Hello, horror fans. Welcome to this edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. If this is your first time stopping by, hi! Twice every month, I come here and discuss a genre film that I feel is underrated and underloved. The discussion always includes reasons why reviewers did not like the movie and why I disagree. In this edition, I present the 2019 Into the Dark film Pilgrim. Stick around to see why I think this one deserves more love.
Into the Dark is a series of horror movies. Many “episodes” revolve around specific holidays, this one included. The story is set on Thanksgiving Day. A family hires a group of reenactors to create a “first Thanksgiving” event for them. They are to prepare the meal and the table, dress and act like pilgrims and remain in character throughout the meal. Of course, things take a deadly turn, and the actors won’t break character. Will the overly entitled family learn a valuable lesson, or will they not survive to see another holiday?
This film stars Reign Edwards, Kerr Smith, Peter Giles, Courtney Henggeler, Beth Curry, Antonio Raul Corbo, Tej Speights, Elyse Levesque, Tessa Goss, Dana L. Wilson, Kathryn Taylor Smith, David Mattey and Perry Smith. Marcus Dunstan directed the movie. Noah Feinberg, Patrick Melton and Dunstan wrote the story.
Pilgrim has no Rotten Tomatoes rating but a 5.6/10 on IMDb.
As always, I dove through online reviews to determine why many viewers rate this film poorly. I found one common complaint that completely threw me. I never thought I would see mass reviews saying the end of a horror movie is too gory. I have encountered many reviews calling various media not gory enough, but this is a first.
Obviously, not every horror fan goes for the blood and guts style, but this complaint is widespread and mentioned in the vast majority of reviews I found. To say I am confused would be an understatement. Many additions to this genre end up being nothing more than a gore fest, and fans love it, but this one does not hit for many, and I cannot say that I understand.
Moving on, another repeated phrase is about the characters and actors. A good number of viewers did not like the characters or the actors. Some cited a lack of connection, while others found them annoying. Connecting with the characters and preferences with actors is incredibly individual to each fan.
Because of this, I can only give my opinions on these things. The characters come across as annoying, but this is a plot device. The intention was for viewers to hate the family and find it difficult to root for their survival. In the same way, some are on team Freddy or Michael instead of the teens they are trying to murder.
I also saw people calling Pilgrim cheesy or campy, and they are correct. However, that is precisely what it is supposed to be. All of the Into the Dark movies are more campy, making some of them incredible experiences. They know exactly what they are and play off that fact. Again, this is more of a preference, but it is still important to discuss. This one is a must-watch if you enjoy movies such as Sleepaway Camp or Friday the 13th.
The effects are pretty killer for a movie of this caliber. While perhaps not the most creative gore scenes, they are well done, and the cinematography is well done. I suggest giving this one a chance if you have not set it yet.
I would give this one a solid three on a scale of one to five. It will not be up for any awards, but it is worth the time. It is streaming on Hulu along with the other Into the Dark movies. There are so few Thanksgiving-related horror films. It is essential to give the few that exist a chance, so hopefully, there will be more in the future.
Have you seen Pilgrim? What are your thoughts? If not, why? Let me know in the comments. Before you go, check out the trailer for this movie below. Until next time, horror fans, stay spooky and watch more horror movies.
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