Into the Dark: Pilgrim creatively implements Thanksgiving as a horror element, bringing a family together that is desperate to be grateful for each other.
This review of Hulu’s Into the Dark: Pilgrim (Episode 2 of Season 2) contains minor spoilers. You can read the review of the previous installment of the series by clicking these words.
Ah, Thanksgiving. As a British person, I’ve never managed to gauge which one is more important for our American friends: Thanksgiving or Christmas? Both occasions involve overindulging on copious amounts of food, laying out boards of succulent meats, including the big turkey for good measure. Into the Dark: Pilgrim presents the origins of Thanksgiving as its plot device.
It involves a typical modern family, with a mother desperate for family togetherness, a father glued to checking out his iPad regularly and a rebellious female teenager. On the sidelines, the youngest member, the son of the family, sits and eats quietly while the family’s fragilities come to the surface. The mother thinks of a splendid idea in Into the Dark: Pilgrim — she hires actors to come round to act as pilgrims and teach them the origins of Thanksgiving; teaching American traditions and becoming grateful.
Into the Dark: Pilgrim relies on eeriness. Scenes are drowned out with ebbing and flowing of conversations to add atmosphere. The pilgrims that arrive to provide the family a “Thanksgiving” experience have authentic intentions that far outreach what the mother intended. It’s almost as if the pilgrims believe they are actual pilgrims. The Hulu feature entirely depends on their creepiness. When the pilgrims speak they never fall out of character. There is a real sense of personal invasion to the extreme, and the mother has ordered them to act for three days, which also involves America’s most important day.
Into the Dark: Pilgrim is a strong creative feature in the Hulu anthological horror series. It relies on escalation; with each scene, the house transforms into something else entirely. It builds on itself, becoming worse, with the pilgrims embracing their beliefs, while the family realise the severity of the situation. The feature is not a horror in terms of jump-scares — it’s the horror of the situation.
As you approach the third act, Into the Dark: Pilgrim offers more creative elements that can be appreciated. There are plenty of overly gory scenes that do not make you squirm, but they are there for artistic qualities. There is irony about the Hulu feature; a family that is not grateful for each other learn the traditional ways of being grateful, in the most horrifying way possible.
And with its grainy look and the utmost effort to direct to impress, Into the Dark: Pilgrim does not overcomplicate the purpose of the story. The mother wished for a way to come together, and it becomes a story of “be careful what you wish for”.
Into the Dark: Pilgrim is most certainly worth the watch.