Did you guys know there’s an anthology horror series called INTO THE DARK produced by a branch of Blumhouse Productions on Hulu? I didn’t. So my curiosity made me sign up for Hulu so I can watch the latest one-hour episode for February, titled, INTO THE DARK: MY VALENTINE which was directed by Maggie Levin.
The narrative revolves around Valentine (Britt Baron) who returns to the stage singing the songs she wrote on one dark, crazy night at a venue, when her ex-boyfriend Royal, (Benedict Samuel) pays the owner to empty out the place for an hour. It doesn’t help that Royal was also Valentine’s manager which played in his favor when he stole her songs and built a new success in Trezzure (Anna Lore) who’s pretty much Valentine’s imposter. Ouch! That’s genuinely like seeing your ex with your doppelgänger but also using utilizing your creative talents for fame and profit. Double ouch! Essentially this is a bleak lovers quarrel hashing it out in a very volatile manner and everyone on the sidelines are pawns in the ultimate fight of bloody redemption.
If anything you should take to heart from the story’s message is love yourself and trust your intuition because driving a sharp knife into one’s toxic relationship and stolen identity will manifest in one’s undoing but also one’s cherished moment of clarity. You fight back, hard! I love that MY VALENTINE chooses to wrestle these dark subjects, being its relatable and not necessarily for people living as mega pop stars but the general population too. Its refreshing, especially when layered in ostentatious hues, heart shaped glasses, sweeping Dutch angles paired with flashy social media inserts, which brings me to how the characters are introduced in stark contrast of each other.
The opening sequence is in black and white minus a few droplets of color, where Valentine is exiting a liquor store, completely disheveled, depressed, and pissed off. She slams her six pack of some kind of crescent moon brand beer against the wall, unmasks her hood to reveal her blazing blue hair. She’s sick of hiding her identity and realizes its time to take control of her life and fight like hell. Now juxtaposed this to Royal’s intro. He comes into the club like some slick, savvy cat who’s got the world by the balls. I mean how cocky is this turd? Flashing his megabucks to get his way, while smooth talking like a true hipster-narcissist. My God, the vanity of this monster. He’s a prime example of someone who gaslights. Its sicking and he's basking in selfish glory. *gags*
Of course majority of this episode buoys between the past and the present where we get a taste of how erratic Valentine and Royal’s relationship really was. Okay, sure there were good times, but most of it was masked in manipulation. Romance was a façade so Royal could elicit his hidden agenda to exploit Valentine’s songwriting capabilities. That’s a major blow to anyone’s ego, unfortunately in this dreary tale it perpetuates bloodshed. The fallen characters who have nothing to do with the relationship are sadly stuck in the crossfire, but don't worry there's some groovy music and 90s glittery eye-makeup to alleviate the gore into some posh chic couture. I have to say I was into Valentine's song, "The Knife". It's catchy and a testament to the whole debacle that goes with falling into a romance befallen to disillusionment.
Levin puts everything out there, despite every shot lit in neon, it has an impactful punch to really confront the demons in the closet. At times it feels claustrophobic because we're trapped in an abandoned nightclub with tempers flaring left and right. Blood, betrayal, and revenge all shape a gratifying conclusion of recreating one's own identity and that's important to value yourself as a wholesome person. It'll also make you think twice before mingling into a "sugar laced in poison" type of relationship which in of itself can be a wasteland of horrors. Eeek!