In regard to the Halloween season, Netflix has released a brand-new thriller directed by Mike Flanagan (he/him), known for creating The Haunting of Hill House (2018) and Midnight Mass (2021). The show follows an ensemble cast of eight teens diagnosed with terminal illnesses who have chosen to live out their days in a hospice.
The title of the show refers to the group’s secretive club they’ve kept from the staff where they made a pact that whoever dies first must try to contact the rest from the other side. It’s an interesting concept for sure, and the first episode does a decent job of establishing things.
Titled The Final Chapter, the first episode follows our central character Ilonka, well played by Iman Benson (she/her), who’s ready to graduate high school and move onto college. However, she has found herself with thyroid cancer and ultimately decides to live out her days at the hospice, drawn in by a supernatural force.
At the hospice, we’re introduced to the rest of the ensemble through name and illness, as it’s the main reason why they’re all there. The dialogue and interactions between them all is pretty humorous, my favorite witty comments coming from Spencer and Amesh, played by William Chris Sumpter (he/him) and Sauriyan Sapkota (he/him) respectively.
Speaking of dialogue, it’s honestly the most interesting part of the episode, being the main thing driving me in besides the premise.
When it comes to the overall look of the show, it’s sadly a bit lackluster, nothing really unique in cinematography to make it stand out next to other Netflix properties. Along with that, a lot of the scares are just randomly thrown in jumpscares, hardly giving me much of a fright.
Speaking of jumpscares, there’s a lot, about 21 can be found in the hour-long episode. However, most of these are there as part of a meta joke where another member of the club, Natsuki, played by Aya Furukawa (she/they), is telling a spooky story they’ve loaded with about a jumpscare per second. With all that in mind, I give it an overall 3.5/5 jumpscares, it’s decent.