As equally entertaining as the first, Blumhouse’s second installment “Flesh And Blood” proves to be the perfect follow-up. For a more in-depth breakdown, check out our review below.
For a story that for the most part takes place on Thanksgiving night, Into The Dark: Flesh And Blood gives us quite a grim look at the beloved holiday. People generally say they have a good time, but the truth is, conflicts are more common at family gatherings. Flesh And Blood depicts that side of the holiday with a “woke” level perspective.
In addition to giving the audience a secret look at real family interactions during the holidays, Flesh And Blood also presents an intriguing depiction of mental illnesses. Kim (Diana Silvers) suffers from agoraphobia and an anxiety disorder — which should be manageable, but the people in her life exacerbate her condition instead of helping.
All of these headaches weigh on Kim deeply and Henry (Dermot Mulroney) notices the fragile state she’s in. He then uses his daughter’s vulnerability to manipulate Kim further, convincing her she’s being paranoid and delusional.
Many people don’t realize that mental patients in today’s society are treated in a similar fashion. Their illnesses and conditions are taken out of proportion and exaggerated to appear extreme. Not everyone experiences this type of injustice but enough people suffering from mental disorders do. Enough so that it’s appropriate Flesh And Blood shine a light on how the most vulnerable are manipulated.
The final credit Flesh And Blood deserves is of presenting a mystery that remained unsolved until the very end. Most horror mysteries grant audiences an omniscient perspective of the situation so they know who the real villain/hero is before the characters involved do. Flesh And Blood, on the other hand, keeps audiences guessing to the final act of the episode.
Up until that point, it’s impossible to reliably determine what’s going on. There are clues pointing to Kimberly being psychotic, imagining the whole conspiracy around her father. But at the same time, Henry’s deranged behavior gives us the impression he’s the loony one.
For Kim, her PTSD and mental handicaps caused by the stress of losing her mother make it feasible for the audience to believe Kim’s paranoia has simply gotten the best of her. We inevitably learn her suspicions are correct, but until the big reveal is made, Kim seems like she could actually be insane.
As for Henry, his short temper and random trips out of the Tooms’ home are the first signs that point to a dark alter-ego hiding underneath that unassuming face. But it’s when the routine setup Henry has fashioned for himself and his daughter begins to crumble that the first glimpses into his real personality emerge. At that point, it’s clear which of the Tooms is the psychotic one of the pair.
Altogether, these various plot-threads present a well-developed story that has the potential for follow-ups. Each installment of the Into The Dark series are standalone entries but the universes being established are leaving cliffhangers where sequels can be tagged on. Flesh And Blood possesses equal potential. The question is, where would a sequel go?
Blumhouse’s Into The Dark: Flesh And Blood is currently streaming on Hulu. For more on Into The Dark, follow us on the Hulu Watcher Twitter Account @HuluWatcherFS or on the Hulu Watcher Facebook Page.