NIGHTMARE ON SEDGWICK AVENUE – “BORDER HORROR STORY! – INTO THE DARK: EPISODE 10: CULTURE SHOCK REVIEW” (MINOR SPOILERS)

BY: GABY MORENO

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TV Show: Into the Dark: Culture Shock (Season 1, Episode 10)
Release date: July 4, 2019
Main Cast: Martha Higareda, Richard Cabral, Barbara Crampton, Shawn
Brief synopsis:
“A mother gives her 13-year-old son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.”
Favorite Quote: “We’re not paid to give them the American dream. We’re paid to keep them out of it.”

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Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,

Today I will be reviewing the 10th episode of Into the Dark titled, “Culture Shock”. For those who might not be familiar with this dope horror anthology show I’ll give a brief overview. Into the Dark is an innovative horror anthology series that streams on Hulu and is presented by Blumhouse Productions. Each episode is a completely new story and it’s like a movie since the episodes are an hour long. The concept of each episode is unique and original. Each episode contains horror elements that are mixed with deep messages about our society. The episodes release only on Holidays. For example there was a New Year’s episode, International Women’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. Also if I’m not mistaken each episode is directed and written by different people.

The episode Culture Shock is the 10th installment of this anthology series. It is releasing tomorrow July 4th! It is the most fitting Holiday to drop an episode like this that touches on the horrors of obtaining the American Dream! When I heard an episode like this was being done as a horror fan I was beyond excited! It is also no secret I love the Into the Dark series. I really find it refreshing to see a series like this that has original concepts and dope messages! I’ve been saying this anthology series is one of the best horror series I’ve seen in awhile! When a heard an episode touching on immigration was going to be a part of this series I knew it would be done in a respectful way! I became intrigued and began researching and found out the Co-Writer and Director of this feature was a female and Mexican Director named Gigi Saul Guerrero (La Muñeca Del Terror) I was inspired! As a Mexican girl myself who loves horror it was dope to know someone like me could be behind this masterpiece!

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This episode comes in a time where once again the media and the government are using immigration as a weapon to cause panic and fear.  Blaming immigrants (most of them should be considered indigenous or native, but that is another topic for another time) with coming to the United States to take our resources, jobs and cause crime. When in reality crime is already at an all time high. Let’s be honest most of the violence is caused by Americans. From mass shootings being primarily at the hands of white males and white cops murdering black men. The reality is immigrants come here in search of a better and safer life. They come to work hard to attain their version of the American Dream. Also I loved how Gigi also sprinkled a bit of light on misconceptions that only Mexicans are the one’s crossing the border. It is people from all over the world. In particular the character of Ricky who is from Guatemala trying to get to the US.

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The episode focuses on Martha Higareda’s character, Marisol who is pregnant and wants to cross the border to provide a better life for herself and her unborn child. We are also introduced to Santo Cristobal who is also trying to cross the border and leave his sad past behind. As well as Ricky a young kid from Guatemala who is also in search of a better life and having to leave his family behind. We see the story told in English and Spanish. We also get to see the dark side of having to cross the border. From the Coyotes taking advantage of someone’s desperation to cross to the US by making huge financial gain. As well as it touches on sexual assault, abuse and the activity of drug cartels at the border. We then see a creepy interpretation of what the American Dream would look like. The vibrant pastel colors used in the production and scenes give you a 50s vibe. We also see a too perfect community where we know something is strangely off! It reminded me of a mix of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Stepford Wives and Get Out!

The character of Marisol is a powerful woman who is the only one who is able to see through the false reality! She goes from being a victim to the heroine of the story! She is able to wake up Santo from the trance and they save the day. As a horror fan the scenes I loved was when Santo kills off the bodyguard with the club! You feel his anger and wrath, it was definitely a gory kill! We don’t see too much gore, but that scene made up for it! As well as the scene where Martha tries to break his trance the first time and he freaks out and stabs himself to death!

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This feature allows for us to have a conversation about immigration. It gives us a brief background of what it really takes to cross the border from the dangers to the struggles immigrants have to face. It also touches on society’s misguided fear about immigration. This is due to the media and the government creating a negative narrative to push their agenda of keeping immigrants out of the US and the American Dream! Currently we are witnessing the horrors of detention centers that are more like concentration camps due to the unsanitary conditions. Also families being separated because of this. It is a horror story in itself! I truly loved this episode and the song at the end, “Y Volvere” by Los Angeles Negros perfectly fits the ending. It definitely gave this episode an authentic vibe that it was directed by a Mexican Director! Also the music composed for this episode complimented the eerie vibe of the scenes. The music composer Chase Horseman brought each scene to life! This is a very emotional episode with a powerful message!

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I had the opportunity to view a pre-screening of this episode at the LA Egyptian Theater! It was an event thrown by Etheria Films! I was able to meet the talented Director of this Episode Gigi Saul Guerrero who was very humble! As well as two of the talented actresses from this episode! The horror legend Barbara Crampton who was kind enough to take a picture with me. As well as the talented and beautiful Mexican actress Martha Higareda who is the main protagonist in this episode. They were all so kind! It was an amazing experience! Go stream this episode once it releases mañana 7/4/19!!!

Trailer below:

Thank you for reading my review. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads! While you’re at it follow my blog on social media @7octoberz and Facebook!

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