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Series / Into the Dark

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Into the Dark is a horror anthology series of movies, which premiered on Hulu in October 2018. Produced by Blumhouse, each episode is focused on a different holiday occurring that month, with one new episode per monthnote . The series ran continuously from October 2018 through July 2020; the final two episodes of season 2 (August and September) were suspended as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Into the Dark contains the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Featured in Flesh & Blood, All That We Destroy and Pure.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Maggie is driven by this in The Body.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees:
    • The entire premise of My Valentine might seem outlandish to anyone who is not familiar with what happened between Poppy, Mars Argo, and Titanic Sinclair. Sinclair and his then-girlfriend, Brittany Sheets, created the musical duo and web character Mars Argo during the mid-2000s. At the end of the decade, Mars Argo vanished, only to be replaced by Poppy in 2014–which was uncannily similar to Mars Argo, right down to her wearing Argo’s clothes during photoshoots and live performances. During a 2018 copyright lawsuit, Sinclair’s physical and emotional abuse toward Argo came to light, which were first mocked by Poppy during the trial and then echoed when she released a public statement after she ended their romantic and professional relationships in 2019.
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    • If you are not familiar with certain kinds of American evangelical Christianity, Pure might seem kind of over the top. In fact, except for the part with the boys being planted to Honey Trap the girls as a "test" and guarding the doors with swords, it's a fairly dead-on depiction of a purity ball and the attendant culture.
  • Arc Words: Pooka! has "Look at all the pretty lights". Those were the words spoken by Melanie to distract Ty from Wilson's crazy driving before they crashed.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Trezzure in My Valentine. After spending the entire episode justifying Royal’s abusive behavior toward Valentine, and toward herself, she snaps and kills Royal once she realizes she was just Valentine’s replacement. She then gets electrocuted by standing in a pool of Julie’s blood when Val kicks a severed mic cord into it after threatening to sue and destroy Valentine and freely admitting she stole her songs and looks for fame.
    • Pretty much all of the victims in Pooka Lives
  • Asian and Nerdy: Erica in School Spirit. It's at least partially an act.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Called out in Pilgrim
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Trezzure in My Valentine is this in spades, and Esther is this in "School Spirit".
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • By the end of Pilgrim, Dad and the neighbors are dead and Cody will have to live with the guilt of her wish, but the Pilgrims have been defeated and the survivors have come together for the first time as a family.
    • My Valentine, bordering on a Downer Ending. Valentine is finally free of Royal’s abuse and has the rights to her music after five years because Royal and Trezzure are dead, but the bartender and Nick were killed simply for still being at the bar, and Valentine watched Royal murder “her only ally” and best friend, Julie. Valentine assumes Trezzure’s identity and ends up publicly dropping it during a show while she performs a song about how she murdered Trezzure and took over her identity. A post-credits shot with the Trezzure fans barring the door heavily implies that the last part, however, is all in Val’s head.
    • The ending of All That We Destroy. Ashley's clone escapes death and Spencer is dead, however the clone is likely going to be jailed not only for her original's crimes but also murder despite it being self defense, with Spencer's mom and her arguably crimes against nature/humanity getting off scot free.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted in My Valentine. Nick dies, but he dies after Julie and the bartender are murdered by Royal.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Pooka Lives, though they at least have a shot of surviving if the ending credit cartoons are to be believed...
  • Bottle Episode: Down.
  • Break the Cutie: Valentine Fawkes. Not only was she in a horribly abusive relationship with her producer, he stalked her for five years while simultaneously driving her career into the ground and cultivating a reputation of her as a liar, thief, and psychotic ex-girlfriend. He then took his new girlfriend and made her into an exact replica of Valentine, stole her songs, and Trezzure gets famous on her work. And then he murders her best friend right in front of her on the night of her comeback after a five year hiatus—on Valentine’s Day, no less—and it gets horribly worse from there.
  • Bury Your Gays:
    • New Year, New You has the lesbian Kaela be killed by Chloe accidentally, then she decides to frame Kaela's girlfriend, Frankie for all the murders as a Psycho Lesbian, due to being a Woman Scorned.
    • Much more prominent in Midnight Kiss, the second New Year's episode.
  • The Cartel: The first villains in Culture Shock. It doesn't get any better when Marisol gets away from them, though...
  • Cessation of Existence: In All That We Destroy Victoria tells one of the Ashley clones that when someone dies, that's it-everything that they were disappears. Though she states her belief that life is precious and every death a tragedy because of this, it didn't stop her letting her son repeatedly murder the clones.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Jerusalem cherries in Pilgrim. It's used to poison the Pilgrims in the climax.
  • Chromosome Casting: All the characters in New Year, New You are women.
  • Cloning Blues: All That We Destroy has Ashley, a murder victim, be cloned repeatedly by the murderer's mother, after which he continues to murder her clones.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Pilgrims' method of ensuring gratitude.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Shauna and her mother in Crawlers. Being a horror movie, they're absolutely right.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Shauna and her mother in Crawlers.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In All That We Destroy the latest Ashley clone manages to break free and kill Spencer, rather than be murdered like her predecessors.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: In Uncanny Annie, Wendy recognizes that chanting a demon's name is how everyone got killed in Candyman. Too bad she still does it...
  • Devil's Job Offer: A Nasty Piece of Work is about this, albeit in a non-supernatural fashion.
  • Downer Ending: Pooka! ends with the realization that Wilson was the Sole Survivor of the car crash that killed his family, and even then his fate is uncertain.
  • Driven to Suicide: Danielle did this to an unpopular friend in the backstory of New Year, New You.
  • Dying Dream: One interpretation of Pooka!
  • Elevator Failure: Jumpstarts the plot of Down. As it turns out, it wasn't an accident.
  • Expy:
    • Brent from School Spirit is one of Norman Bates, down to the mother's decaying corpse.
    • The three main characters of My Valentine: Valentine Fawkes is one to Mars Argo, Trezzure is one for Poppy, and Royal is one far more dangerous and murderous of Titanic Sinclair.
    • Chester from I'm Just F*cking With You is basically a southern, bespectacled Joker.
    • Pooka has become one of Slender Man by the time of Pooka Lives, with a self-generating mythos and inappropriate fanart.
  • Final Girl: Several, including in Pilgrim and School Spirit.
  • Genetic Memory: In All That We Destroy the latest Ashley clone starts remembering early ones being murdered somehow. Victoria, the geneticist who made them, has no idea how that's possible.
  • Genre Anthology
  • Genre Shift: The original Pooka! is a very serious psychological drama-thriller with very little in the way of comic relief. Pooka Lives! abandons the original's tone completely in favor of being a campy horror comedy that's not afraid to crack jokes even during its more intense moments.
    • The same could be said of the entire Into The Dark series, with most of season one being psychological drama thrillers that have a social justice message to the side, while msot of the second season favors black comedy with fantastic elements.
  • Gorn: There’s an uncomfortably close shot of Nick’s neck when he’s being garroted with a guitar string.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In My Valentine when Trezzure bashes Royal’s face in with the base of a microphone stand. Instead of seeing it happen, we get a POV shot of the stand from Royal’s perspective.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: New Year, New You is about this, with Alexis driven by envy of Danielle's success.
  • Hate Sink: The three fathers in Pure are emotionally abusive parents with vaguely incestuous control issues concerning their daughters. Pastor Seth is an openly homophobic gun toting leader of an misogynistic ambiguously culty camp who’s strict rules drives his otherwise loyal and obedient daughter Lacey to kill her self out of guilt for simply kissing a boy. Steve repeatedly fat shamed his daughter Kelly Ann (who is quite skinny) and chastises her for the risk of not fitting in a dress he picked out for her. And Kyle is a hypocrite who cheated on Jo’s mom but tried to control her actions. And when Jo proves to rebellious for him he tries to make up for his utter failures with Shay by guilting her. And to further that they plant boys their age as a Secret Test of Character, tempting them into romantic or sexual encounters and reporting them to harsh punishment if they consent. This makes Lilith mentally making them kill themselves in the end very satisfying.
  • I Love the Dead: Chester from I'm Just F*cking With You- that is, assuming we can trust a single thing he says.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Thanksgiving feast in Pilgrim.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: Cutting your finger to reveal Alien Blood in Crawlers.
  • Incest Subtext: In Pure. The girls take disturbingly wedding-like photoshoots with their fathers, complete with white dress, (purity) ring, and couple-y poses, during which the main character Shay is visibly uncomfortable. Some of the dresses they have actually are wedding dresses; the preacher's daughter Lacey has a dress which came with a veil, which the cameras linger on ominously. And, of course, the point of the weekend is for the girls and their fathers to sign a contract in which the fathers promise to guard the girls' purity until they're married and it's time to hand it over to their husbands. Combined with how controlling many of the fathers are, the pastor's weird touchy-feely-ness and habitual one-on-one "chats" with the girls, the unseen but traumatizing "Box", the fact the girls' mothers and all other adults are explicitly barred, and the literal cage kept around for "disobedient" girls, it all winds up pointing somewhere very gross. Lucky thing Lilith shows up to ruin the party.
  • Internal Reveal: The audience knows early on that the women we see in All That We Destroy are clones. However, the latest Ashley only learns it near the end.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Pooka. Maybe.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: All the episodes are about horror stories occurring on specific days, usually holidays.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: See Incest Subtext and Abusive Parents above—in Pure, despite her Slasher Smile and general wreaking of havoc, Lilith is not the villain, the girls' terrible fathers are.
  • Kill 'Em All: Uncanny Annie.
  • Lighter and Softer: Pooka Lives! is this in comparison to the original Pooka!. While Pooka! is a dark Mind Screw, Pooka Lives! is a more straight forward comedy-horror creature flick.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Culture Shock.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • The title characters in Pilgrim.
    • Wilson in Pooka! is clearly going insane, but is he being driven that way by something supernatural?
  • Neon City: The general look of I'm Just F*cking With You, though it's mostly set at a motel.
  • Pastiche: School Spirit of The Breakfast Club.
  • The Prankster: Chester from I'm Just F*cking With You, to lethal levels.
  • Psycho for Hire: The Villain Protagonist of The Body
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: ”I’M!! BREAKING!! UP!! WITH!! YOU!!” played to grisly effect, as it’s punctuated by Trezzure beating Royal to death with a microphone stand.
  • Rape as Backstory: In Crawlers, Misty was roofied at a frat party prior to the events of the film. Chloe doesn't believe her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Valentine gives Royal a spectacular one during the climax of My Valentine.
  • Recycled Premise: Uncanny Annie is essentially a horror version of Jumanji, complete with a Shout-Out.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Trezzure is one to Royal for Valentine in My Valentine. Once she realizes this, it doesn’t end well for Royal.
  • Sadistic Choice: The boss in A Nasty Piece of Work is constantly offering these.
  • Sequel Episode: Pooka Lives! is one for Pooka!.
  • Serial Killer: In All That We Destroy Victoria fears that her son is a serial killer after he murders a woman. She then provides him with clones of the same woman to kill in hopes of "working out" his violent urges, but it only proves he is one since Spencer never stops killing them and eventually murders another young woman.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Movie: School Spirit and Midnight Kiss
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Numerous episodes go the route of trying to balance the two to at least some extent, such as The Body, Pilgrim, A Nasty Piece of Work, Crawlers, Pooka Lives!, and Good Boy.
  • Spot the Imposter: In the climax of Crawlers.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Down, School Spirit and Midnight Kiss
  • Stepford Smiler: Trezzure’s persona in My Valentine. She even raises her speaking voice by an octave and maintains a mix between a bubbly and dreamy demeanor, espousing the values of peaceful conflict resolution and friendship. Until she doesn’t.
  • Stepford Suburbia: In Culture Shock.
  • Tulpa: Pooka is named as such in Pooka Lives.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story:
    • Pilgrim was based on a frightening Thanksgiving the screenwriter spent as a child with a Pilgrim reenactor who never broke character.
    • My Valentine is based on the real life careers and abusive relationships that both Mars Argo and Poppy had with their former producer and ex-boyfriend, Titanic Sinclair.
  • Wham Line: “Which sweetness? Did you mean me, or her?”
  • World of Jerkass: New Year, New You. Danielle is a monster who bullied a girl to suicide, and whose response to being forced to confess was to try to kill her accusers by locking them in a sauna. Chloe betrays her friends for a paltry shot at Danielle's fame. But, in the end, Alexis, who claimed to want to expose Danielle, ended up following Danielle's plan to frame the totally innocent Frankie, and became every bit as conniving and deceitful to take Danielle's fame.
  • X Meets Y: Delivered is Inside (a heavily pregnant woman is attacked and tortured by another woman who lost a baby under traumatic circumstances and is determined to take hers) meets Misery (a chirpy nurse holds someone hostage in her isolated rural home, at first under false pretenses, killing anyone who gets in her way and even hobbling her with a hammer.)
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Shay and her half-sister are almost the same age in Pure, and their father's claim that he broke up with Shay's mother, unaware she was pregnant, before marrying Jo's mother seems shaky from the start. All of that is later revealed, unsurprisingly, to be a big old lie; he was two-timing, and he knew Shay's mother was pregnant but didn't support her because he saw her as "a whore".
    • The married Valerie got pregnant from a short affair she had with Riley in Delivered.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: The premise of The Body.


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