. Each feature-length installment is inspired by a holiday and features Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story.  In season 2, episode 9, Good Boy, the series sets its sights on dog appreciation week, focusing on a new dog owner whose dog is extremely protective of her.  When Maggie (Greer) gets an emotional support dog to help quell some of her anxiety, she finds him to be even more effective than she imagined, because unbeknownst to her, he kills anyone who adds stress to her life.

You can feel the Blumhouse influences in this story.  Good Boy has good, over the top characters, a certain amount of camp, and enough dread to keep the show moving along.  Speaking of the characters, this episode is really made by Judy Greer.  She is funny, emotional, and a certain amount of crazy when needed.  She is the main focus of this film and she is so good that you'll love every second of it.  Freeman is also wonderful as Nate, Maggie's love interest.  He is calm, serious, and smooth when needed.  And the two have a great dynamic together, with Nate balancing out Maggie's character wonderfully.  The addition of Reuben the dog makes this film even better.  He is supremely cute, which contributes to the overall sense of camp in this horror film.  

The story is the right combination of horror and camp.  It doesn't get too serious but keeps a good amount of suspense when needed.  It starts off setting the stage well, going into everything that Maggie has going on, and slowly adds suspense and horror as Reuben becomes more and more bold.  And although the story goes off the deep end towards the end, this is all in service of the overall horror fun.  As with other episodes of Into the Dark, there is a refreshing lack of CG in this episode.  The effects are all old school makeup and fake blood (sometimes lots of fake blood), which is always appreciated in a horror film.  And there are smart choices made with Reuben's character and his capabilities that I appreciated. 

Into the Dark: Good Boy has a fantastic cast, terror and suspense, and Blumhouse's trademark camp that will please any animal lover.

Watch it.

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