Category Archives: webseries

Darknet (s.01*, 2013)

Darknet is an anthology horror series. It comprises a multitude of stories, big and small, all united through the keynote of a website called Darknet, which is specifically dedicated to scary real-life communications, with CCTV videos of real murders, and something like a forum, where a killer can leave a message asking for advice on how to get rid of the body and actually get a response. The show resembles V/H/S movies a lot, only updated to reflect the internet era.

There is no direct relation between the episodes in terms of the stories; each of them is created by a different director, with different characters, etc. The website does work as a stem on which the stories are strung, but it’s not until the ending of the 6th episode when the common plot strarts to appear. Considering that there is no continuation, and probably won’t be, it’s a bummer.

Episodes’ quality level varies as much as their stories. The only perfect one is the first, done by Vincenzo Natali, all the others are flawed in one way or another: sometimes a piece would be based on an assumption too far-fetched to be taken seriously, sometimes the rythm would be wrong, and sometimes the acting would be not good enough. Episode #6 (done by Rodrigo Gudiño) is better than the others, and also contains an interesting cliffhanger, but it’s still not as great as Natali’s work.

All in all, there is a lot of really frightening stuff here, so as a horror this series works quite well. I hope there would be some sort of closure, even if only a short film – just to wrap things up. But even with the final path leading nowhere, it’s worth checking out; and better do it when the night is at its darkest. Works better that way.

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Fallout: Nuka Break (s.02) + Red Star

In its 2nd and final season Nuka Break ceased to be funny and light and became ordinary and stupid. At that, the only crucial thing that has changed was the writer – instead of Brian Clevinger the whole season was written by some Dan Ast, so this might be the perfect case of never swap horses in midstream situation, because it’s the primary reason the show turned into shit.

Everything else (save, maybe, for vastly broading the cast) remained the same: the acting is unusually amazing for a self-funded project; special effects are beautiful and well-balanced; the costumes and the make-up, and all that, – stunningly flawless; even the direction preserved the same almost perfect quality it had before – some of the scenes were implemented in a weird way, but everything else was done great. But none of it matters very much, because the writing took the spirit away.

The very first warning bell came rather early on, and it was the prophecy. Then things only aggravated: the heroes got separated for no good reason except author’s arbitratiness, melodramatic tendencies occupied a siginficant part of the narrative, too much space was given to the pre-history (in order to explain the story turnes somehow), which also meant much more animation inserts than before. On top of it, there was a number of terribly stupid decisions, like spoiling Scar heircut (why, for crying out loud, why?!), or Ben’s death break before the final battle. Basically, a lot of stuff didn’t make any sense at all, but everybody acted like it did. Still, the fact that the spirit, so fun and so light once, has gone completely is the worst thing of all.

Red Star is a side-story that technically belongs somewhere between the original short and the first season, but is meant mainly to clarify the motives of one of the 2nd season’s primary characters, the Ranger. It was written by a different guy, but it is too devoid of any airiness so characteristic to the early Nuka Break works. The Ranger gets a job to find somebody, does so without much complications, which changes his mind on a personal matter of his. It is nicely done, but is hardly interesting.

All in all, the second season is a complete disappointment, and the Red Star didn’t go far from that. My only hope is that this disaster won’t effect other cases of crowd-funding cinema.

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Fallout: Nuka Break (s.01)

Nuka Break is a tiny webseries based on the success of a fanfiction short film, which in its turn was inspired by the Fallout game and is set in its universe. First season follows the same trio of characters; the story is about them trying to flee the old owner of Scarlet from the times when she was a slave.

The season turned out to be almost as great as the original short; I had certain doubts after the 1st episode, because it was a bit awkward, but after that everything was pretty amazing. Well, almost everything – some of the action scenes were directed not perfectly, but that was merely a minor hitch without any effect on the rest of the narrative. It is filled with humor, irony, truly wonderful acting (which is surprising in this kind of cinema, and all the more fascinating), and excellent special effects.

The finale was left open, which means the story for the 2nd season would probably continue where it was paused.

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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (m/s)

An absolutely brilliant tiny miniseries. Very professionally done: screenplay, acting, direction, – not a single flaw anywhere. Great songs and wonderful singing. Especially I love act III, in which an adorable parody reaches new level and acquires some serious traits – the transfomation of dr. Horrible is shown with great precision and power. Highly recommended for viewing multiple times.

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