For reasons that cannot be explained, many things that are, in theory, meant to be entertaining to children (like Furbies or that damn Elf on the Shelf) are actually fucking terrifying when you step back and really look at them for what they are.
The coolest thing about Hulu and Blumhouse’s monthly horror anthology series Into the Dark is that each episode focuses on a different story that ties into a holiday specific to that month. With its Halloween and Thanksgivings episodes in the can, Into the Dark’s upcoming “Pooka!” takes a crack at Christmas horror. It tells the story of Wilson (Nyasha Hatendi), an out-of-luck actor who lands a desperately-needed gig as Pooka, a disturbing character that looks kind of like a demented Pikachu with with a bloody maw. While kids inexplicably love Pooka, Wilson soon realizes that putting on the suit is doing...something to his mind that causes him to periodically black out and seemingly commit all kinds of brutal acts of violence.
The moral of Wilson’s story should be fairly obvious, but for those of you out there who need a reminder: Just because something’s for children doesn’t mean it can’t also be creepy as hell. And should you encounter something as as frightful as Pooka while out and about shopping this holiday season, you’re well within your right to turn heel, get amongst some witnesses, and warn everyone about the unholy evil walking the Earth.
“Pooka!” airs December 7 on Hulu.