Celebrity chef Peter Rake (Jimmi Simpson) heads out to the middle of nowhere to park his ass in his family’s secluded, and posh vacation estate. The reason for his exodus? Some of your typical family drama…oh and he’s being “raked” (oh hell yeah; still got it boils n’ ghouls!) over the coals by the tabloids due to some implied indiscretion with a lady. Once there he catches up with the family’s smart ass blind housekeeper Agnes (Nancy Linehan Charles) and his sister Gwen (Amanda Walsh) who is soon called away on business. What will Petey do to occupy his time? Well, he has a mysterious black goat, toilets full of gore, and pondering the old creepy treehouse he used to spend his childhood in to keep him busy. Along with all that, Pete befriends a bachelorette party staying nearby…and from there shit gets really intense as we learn Peter has more than one skeleton in his closet, and there are forces that are screaming for vengeance for his past crimes!
Treehouse is another solid entry in Hulu’s Into the Dark horror anthology series; who’s episodes are all based around a holiday (the Ides of March is the focus of this installment). Comprised of a terrific sense of mystery and growing tension, the story soon travels deep into the realm of the supernatural in a way other entries in the series have not tread, and the results are both chilling and satisfying while dealing with some topical and heady subject matter.
Credit has to really be given to Simpson as the troubled chef that acts as our protagonist; he pulls of a performance that is dripping with douchery, yet remains infinitely likable and more importantly; watchable…even though his character has truly unforgivable faults and he definitely deserves all of the hell that comes his way. The supporting cast is amazingly solid as well with Charles playing the perfect foil to Simpson as the “woman who does” who has a lot more going on than appears on the surface, and each and every woman portraying that aforementioned bachelorette party; all of the characters are well rounded and expertly played.
If there is a negative to Treehouse it’s that the more outre elements of the story are not given their full due in the denouement. You lot know that your’s cruelly wants his supernatural shenanigans to be well and truly all they appear, and this tale offers a bit of the ol’ “well…this is the way things happened…but wait, there’s more…” I didn’t dig that, though your mileage may vary.
Socially relevant, heavy on arcane atmosphere, and full of straight up insanity Treehouse is a must see entry in the Into the Dark series, and takes the viewer on a ride that can at times be rather unpleasant, but never, ever uninteresting!