Blumhouse’s July’s episode of “Into the Dark” is an American dream turned into a nightmare for a group of immigrants trying to cross the border.
“Culture Shock” takes aim at some of the hardships those seeking asylum experience, with a terrifying twist. With the recent headlines about the horrors of immigration and the mistreatment of those who seek out a better life, this episode was perfectly timed and I think its timing makes it even more intense.
The episode centers on Marisol, played by Martha Higareda, a young pregnant woman who strikes out with a coyote, along with Santo (Richard Cabral), and several other immigrants. While on the run they suddenly wake up in a strangely perfect town. While everyone seems to be happy (too happy) Marisol somehow knows that something strange is going on and nothing is what it seems. As she’s guided, or guarded, depending on your view, by a strange woman (Barbra Crampton) we see that she is using Marisol’s baby as a tool for manipulation. Thankfully Marisol finds aid from another stranger (Shawn Ashmore). A mix of fiction and reality, the episode delivers both heartbreak and horror.
Martha Higareda has proven again and again that she’s a great actress. During her performance in “Culture Shock“, she brought a realness to her character. You can’t help but find sympathy for her character’s plight.
I think “Into the Dark‘s” July episode “Culture Shock” brings so many terrifying things about the reality of immigration to light, like the fact that women who set out to cross the border risk being hurt, raped, captured and mistreated, as well as risking their lives and the lives of their children, all for the “American dream.”
The creepy part of the episode will make you think twice about the “American dream.” It also explores technology and the ethics of human testing. One of the big parts of the horror aspect involves a doctor who sees immigrants as cattle to test on. I think it also tries to make a statement about people who not only participate, those who turn a blind eye to those suffering but also those who actively seek to profit from it.
I will confess that I was not happy with the way the ending plays out. After the group’s escape, Marisol flees into the night to return home. This is where things take a turn that leaves me scratching my head. Marisol, who seems to be a bright woman, does something undeniably stupid.
Overall, the episode was interesting, well cast, and tackles some sensitive subject matter. It makes a statement about the state of reality for immigrants. I did enjoy the episode so I’m going to give it 4 skulls. The reason it didn’t get more is due to the fact that I just couldn’t get past the ending.
“Into the Dark: Culture Shock” premieres on Hulu on Thursday, July 4th.