Hulu’s Into the Dark: All That We Destroy Delivers a Creepy Mother’s Day Morality Tale
Sometimes there's nothing scarier than a mother's love.
A mother’s love can be a powerful driving force in a horror film. Movies like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and The Babadook all feature mothers trying to protect their children from danger. Then, there are those mothers who cause the danger: Mrs. Voorhees, Margaret White, and Norma Bates twist a mother’s love into something far more sinister.
So it only makes sense that Hulu’s Into the Dark series would tell an especially creepy maternal tale for Mother’s Day. The Blumhouse series has released a horror film every month, each tied to a holiday. May’s entry is All That We Destroy, directed by Chelsea Stardust (Satanic Panic) from a script by Sean Keller & Jim Agnew.
The film follows Victoria Harris (Samantha Harris) a geneticist who discovers that her teenage son Spencer (Israel Broussard) has the makings of a serial killer. Desperate to protect him (and his innocent victims), Victoria clones the first woman he kills, Ashley (Aurora Perrineau) so that Spencer can murder her again. And again. And again.
Victoria hopes that by studying her son, she will gain insight into his condition and use the clones as a form of therapy for his violence. But when Spencer finds himself growing bored with the clones (who come out as blank slates with no memory), Victoria finds herself developing relationships with the clones to enhance their humanity.
The film is reminiscent of Black Mirror, imagining a future similar to our present, where new technology is used for nefarious purposes. Victoria’s cloning was originally designed to create transplant organs, but her commitment to her son soon takes precedence over any other concerns. It’s a heady concept, but the film doesn’t get bogged down in the technicalities. There’s a chilling efficiency to the cloning process: the body is dumped in an unassuming stainless steel container, only to emerge reborn in a vat of black goo.
Victoria then painstakingly washes, grooms, and dresses Ashley, doting on her while preparing her lamb for the slaughter. Samantha Mathis is no stranger to horror: she appeared in American Psycho, and was a series regular on Under the Dome and The Strain. And while Victoria’s actions are horrific, Mathis taps into the desperation and despair of a mother at the end of her rope.
Her relationship with Broussard is deftly portrayed, and both actors bring nuance to their roles. Mathis is simultaneously horrified by her son but compelled to cure him, while Broussard is alternately stifled and freed by his overly controlling mother. It’s a twisted co-dependent dynamic, made all the more intense by their isolation.
If you’re looking for some scary anti-Mother’s Day programming, this is a smart and stylish entry into the genre. All That We Destroy is available for streaming on Hulu now.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]