Into the Dark 2: Flesh and Blood

Rating:

Dermut Mulroney’s Lost Jack Torrance Audition Tape

Main Cast: Dermot Mulroney and Diana Silvers

Director: Patrick Lussier

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

If you haven’t seen Flesh and Blood already, beware, because I don’t know how I can possibly review it without spoiling EVERYTHING.  But I’ll try.

Good movie, I recommend it.

Okay, that isn’t gonna work, so I’m gonna have to give more details, but I’m telling you, FLESH AND BLOOD is probably going to get very very spoiled in the process.

This second movie in Hulu’s INTO THE DARK series is set at Thanksgiving and features Diana Silvers (BOOKSMART) as Kimberly Tooms, an agoraphobic teenager still reeling from the murder of her mother a year earlier.  Mulroney (seriously?  You KNOW who Dermot Mulroney is!) plays her father Henry who is still trying to hold together what’s left of his family and trying to keep his daughter as safe as he can, reminding her daily to take her meds, and also trying to help her with her phobia by encouraging her to leave the house, even if only to retrieve a package from the porch.

Kimberly has a therapist who visits her at home, and an online support group to keep her connected to the outside world.

Crap.  Okay, that’s about all I can say without getting into spoilers. 

Henry brings his daughter a birthday present one evening, a beautiful silver necklace with an intricate Celtic knot of a pendant.  Later that night, while Henry is out–he’s out a lot, running errands or drinking with “the guys”–Kimberly sees a story on the news about a local girl who’s missing, and the photo they flash across the street shows a very familiar-looking necklace.

Kimberly becomes SUPER suspicious, but when she confronts her dad about it, he insists her paranoia is a side effect of her meds.  And he could be right. She’s not sure.  Until she is.  But even then, escape is impossible: Kimberly hasn’t been able to leave the house in a year!

So what do you do when the person you’re supposed to trust above all others is the one you don’t trust at all, but your own crippling fear is keeping you from escaping?

FLESH AND BLOOD is an incredibly tense movie, suspenseful, and it keeps you guessing from minute to minute.  Louis Ackerman has written a script that is at times simple and complex–simple in its conception, complex in its execution–and Lussier (writer/director of the DRACULA 2000 trilogy…) has developed a very straightforward and elegant storytelling style that just works within the confines of this story.  There’s a moment between Henry, Kimberly, and the therapist concerning a passed note during a session that is incredibly tense and a joy to watch.

I know I haven’t seen EVERY Mulroney performance over his incredibly long career but I know I’ve seen a lot of them and I can say this is one of my top 3 or 4 favorites from him, easy.  He manages to be both caring and menacing at the same time and I have to say, if they need to recast Jack Torrance any time soon, he’d be the one to take a second look at.  He would kill that role given what he did in this one.

Silvers manages to carry the bulk of this movie on her very inexperienced shoulders given she was 21 when this movie came out and it was her FIRST role.  Another excellent performance and, despite the fear that stops her in her tracks at almost every turn, there’s never even an moment here where Kimberly seems helpless, even when it seems Henry has her backed into an impossible corner. Overall, I was very surprised at how strong this movie was and how much I enjoyed it.  The trailer looked okay, but the synopsis felt weak and played out.  Silvers and Mulroney pulled out all the stops, though, and turned what should have been so-so movie into something that will sneak in and grab your attention even when you’re trying to do something else while you watch.  Once that first reveal and turn come, whatever else you were doing is over and you belong fully to the screen.  That’s the mark of a great movie in this age.  Highly recommended.

More Into the Dark

Episode One: The Body

Episode Three: Pooka!

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