Hey ho, Web-a-rinos! Jim here filling in for Nicole as they ‘Vampire proof their flat’. T+E gifted me the seventh episode of their Web of Darkness series. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the short of it is a quick n dirty anthology set off from a horror keyphrase vice. It’s a lil’ something for everyone and with that we jump straight in with our Spoiler Free (besides a preview of each story) cha-cha!

The Man in the Mirror

I watched this episode with my ‘forever co-host’ of Streamin’ Demons, Voodoo Priestess. We see a guy, who looks like a younger Jim (which was a bit freaky….Mom, is there something you need to tell me?), having his life flipped-turned upside down, even. You see there were these playground bullies who…no..wait..that’s Fresh Prince. This guy has it far worse as his life is one sneeze away from being on Dante’s circle of ‘things that can happen’ mixed with the fantastic.

The story is a strong first offering. The rooting in reality makes this story particularly sharp. A splendid game to play, though Voodoo swears it’s “Just Jim” that fears this. Try looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror – not from a distance but close up. Get in there real good. Make sure you can make eye contact. Have a bit of a staring contest. Does it creep you out? Creeps the crap outta Jim. Now add this as a base of the ‘parts of this definitely could happen’ and mix in a dash of the other-worldly.

Note: You don’t have to read this as other-worldly. I can’t give away my actual reaction to this without spoiling the episode but think of things more metaphorically…

Web of Darkness image of a man looking at himself in the mirror as a means of confronting his image.
Web of Darkness – Man in the Mirror

Fairies Wear Boots

The next short (no pun) brings us into the wilderness. Far from COVID lies a small cabin in the woods. As we all know, nothing bad ever happens to anyone in a cabin…in the woods. I mean, the woods are a great place. Who woluldn’t want to spend time amongst bears, wildcats, leprechauns, coyotes, insects, ticks, the undead, and an occasional community of boot wearing fairies?

This episode’s entire plot: Don’t be a dick (aka Jim Breuer rule #1).

Web of Darkness picture showing an antler that was broken off of a creature. The antler is on the porch with some blood near it.
Web of Darkness – Fairies Wear Boots…

Laundry Day

I’m not sure what the official title of this short is, but ‘laundry day’ seems to fit. Picture it – a secluded and exclusive farm community that has a bunch of young kids and one creep-ass adult (read as ‘cult’). What could possible go wrong…err…possibly go wrong?

I mean…have you ever heard of a bunch of mostly white folk wearing white sheets having bad intentions? *cough* I won’t spoil this but the setup is sorta like if Arkansas and Mississippi had a baby and voted on ‘how to solve a problem’ and this movie was their PR ‘charm campaign’.

A bunch of people wearing white sheets sitting in a semi-circle being talked at by an old white dude wearing white sheets. Web of Darkness picture.
Man, don’t you hate laundry day?

Ghost Dad (no, not that one)

A middle-aged man in the grips of a fresh divorce and his kid go house hunting in a pandemic. Let’s face it. Divorce sucks. There are no winners. I think that’s the genuine horror of this short. To top it off, the dude is left to look for a new house….in Canada…in the middle of a pandemic….and the highest housing market rocket-ship known in modern history. His best-case scenario is to get killed by whatever creature is waiting for him in this house.

A middle aged man looking out a window wondering what happened to his life. Web of Darkness picture.
Not saying the housing crisis is bad in Canada, but Jim wants to know when’s the next viewing?

Mannequin (not the Andrew McCarthy movie)

Nipples. That’s the thing that Jim noticed the most about this short. The absolute lack of nipples on this mannequin. Oh and I guess it’s missing hands or something. The set-up is simple – an out with the old/in with the new approach. This could go hand-in-hand with the previous short but you know, it has no hands. Someone call Jon LaJoie!

This could be something special here – I liked where this ‘almost’ went, but they steered away from the natural ending. I’m not sure ‘why’ – was it writing? Directing? Editing? It was an old tale that is told well – mostly. It doesn’t quite fall apart – just because it isn’t the way Jim would have done it doesn’t mean it isn’t done well. Give it a whirl and see what I mean. How would you do this episode?

A woman wearing white holding up a mannequin in a dated yellow dress.
How’d they get Jim’s prom date (left) to be in a short?!

Just how many Cthulhus?

As episode seven winds down, Voodoo gave her sign of approval ‘Not bad!’. I think that sums up this episode. It was a strong offering and rather enjoyable. I’m still not entirely certain the age range for this since it runs the gambit of ‘sex tape leaks’ to ‘fairies from folk lore’. When I said ‘a lil’ bit for everyone’ I meant it. The cool thing is, if one story isn’t for you – just hit FF and hit the one that is for you.

I’m not sure if having a voice over in every episode is a mandate (please stop this…please) but if it is (please stop) then it’s forgivable for the writers to keep using that. However, I wish they found better ways to incorporate the VO work. With that said, I tried to imagine it as descriptive audio like AMI has and it helped settle things back into the story instead of removing the viewer completely from the story.

All in all, the production is a slick and well-made series. The acting is decent and can move the story forward. The design and fX work is top notch, as always. If you’re in the mood for a quick little jaunt into horror, you can do far worse than Web of Darkness. It’s a fun little joint and worth a viewing or two.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Jim Phoenix

El Jefe

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Real skull. Don't ask. You wouldn't believe it if I told you.

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