Thursday, July 16, 2020

Into the Dark: The Current Occupant (S2E10) Review: A Creepy Stay For The President

Release date: July 17, 2020
Running time: 85 minutes
Starring: Barry Watson, Kate Cobb, Sonita Henry 

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.  Inspired by the Fourth of July, season 2, episode 10, The Current Occupant, follows Henry Cameron (Watson) who is trapped in a mysterious psychiatric ward with no memory of what happened before outside of random flashes.  However, while in there, he comes to believe that he’s the President of the United States and the subject of a diabolical political conspiracy.  As the asylum’s soul-crushing forces bear down on him, he fights to preserve his sanity and escape so that he can return to power.

This episode is a much more serious horror episode from Into the Dark, with an overall darker and more hopeless tone that what I have seen recently from Into the Dark.  This is still signature Blumhouse, just a different side of it.  Many of these episodes have a certain amount of camp to them, but that is not present in The Current Occupant.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the episode does a great job of setting up imposing, foreboding atmospheric scenes and disturbing sequences.  Henry is met with all sorts of psychological treatments (and punishments) that help to establish his predicament.  Inside the asylum, he meets others who might be like him.  And these interactions are intense to watch, as you never quite know if they are legitimate individuals or if they are true members of the psych ward.  This uncertainty drives a lot of this film as Henry begins to piece together what is real and what is not.  And at all turns, the asylum staff try to stop him from his ultimate realization.  

Although the episode does not have a lot of characters, they are all well cast.  Watson does a great job as Henry, who has to display a wide range of emotions as a conflicted mental patient.  Cobb is a nurse that takes an interest in Henry, and provides a lot of clues to him throughout the episode.  She is one of the few sympathetic voices that he hears and it is a nice contrast to his day to day.  And Sonita Henry is the lead doctor / tormentor, and does a great job of highlighting a character that can be both good and evil.  Are her intentions pure psychotherapy, or is there a certain amount of sinister enjoyment in them.  And since this is a Blumhouse film, there are some very brutal scenes that show both the conditions of the patients but also what Henry must endure to stay true to his belief.  As I have come to expect from this franchise, the effects are brutal and classic horror effects, without a reliance on CG that breaks your suspension of disbelief.  It makes this whole episode feel authentic and that much darker.  And as you would expect, the twist is well done in classic Blumhouse fashion.  

Into the Dark: The Current Occupant takes a convincing cast deep into the depths of an insane asylum for a creepy, brutal stay with the potential president. 

Watch it.

No comments:

Post a Comment