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Actress Michelle May running manic in an open desert. She is dressed in a bloodied white summer dress, her hair sopping with the same crimson liquid covering her dress; blood smeared across her face and exposed arms. A bright blue cloudless sky hangs over head.
a bloodied Michelle May in “The Outwaters”.

“The Outwaters” is available to stream now, exclusively on ScreamboxTV!

The found footage subgenre is one that requires specific taste and often comes under much scrutiny due to most of them being small independent films with minimal budgets, unknown actors, and the often complained “shaky cam” aesthetic. While these are valid complaints, especially when sifting through a massive library of repetitive tropes and half-assed knockoffs, there are some that manage to sift through the cracks and redefine the subgenre with positive results; whether good or bad. Films like the popular “Paranormal Activity”, produced on a shoe-string budget, only to spawn an entire franchise. Or the infamously reviled “Cannibal Holocaust”, a film shrouded in so much controversy, director Ruggero Deodato was actually placed on trial for the murder of the films actors, even though they were among the living. One also cannot forget the cult classic ’99 film, “The Blair Witch Project”; though it may not have started the found footage subgenre, it most certainly popularized it. “The Outwaters”, written and directed by Robbie Banfitch, is unlike any of the films I previously mentioned, but rather, a jarring new experience unlike any you’ve witnessed. An experimental vision that is exquisitely haunting, graphically perverse, and will leave you terrified of what dwells in the dark.

A Cosmic Journey through Hell

“The Outwaters” unsettling tale of terror follows cameraman Robbie Zogorac (also played by Banfitch) as he takes a trip to the Mojave Desert in hopes to film a music video with his best friend and muse, Michelle (Michelle May). Joining these two companions are Robbie’s distant brother Scott (Scott Schamell) and lastly, their close friend and make-up artist Ange (Angela Basolis). Their majestic trip is quite uneventful at first, as they serenade themselves with music, explore small caverns, and take a quick dip in a quaint little lake filled with glistening teal water. Everything seems to be going perfectly as laughs are being shared whilst they reminisce of memories past and discuss previous hallucinogenic experiences. It is not until these four souls arrive at their camping site when events begin to go awry, bringing their peaceful trip to a savage halt. Ominous booms and cracks of lightning-less thunder begin echoing the night sky, pounding louder with each passing minute. The desert animals howling in fear as vibrations begin to ripple through the ground and surrounding boulders. What was meant to be a trip of bonding and music, quickly shifts into a hellish reality of visceral carnage and cosmic horror.

low camera angle shot of characters Scott, Ange, and Michelle walking in the desert. Spots of clouds patter a beautiful bright blue sky. All that can be seen of Scott is his large hiking backpack, Ange is seen wearing cut of jean shorts and light floral long sleeve shirt carrying a blue sleeping bag, a white hat covers the top of her head blocking the blaring sun. All we see of michelle are her legs and brown cowgirl boots as her summer dress flows in the breeze.
Our journey begins…

Banfitch wastes no time setting the tone for “The Outwaters” by opening the film with a bone chilling recording from a 911 call. Though the title sequence only lasts roughly 30 seconds, the blood-curdling screams mixed with violent gargling sounds and otherworldly noises shrieking through my soundbar sent shivers down my spine. This is only a mere taste of what’s to come later, as the all too familiar setup we have come to expect with most found footage horror films is nothing more than misguided direction. Banfitch takes us by the hand guiding us ever-so gently through the Mojave Desert with a false sense of serenity. He is able to achieve this by including sultry melodies, scenic views, and vivacious multi-colored sunsets bleeding through our screens. Once the light fades and the dark floods over, Banfitch does not hesitate to spiral us down a polarizing descent into gruesome chaos, affectively leaving us to navigate his nightmarish concoction alone and disoriented. Relying only on a single camera and the smallest of flashlights to navigate through the black of night, the small circle of light providing the briefest glimpses to the blood drenched carnage that has ensued, saturating the desert floor. It’s within these moments where the story evolves into something more, relying heavily on its auditory horror and blending of visual stimulations.

Redefining a Subgenre

very dark interior shot of a camping tent. All that can be seen is a violent blood splatter illuminated by faint camera light.
Fear the dark.

While most found footage horror films rely heavily on cliche jump scares, “The Outwaters” instead opts to push its narrative forward with its often times disturbing yet melodic sound design. Michelle’s voice is angelic, soothing the soul as she sings to the light strums from Scott’s guitar. As the film progresses, the calming music evolves into neural despair as Michelle’s voice grows more distorted throughout, building to the inevitable sensory assault that lies in wait. Screeches from slithering creatures mixed with distant roars from anonymous beasts resound in the distance, however, we rarely see these monsters. Rather, Banfitch viciously blindfolds his audience and aggressively shoves them in the dark, forcing us to imagine the extreme brutality being perpetrated off-screen. While there are slight elusions to a more sinister force, it’s the horrific screams from Robbie’s friends the left me feeling uneasy.

close-up shot of Writer/Direct/Actor Robbie Banfitch in pitch blackness. His face illuminate by his camera light. We see blood covering his disoriented face.
Banfitch as “Robbie” in “The Outwaters”.

The performances in “The Outwaters” are nothing short of impressive, including Banfitch as “Robbie”. This in part due to the on-screen chemistry between the actors but, mostly because of how well written each character is. While we aren’t provided much backstory for these victims, they are graced with enough personality for us to develop emotional attachments for each individual. Michelle is a free-spirited new age hippie, seducing us with her alluring voice; Ange captivates with her outgoing personality and comedic timing, while Scott is quiet and reserved. When the laughter and smiles of these characters suddenly shifts to shrieks of agonizing pain, one can’t help but squirm in unpleasantness. Following the night of slaughter, we are left witnessing Robbie’s further descent into hell disoriented, afraid, naked, and alone. He wanders the desert aimlessly crying for help, praying in-between each plead. The more he interacts with a certain flashing ripple of light, the further he loses grip over reality and himself.

What’s unfortunate during “The Outwaters” unwavering brutality is how little is actually revealed visually during the more chaotic moments, especially with a run time nearing two hours. Much of the latter half of “The Outwaters” consist of Robbie filming numerous shots of his feet shuffling in the desert as he reacts to the sounds around him, headache inducing red strobe lighting effects, and extreme close-ups. Those hoping to see any grand reveal of the films ominous monsters or the savagery that befalls on Robbies friends will be met with disappointment. Rather than reward us with visible validation, apart from the films climax, Robbie frustratingly pulls the camera away or turns his already minimal light off. This is disappointing due to the fact Banfitch clearly shows early in “The Outwaters” first half he’s not only a skilled cinematographer but meticulously plans the creativity behind his angles. Whether that be spinning our perspective upside down for juxtaposition, or eerie wide lensed outlines of hatchet wielding shadow figures painted in purple hues. It would have been nice to see more of these creative camera angles at play as opposed to the anonymity we’re forced to endure.

Beautiful wide shot of Robbie's silhouette standing atop a desert hill. His arm is extended up with his boom mic capturing the haunting sounds of the desert night. Hues of deep purples and midnight blues paint the sky above.
Robbie recording eerie audio of the desert night.

Final Verdict

Disorienting upside down shot of Michelle lying in the desert. She is seen wearing the same blood covered dress, her face covered by her messy blonde and crimson caked hair. Her back points towards an inverted sky as the dry cracked desert floor lingers above.
As above, So below

“The Outwaters” is a bold new take on a subgenre that has since grown somewhat stale throughout the years. Writer/Director/Actor Robbie Banfitch dares to redefine the found footage tropes by catapulting the audience into his amalgamation of time loops, religious undertones, and exponential cosmic dread. What makes “The Outwaters” even more impressive is the singular effort that went into creating this film as Banfitch also edited and provided the visual effects. While the first act’s slow burn aesthetic dwells a bit long and the constant pitch-black setting can be exhausting, there wasn’t a time in which I didn’t find myself completely absorbed in Robbie’s depraved journey through hell, constantly guessing what might happen next. Much like the recent “Skinamarink”, “The Outwaters” is an experimental visual experience that will be divisive yet talked about for years to come. You will either find yourself engrossed in the surreal psychedelic nightmare, or utterly confused by the vile images that unfold before your eyes. We all die in the dark.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


Utah transplant TT Hallows now resides in Portland OR haunting the streets of PNW for the past 5 years with his spunky feline companion Gizmo. Horror and writing are his passions, taking special interests in sloshy grindhouse slashers, thought-provoking slow burns, and fright-filled creature flicks; Carnage Candy reigns supreme! When not binging excessive amounts of gratuitous gore, you can find TT Hallows shopping the local thrift and witchcraft shops (oh yes, he's a witch), expertly dancing (or so believes) to New Wave/Dark synth melodies or escaping the monotony of "walking amongst the living" with serene oceanic views and forested hikes. TT Hallows is an up-and-coming horror reviewer/writer for HauntedMTL. Step with me into the void...if you dare.

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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