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Well that escalated quickly.

Welcome back to Lovecraft Country. We’re diving into the second episode in our recap and review series. Did the second episode live up to the pilot? Let’s find out.

Atticus meets Christina’s father, Samuel Braithwhite

The story so far…

In “Whitey’s on the Moon,” Tic, Leti, and George find themselves in the comfort on the gigantic Braithewhite lodge. Leti and George are quick to succumb to the material pleasures (accompanied by Ja’Net DuBois “Movin’ On Up”). Tic is less inclined and more suspicious, particularly given he seems to be the only one with a recollection of the Shoggoth attack the night before.

The trio is guided by and managed by William. He tries to pacify them until a specific event, but Tic’s compulsion to uncover his father’s location makes that difficult. Tic, Leti, and George visit the village of Ardham to find Montrose, Tic’s father, but Tic’s increasingly erratic behavior alarms his companions. Their memory loss only makes it appear that Tic is suffering from PTSD from his time in Korea. Following the sound of a whistle like the one heard in the woods, the trio stumbles onto a stone tower where it is obvious Montrose is being held. They are confronted, however, by a tiny, racist dog-keeper who manages to force them out of the area.

On their return from the village, George recalls something Tic’s mother had mentioned, about her ancestor, Hannah, who escaped her master’s home during a fire. The Braithwhite Lodge is a replica of the old lodge which burned down, and the ancestral Titus Braithwhite, a slave owner, is the likely source of Atticus’ own birthright to the Braithwhite family. After this revelation, they are saved from another Shoggoth attack by none other than Christina Braithwhite, who has bailed out the crew several times.


As the trio awaits the part in the planned event concerning the Order of the Ancient Dawn, who George learns about when he finds his way into a massive library, they are beset by psychological tortures and observed by the old, white members of the order in the lodge. George and Atticus are later invited to a dinner to celebrate the upcoming ritual Samuel Braithwhite has planned. There George and Atticus, having pieced together Atticus’ role in the ritual to open a portal to Eden, exert Atticus’s authority as the repository of the ancestral Braithwhite’s power as a direct descendent of Titus.

Able to get to the stone silo and rescue Montrose, finally, the mission almost goes south until Leti saves them from the dog-keeper. They then uncover Montrose’s secret escape tunnel, meeting him outside. The reunion isn’t happy as Montrose is a difficult father and explains he wrote his letter out of duress. In the escape from Ardham over the bridge, they smash into an invisible force field, wrecking the car the procured for the escape.

There, Leti and George are shot by Samuel who forces Tic to comply with the ritual. Christina, in the preparation for the ritual, commiserates with Tic and gives him a ring that seems to have been tampered with. The ritual itself channels energy through Tic’s body and opens a gateway, not to Eden, but what might be the past. Tic sees his ancestor, Hannah fully pregnant, and the ritual backfires, destroying Titus and the other members of the Order of the Dawn before collapsing the entire lodge. Atticus makes it out by following the path and vision of his ancestor, Hannah, who seems to be holding a special book.

Regrettably, however, George succumbs to his gunshot during the escape from the lodge and lies dead in the back of the car, cradled by Montrose.

Magickal sigils mark the invisible barrier out of Ardham

How it worked out…

The second episode continues the “fun” streak established in the first episode but delivers little in the way of horror which might be disappointing for some Lovecraft fans. We get moments of full-on Magick including spells, rituals, and runic markings. It does establish fun mysticism in the show and though we do not spend a lot of time in Ardham, the village itself felt sufficiently time-locked. There is a lot of cool stuff referenced or caught in fleeting glimpses in the episode but little in the way of establishing mood or tension. Everything was so breezy and quick that ultimately the episode suffered. There was a lot that happened in this episode but by the end, I just felt like I had been denied a solid three or four-episode arc. The pacing of this hour was bizarre to me mashing in what seems to be what might account for an entire half-season in some other show to about one hour of run time.

The end result is not entirely pleasant. The reference to other chapters of the Order is a good sign, but to just kind of blow through the setting and some creepy intrigue seems to be a symptom of the Bad Robot-style of production. I mentioned last week that there was an Abramsification of Lovecraft and sadly the second episode seems to have doubled down on it. Thankfully, the show’s addressing of race and racism continues to be the strong-point.


Lovecraft’s work really only succeeds due to sustained tension. In that regard, Lovecraft Country is succeeding strictly because of how it is handling the anxieties around being black. Every interaction between Tic’s group and the white residents of Ardham carries that tension that grows and becomes horrifying. The monsters and magick end up as just fun window dressing, but it comes off as cartoonish than mysterious and mind-blowing.

The introduction of Michael Kenneth Williams and seeming departure Courtney B. Vance feels like a strange turn. Tic already has enough to deal with, killing off his uncle (and possible father) in order to bring in his emotionally distant father (who is possibly not his real father) just feels pointless. In a series driven so heavily by men of color, it feels needlessly cruel to eliminate one of the characters so suddenly. At least Game of Thrones used Sean Bean for a whole season. Courtney B. Vance gets dropped in episode two. There is probably a larger plan involved in George’s fate and we’ll probably be seeing him again in the season, but not having read the book and watching the show as a casual viewer, I can’t help but feel annoyed at what seems like an unnecessary death. I am looking forward to Michael Kenneth Williams in the weeks ahead, though.

Too bad it came at the cost of a such a strong character.

The reliance on CGI in the first two episodes is a problem as the artificiality of the show proves to be a bit too much in week two. Dodgy CGI involving a groin-snake and sweeping camera moves around the Braithwhite estate detracted from, rather than enhanced the story being told. CGI on a TV budget can look good, but the second episode missed the mark, wildly, seemingly pouring most resources into the Shoggoths and Tic’s dream sequence in episode one. The ritual sequence and subsequent destruction of the estate failed to impress.

The second episode stumbles with the monsters and mayhem but continues to handle the anxiety and trauma of the Jim Crow south with panache. At this point though, the series may be Lovecraft in name only. I rate Lovecraft Country‘s second episode “Whitey’s on the Moon” three Cthulhus.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Christina’s ring seems to have tampered with Samuel’s ritual

Miskatonic Musings

A lot of biblical references this week among other references to the Lovecraft canon and other literary works.

  • Montrose directly mentions the Necronomicon before he is corrected by George.
  • I am unsure how inspired by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (and Alastair Crowley) the show’s Order of the Ancient Dawn is inspired by, but given the pageantry, I’d argue this is very much a direct reference.
  • Yes, that was a Wicker Man in Ardham.
  • The Jeffersons theme still slaps. The show’s usage of anachronistic music is a wonderful touch. Gil Scott-Heron’s “Whitey’s on the Moon” punctuates the ritual scene. Quite a fitting mashup and brilliant, biting satire. Marilyn Manson’s “Killing Strangers” also really sells the trauma at the bridge.
  • A reference to The Count of Monte Cristo is made when Tic’s Trio uncovers Montrose’s escape tunnel from the stone silo in Ardham. George references it directly.
  • The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson is mentioned directly by George as he is dancing with the illusion of Dora. It also seems to have inspired the plot of this episode.
  • Weird fiction authors mentioned/referenced in this episode include Algernon Blackwood and Clark Ashton Smith.
  • The biblical allusion to the snake and Eve shouldn’t be hard to miss, particularly when one interprets the snake as a phallic symbol as many scholars have.
  • The biblical verse Genesis 2:19 drives part of the plot. It is also the title of a painting in the show by “Joseph Tannhauser,” but in reality, the painting is “The Naming of the Animals” by John Miles.

Do you think I might have been too harsh with Lovecraft Country? Let us know in the comments.

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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Movies n TV

The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a Film Review

The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings, starring Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster.



The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings. The cast of this horror includes Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster. This R-rated film is currently available for DirecTV and Shudder subscribers.

Deputy John Marshall (Jim Cummings) faces a messy divorce, an ill father, a serial killer and crippling addiction. With Marshall’s life spiraling, he focuses on a mysterious killer plaguing the town. The brutality of the crime convinces locals that the murderer is a werewolf, a possibility Marshall cannot entertain. As John Marshall tries to keep order in the town, his conviction crumbles.

Deputy Marshall engulfed in red flames that look like the fur of the red wolf behind him. Black background
Jim Cummings as Deputy John Marshall

What I Like

The comedy reflects the spiraling chaos that runs through a control freak’s mind as they lose control. This comedy lands best as Marshal spirals further and further into disarray. Viewers should expect a dry wit layered with sarcasm. If this type of humor doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, The Wolf of Snow Hollow would be hard to recommend. Nearly every character plays their part to perfection, building off each other. Jim Cummings seems to have created a team to complement his project.

Another impressive comedic element comes from the film’s ability to jump between serious issues and comedy without the humor undercutting the weight of those essential moments. Though somewhat flawed, it remains consistently effective.

Despite the fact this is a horror comedy, the monster adds genuine horror to the film. Part of the mystery comes from that line between the possibility of a killer or a real-life werewolf, which I won’t spoil here.


The werewolf design, though traditional, is consistently believable. With one exception that felt purposeful in context, the creature works surprisingly well for a horror comedy.

Jim Cummings creates these rapid scenes that show time passing. As mentioned earlier, these scenes reflect Marshall’s mental state. It surprises me how clearly and haunting they convey information while noting elements of comedy. Again, not always perfect, but effective.

Three officers (Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley, Riki Lindhome as Detective Robson, & Jim Cummings as Deputy Marshall) look in horror
Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley, Riki Lindhome as Detective Robson, & Jim Cummings as Deputy Marshall

Trigger Warnings and Tired Tropes

John Marshall struggles with alcoholism, often falling victim to the disease. Despite the comedy label, this element remains mature and respective. Regardless, I understand this is a sensitive issue that worth noting.

The film can get gory and dark, but rarely more than a horror fan expects. However, one of the victims is a baby. Though no act appears on screen, viewers may require prior knowledge.

Sheriff Marshall with a shotgun, looking behind him with the title "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" written in red
The Wolf of Snow Hollow Promotional Art

What I Dislike or Points to Consider

Don’t expect a detective tale or any focus on a mystery. If this movie is anything, it’s a character study of John Marshall. The killer isn’t a figure we uncover through available information. The Wolf of Snow Hollow focuses on the stress that unravels our characters as they investigate. The trailer was a bit misleading, creating a focus more centered on the mystery and comedy of the film.

Without going into too much detail, some of the deaths get overshadowed by those earlier-mentioned scene cuts. While I still stand by my praise of these scenes, some of these deaths needed more silence and longevity. Though I recognize this might ruin the comedy focus of the film, death should have weight in a story.

This film isn’t scary. While some moments might unnerve you, don’t expect to be haunted.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

While not a traditional werewolf film, The Wolf of Snow Hollow remains a surprisingly effective horror comedy. If you like your humor dry and dark, this film might align with your taste. However, this barely makes the cut in the horror genre. Don’t expect to jump or scream. If this sounds like your taste, then give The Wolf of Snow Hollow a view.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Breaking News

The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!



They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have we been patient. It has been close to a year since our eyes have indulged a full season of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’, in fact, the season 4 finale premiered on Shudder July 1st, 2022. Since then, we have been able to satisfy our appetites with festive holiday specials sprinkled throughout the past year. Specials such as ‘Joe Bob’s Halloween Hangout’ guest starring horror’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira (played by the legendary Cassandra Peterson) and ‘Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get-Together’. Last month was a treat in itself, as we were able to witness Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) marry one lucky couple for the first time on the show with Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine‘ special.

picture of Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl sitting in lawn chairs on the set of The Last Drive-In. Behind them we see a white camping trailer with red string lights along the top and a bright red and blue neon sign that reads "The Last Drive-In' in the background. Joe Bob is seen wearing an orange collard button down long sleeve shirt and black jeans with snake skin cowboy boots. His hands rest on his thighs as he invites you in with a warm smile. Darcy is seen sitting to Joe Bob's left wearing a mail girl costume with fishnet stockings, her legs neatly crossed over one another. Surrounding the two hosts is an ice box with empty beer bottles and cans resting on the top and an old tube screen television in the front of them.
host Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl on the set of ‘The Last Drive-In‘.

While the current changes in staff at Shudder have left fans questioning whether we will receive a new season of the popular series, I can happily say mutant family, we need not worry. In fact, to our wonderous surprise, Joe Bob Briggs has officially announced via Twitter, season 5 of ‘The Last Drive-In will be premiering April 21st, exclusively on Shudder! One thing that is noteworthy, is unlike previous seasons, it has been reported by 1428Elm that season 5 will be broken up into two parts of five double-feature blood-curdling episodes. Though we have not been provided the official release schedule for the second block of season 5, here is a sneak peek of what we can expect for the first half of the season:

April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama’s Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!

Unfortunately, we do not have an official list of the brand-new double feature films for the first half of season 5 but, with amusing episode titles such as these, one can only imagine what grindhouse-classics will be joining ‘The Last Drive-In’s’ already eclectic list of sloshy goodness. For those impatient mutants eagerly waiting for more hilarious Joe Bob rant-filled commentaries, or those newcomers who’ve yet to experience the magic that is ‘The Last Drive-In‘, all previous four seasons, including past holiday specials are currently available to stream now on Shudder.

If you are just as big of fans of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ as we here at HauntedMTL are, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @HauntedMTL and join us April 21st as we tweet along with Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl for the season premier. As is tradition, we will be hosting live watch parties every Friday with each new episode, including fresh holiday specials. The road to season 5 is upon us…let the countdown begin!


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Breaking News

Shudder March 2023 Release Schedule



Mutant family, please gather ’round as February kicks rocks and we shove our way into March. With the new month comes the shifting from winter to spring as death beautifully resurrects back to life, drunken patrons swarm our local bars like rabid locusts for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and of course new exclusives and returning favorites on Shudder to satisfy the horror fiend in us all. To quote the prestigious Samuel L. Jackson, “hold onto your butts” and let’s dive right into Shudder’s March 2023 release schedule.

Shudder Exclusives

While it is true that the release schedule for the start of 2023 on Shudder has been minor and slightly mixed, with films such as the much talked about experimental low-budget indie ‘Skinamarink‘, the surprisingly entertaining horror comedy ‘Sorry About the Demon‘, and writer/director Neil Marshall’s return to the genre with ‘The Lair‘. We also graciously received the wildly fun ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine” special, with season 5 currently in production and premiering later this year; though it can’t come soon enough. As we like to do here at HauntedMTL, let’s kick off March with Shudder’s newest exclusives currently streaming now and in the coming weeks.

Spoonful of Sugar – Now Streaming

official film poster for Spoonful of Sugar. We see a vial filled with a red liquid, possibly blood being dripped into a young woman's open mouth. Her tongue slightly extended out ready to receive the scarlet drop. We see an individual in a space helmet standing in the background behind her, slightly blurred. The title Spoonful of Sugar reads in red capital letters.
Spoonful of Sugar‘ official poster.

Starting off this list we begin with director Mercedes Bryce Morgan and writer Leah Saint Marie’s latest film Spoonful of Sugar, now currently streaming.

Millicent (Morgan Saylor), a disturbed college student working on her thesis about children with severe allergies, is hired to babysit little Johnny (Danilo Crovetti), a sickly, mute child who suffers from every allergy under the sun. His mother Rebecca (Kate Foster) is an accomplished author currently focused on her newest book release, while his father Jacob (Myko Olivier) spends his days in the backyard working on frivolous carpentry projects. After experiencing a bizarre sexual awakening while using LSD as an alternative treatment for Johnny, she soon uncovers the family’s dark secrets as things begin to become unhinged.

Leave – Premiering Friday 3/17

official film poster for Leave. We see a hooded individual holding a silver inverted cross necklace engulfed in bright orange and yellow flames. The individual holding the flaming cross has yellows hands and long rotted finger nails. one eye peers from thick-long black hair. The title Leave is smeared along the bottom in bright blood.
Leave‘ official poster.

After having been abandoned as an infant at a cemetery wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, Hunter White (Alicia von Rittberg) grows obsessed with figuring out who her biological parents are and why they seemingly abandoned her. However, as she gets closer to the answers she so desperately seeks, a malevolent spirit is warning her to leave.

Leave‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/17 and is directed by Alex Herron and written by Thomas Moldestad, starring Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Stig R. Amda


The Unheard – Premiering Friday 03/31

Official poster for The Unheard. We see the main Character Chloe staring out of a window, the image has a static blur. as we only see Chloes pale face and bright blue eyes. The title The Unheard is seen below written in White bold font.
The Unheard‘ official poster.

The Unheard‘ follows the story of deaf 20-year-old Chloe Grayden (Lachlan Watson) after she undergoes an experimental treatment to restore her hearing. While recovering at her family’s beach home after the successful procedure, Chloe begins to fear she is not alone as she begins to experience auditory hallucinations related to the mysterious disappearance of her mother.

The Unheard’ is directed by Shudder alumni Jeffrey A. Brown (The Beach House) and written by brothers/screenwriting partners Shawn Rasmussen and Michael Rasmussen (Crawl), co-starring Michele Hicks and Nick Sandow. ‘The Unheard‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/31.

Returning Classic and Fan Favorites

Now that we’ve removed the veil for the new exclusive titles dropping this month, I think it’s time we reveal the returning classics jump starting our transition into spring for 2023. Allow me to highlight some of my favorite films returning to Shudder for March including ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ and ‘The Company of Wolves‘; grim re-telling’s of popular children’s fairy tales. We also cannot forget John Carpenter’s haunted coastal horror ‘The Fog‘; no, not the remake…thankfully.

Gretel and Hansel – Now Streaming

image of Alice Krige as The Witch in Gretel and Hansel. She stares in the camera with a sinister smirk. Her head covered and body drapped in black clothing. Her right eye a dark grey/brown color with her left pale white...blind.
Alice Krige as “The Witch” in ‘Gretel and Hansel’.

Directed by Osgood Perkins, ‘Gretel and Hansel’ is a terrifyingly dark and unique vision to one of history’s most famous childhood fairy tales. After being thrown out of their mother’s home, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) leads her younger brother, Hansel (Samuel Leakey), through the woods in search of food and work. The children soon discover a quaint cottage where a fragile old woman Holda (Alice Krige) offers fresh food and bed. The children accept all Holda has to offer, with little thought as to what may be asked of them in return.

Though it has been met with mixed reviews, ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ offers astounding performances by veteran actress Alice Krige as the films iconic Witch of the woods and Sophia Lillis as lead Gretel. Director Osgood Perkins does well to draw his viewer in with a beautifully haunting score and unnerving cinematography, making this one grim re-telling worth checking out at least once. ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ is available to stream now.

The Company of Wolves – Now Streaming

Image of a werewolf transformation. A mans head is tilted back as the snout of a wolf begins protruding from his mouth. The fur on the snout white as the large fangles gnarl and growl. The mans eyes are a bright yellow and his hair long flowing brown locks. A terrifying image as his mouth extends in an inhumanely manner.
My, what big teeth you have…

Continuing our list of returning classics, we have yet another bold re-telling of a beloved children’s fairy tale, 1984’s ‘The Company of Wolves‘. While the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ has been retold through various forms of media, including numerous films, ‘The Company of Wolves‘ is a beloved horror interpretation with adult themes and memorable practical effects including one of the genres best werewolf transformations.

A wise grandmother (Angela Lansbury) tells her granddaughter Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) a disturbing tale of innocent maidens falling in love with handsome strangers … and of their sudden mysterious disappearances when the moon is full and accompanied by the strange sound of a beast in the woods.

‘The Company of Wolves’ is co-written and directed by Neil Jordan and stars Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Micha Bergese, and David Warner, streaming now.


John Carpenter’s The Fog – Streaming 03/31

Haunting ghoslty image of 8 figures standing in a cloud of mist and fog. They are outlined in eeire blue and white lighting. All we see is the outline of these ghostly figures and their glowing red eyes.
When the fog comes, run!

Writer, director, musician, and horror master John Carpenter is a legend in the genre having provided countless classics such as ‘The Thing‘, a terrifyingly gruesome remake of ‘The Thing from Another World‘. Or his sci-fi action/horror ‘They Live’ where he deals with societal control through corporations and government. And of course, my personal favorite, the film that jumpstarted his career and created one of horror’s most iconic slashers…’Halloween‘.

1980’s ‘The Fog‘ is a terrifying shoreside tale of vengeful spirits haunting the fictional coastal town of Antonio Bay, OR. as they begin preparations to celebrate its centenary. Following exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in the town’s waters, a thick unearthly fog harboring the souls of those who perished rolls in and with them, the dark secrets of Antonio Bay’s past.

John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ stars scream queen and recent Academy Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, genre alums Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Kyes, and was co-written by the late Debra Hill. ‘The Fog‘ will be available to stream on Shudder 03/31.

Full Shudder March 2023 Film Releases

For a full comprehensive list of all the titles being added to Shudder for the month of January, please refer to the graphic below. Please be on the lookout for our review of ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine’ to drop later this week here on HauntedMTL and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more Shudder news and spooky reviews!

Image list of the films releasing on Shudder for the month of March.
Shudder March 2023 film release schedule.


Gretel and Hansel


Spoonful of Sugar


The Company of Wolves







Jack be Nimble


Ultra Pulpe

After Blue



The Unheard

The Fog

The Blair Witch Project & Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

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