Into the Dark: The Body ★★★

The Body is the first entry in Blumhouse Television's Hulu original horror anthology, Into the Dark. The series will release one movie each month for twelve months with each movie being set during or themed after a specific holiday. The Body is the Halloween movie, next month's Flesh & Blood (per IMDb) will be a Thanksgiving movie, and per the teaser we're going to get Christmas, New Year's, April Fool's Day, and more.

The Body follows a hitman who has four hours to delivery the body of his latest victim on Halloween night. Along the way, people mistake the saran wrapped body for a Halloween costume prop and various complications arise as the hitman struggles to make his deadline.

The movie has an array of obnoxious but fun characters who rope the hitman into coming to a Halloween party with the promise of giving him a ride after he's had just one drink. The film is based on a short film from 2013 featuring Game of Thrones' Alfie Allen as the hitman. Here, the hitman is played by Tom Bateman, who is a dead ringer for a British Josh Holloway. Bateman does a fine job of playing the calm, collected, and deadly hitman. The characters around him range from being obnoxious or just disorderly to terrified or surprisingly admiring of his deadly tendencies. Bateman's performance rarely waivers from the dry and menacing portrayal he gives the hitman. Which, fairly one-note as it may be, somehow worked for me.

The Body has a nice mix of comedy and thrills. It quickly turns into a game of cat and mouse with the titular body being what everyone is after. This leads to a series of hijinks from a group of characters that prove to be the movie's most entertaining plot line. The trio of Jack, Alan, and Dorothy work together well to play up the panicked feel of the night as characters who are at times completely out of their element but also vain and self-obsessed. The bickering between Alan and Jack throughout the movie is very entertaining with Dorothy trying in vain to keep the peace and introduce order and calm to their problem.

The movie has a good amount of surprising gore and violence thrown into it. Though, the kills do get slightly repetitive as the movie goes on (take a shot anytime someone gets a knife in their head and you'll be drunk by movie's end). But one of the kills toward the end of the movie is all kinds of terrific. As a bonus, it's followed up by a kill that's so silly and unexpected that I was laughing out loud at the sheer absurdity of it.

All in all, The Body is an entertaining movie that has a good balance of comedy and thrills with some good violence here and there. It doesn't have the polish of a major studio released, theatrical run movie. But for the purposes of a streaming service's horror anthology series, The Body is a very solid introduction to Into the Dark and has me eager to see what Blumhouse and Hulu serve up to us next month.