‘New Year, New You’ Review: Sophia Takal Takes on Internet Celebrity Culture for Hulu’s ‘Into the Dark’

/Film | 1/11/2019 | Matt Donato
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Blumhouse’s 2019 starts by taking one companywide step forward with their latest Into The Dark chapter. After critical reports identified a striking gender differential between The House Of Toby’s horror director hires, after Jason Blum’s interesting-at-best response, Sophia Takal becomes the brand’s first female filmmaker (*on a horror title*) with New Year, New You. In this entry: Instagram celebrity culture roasted on a spit and stuffed with false personality rage that mocks the charades some enact to seek mass marketed attention.

Takal and co-scribe Adam Gaines reunite childhood friends for what should be a New Year’s Eve celebration filled with bubbly libations and juicy catch-up gossip. Alexis (Suki Waterhouse) offers her parents’ soon-to-be-sold house since the familiar scenery deserves a final goodbye. Joining is newly out-of-the-closet Kayla (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), sassy and lonely Chloe (Melissa Bergland), and now famous wellness icon Danielle (Carly Chaikin) – or, as her followers know her, “Get Well Danielle.” Kayla and Chloe arrive first, keeping spirits high, but when Danielle appears, it’s evident that Alexis harbors some resentment over her friend’s cult-like success. Maybe Danielle isn’t the cosmically aligned image of perfection her vlogs promote?

Episodes - Blumhouse - Hulu - Holiday - Horror

Worth noting is how through four episodes of Blumhouse and Hulu’s holiday horror anthology there exists a lack of said “horror.” New Year, New You mirrors this trend by aligning with spunky in-house comedic sensation Happy Death Day. No slasher villain though, nor prosthetic creatures, just Takal’s dissection of a digital disease infecting smartphones to tablets to laptops worldwide. Anyone can be whoever they want with a positive attitude, precise editing, and brushed-up beauty filters. All fun and games until you amass millions of followers who take your every word as gospel; martyrs praise mere humans as cosmopolitan deities because of a few savvily staged selfies.

Danielle’s progression from “Very Very Vegetable” juice pusher...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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