Into the Dark 7: I’m Just F*cking With You



Main Cast: Keir O’Donnell and Hayes MacArthur

Director: Adam Mason

I just want a simple story.  Not too many characters to keep track of, one or two locations, something that would be easy to stage as a play. I like those kinds of stories.  I’m guessing writers Gregg Zehentner and Scott Barkin do too if their April Fool’s entry into Hulu’s INTO THE DARK series of films, I’M JUST F*CKING WITH YOU, is any indication.

The premise is super simple.  Larry Adams (Keir O’Donnell, WEDDING CRASHERS) is checking into a roadside motel for the night, set to meet his sister Rachel before they head off the next day to attend the wedding of Larry’s ex to Larry’s first cousin.  Awkward!  Even more awkward is Larry’s online persona as an internet troll, anonymously posting criticisms about the bride-to-be’s faithfulness, among other negative reviews and comments he leaves about the internet.

When Larry gets to the motel, he meets Chester (Hayes MacArthur, Angie Tribeca), the night clerk, who can’t seem to get out three sentences without two of them being a joke, and the third is always a sinister chuckle followed by “I’m just f*cking with you.”

The only humor in Larry’s life is from the secret glee he feels at leaving his online comments, so he’s got no idea how to deal with jokester Chester. He does his best to soldier through, knowing he just has to meet up with his sister, get a good night’s sleep, then make it to this stupid wedding he doesn’t even want to go to.

Larry isn’t in the mood for Chester’s brand of “humor”–Chester tells Larry if he pays cash he won’t charge him tax, so Larry hands over the dough, then Chester tells him he needs his credit card and Larry can check in.  Larry is confused, insisting he just gave Chester the cash.  Chester says he’s going to have to ask Larry to leave, but Larry just keeps insisting, “I paid you. Check your pockets, the cash is there.”  Larry is becoming exasperated until finally Chester reveals with a sinister chuckle, “I’m just f*cking with you.”–and eventually decides he has to leave, he’ll stay somewhere else and meet up with his sister later.

Chester tells him he’s sorry to see him go, but he’ll let Rachel know when she shows up.

Um … how did Chester know Larry’s sister’s name…?

Wait, what???

Keir O’Donnell does an excellent job giving Larry that barely-repressed anger, sort of hiding it, but doing a bad job and you can just tell Larry is one bad day away from snapping.  And Chester is NOT helping.

Meanwhile, Hayes MacArthur’s Chester is so intolerable a character, you hope for him to be onscreen just to see what new chaos he’s going to bring.

There’s not really a lot I can say about I’M JUST F*CKING WITH YOU, it’s a very simple story that goes to most of the places you expect it to go.  But even being as predictable as it is never once ruins any of the momentum or excitement.  I attribute most of that to O’Donnell and MacArthur, and the direction of Adam Mason who is very good at letting the camera give the exposition instead making the characters spout huge info dumps every twenty minutes to catch us up.

Despite all that, there were several unanswered questions.  For example, what exactly is Chester’s deal?  We never get ANY backstory on him, which I feel had to be a conscious decision, but I think even a small nugget of fact about him before his first appearance onscreen would have given us so much to work with and opened up the story to so many different avenues of thought.

Another con for me was the end.  I don’t want to spoil it, but it left me wanting.  I totally understand the shift in one of the characters that brought this ending on, it makes perfect sense to me from a story point of view, but as a viewer who was invested in these characters, I felt one of them deserved a better, cleaner … more redemptive end, I guess? But still none of this kept me from enjoying I’M JUST F*CKING WITH YOU, and that rests solely on O’Donnell and MacArthur’s shoulders.  Another fitting entry into the Into the Dark series, and I’m glad Hulu is releasing these movies.

More Into the Dark

The Body ~ Flesh and Blood ~ Pooka! ~ New Year New You ~ Down ~ Treehouse

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