The newest addition to Blumhouse and Hulu‘s Into The Dark series, Tentacles is a psychosexual thriller sure to twist at the mind of horror lovers everywhere this Valentine’s Day. This is no ordinary love story. However, it is a romance of sorts …
Tentacles’ story is that of Sam (Casey Deidrick) and Tara (Dana Drori) and their whirlwind romance. Sam is a photographer who is tasked with photographing a house that is for sale. Tara is looking for a home to buy. They experience a meet-cute while Tara is looking at the house and so their epic tale begins. There is an immediate attraction between the two and they waste no time in acting on the sparks that arise.
While the house where they meet ends up not being what Tara is looking for, Sam offers another option for her to consider. After Tara moves into the house Sam suggests, they begin to see each other more and more. There is a continuous stream of electricity between them that neither quite knows how to handle. Soon they are spending every waking moment together, wrapped up in each other more often than not. Their relationship is hot and intense from the word go.
Fairly quickly, little details begin to present themselves that indicate something is off with Tara. Odd, over the top reactions, mysterious phone calls, weird actions. Then, when their romance is at its height, Sam mysteriously becomes ill. It quickly becomes an established fact that Sam drinks a lot. At first, it is unclear whether Tara really is being paranoid and strange or if Sam is simply drunk constantly, or both.
As Tentacles’ story progresses, secrets are revealed that change everything you thought you knew about what is going on. The horror genre is chock full of tropes about the monster within and what goes on in people’s minds. However, this movie takes those tropes and throws them out the window. Forget every preconceived notion developed from horror movies of the past. Especially when it comes to the typical gender norms and tropes.
The acting from both Drori and Deidrick is stellar. Drori easily switches between the affectionate girlfriend and lover to the slightly off-balance troubled woman to something far more sinister. Her mood swings happen in an instant and are clearly visible to the audience. Deidrick shows skill in his reactions and range of emotions. After his character’s initial introduction, he appears as a mean drunk, a concerned boyfriend, a terrified man, a jealous boyfriend, and much more. The phases his character goes through are vast and Deidrick handles each one with skill and talent.
Clara Aranovich‘s direction in this film is incredible. Each scene is superbly set up and designed to provide the ultimate creep factor. Even the more … erotic scenes are done in such a way as to add to the overall story and atmosphere rather than just provide an interlude of hot steaminess.
This story causes a serious twist from the typical, and right when it seems like you have figured it out, think again. You will never see the end coming. When you are sure you know how it will end, reconsider. This is the movie that breaks all of the rules. As all horror lovers know, specific rules apply to 99% percent of films in the genre. It is not often that these rules are challenged, not to mention broken entirely.
The biggest challenge to the rules in this film is the classic “final girl” trope. Is there really a final girl in Tentacles? That is up to the viewer to decide. My opinion? The last one standing does not meet the traditional parameters of the final girl. Also, most often, the antagonist in this type of film is male. To say that is challenged here is an understatement. This is something that has needed to happen in the genre for a long time, in my opinion.
The term “psychosexual” seems a bit frightening at first. It conjures the idea of porn for TV. However, this movie blows that term out of the water and redefines its meaning. While Sam and Tara’s physical relationship is paramount to the story, it is done in such a way as to become background to the main story. In short, there is so much more to this film than that term may suggest.
It is not until close to the end of the movie that the title makes sense, but when it does, boy oh boy! The big reveal is not something you expect and it is certainly not something that I’ve seen before.
I honestly did not have a lot of expectations going into this film. This is one time I was pleasantly surprised! Not only is the film well done, but it also held my interest from beginning to end. It is difficult to surprise me with an ending after watching countless horror movies, but this film did just that. This fact alone makes me love it. There is a lot to enjoy with this movie, but an outstanding ending with a twist that gets a round of hearty applause from me.
If you love horror and are looking for something to watch for Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out Tentacles, which hits Hulu on February 12, 2021. Are you looking forward to watching this movie? Let us know in the comments!