BITS 2018: A Series of Web Bites

A new addition to the Blood in the Snow Film Festival was showcase of episodes from various web series. Here are my thoughts on the ten web series featured in the showcase.

Poppyseed Place – Happy, X, and Chair

Director Greg Kovacs expands his 2017 short film Fun into a full on web series that spoofs children’s television series’, such as Sesame Street. As with the original short film, each episode has an overtly happy tone, yet often has a dark and violent punchline that usual ends in the demise of the host’s puppet sidekick. This web series is definitely NOT for kids.

Allie & Lara Make a Horror Movie – Episode 1 and 3

Two friends decide to make a horror movie together and find out that it is harder than it appears. Allie & Lara Make a Horror Movie is a very comedic and female-centric look at the challenges that come from putting a movie together. Some of the challenges faced in the featured episodes include putting up with “dude bro” film producers and attending a networking party, where you make all the wrong decisions. Definitely some fun, lighthearted fare.

Necessary Evil – Episode 4: Soul Purpose

The new CEO of Hell LLC faces some major challenges keeping his employees in order. Necessary Evil re-visualizes Hell as a corporation, with to new Satan struggling to maintain control. The series does feature some clever comparisons between Hell and the corporate world and some pretty well done make-up for the demonic employees.

Damaged – Episode 12

A neo-noir web series about a young man on the trail of a serial killer. Damaged is a very ambitious web series that combines its dark story with an interactive online component. While I am puzzled why it was decided to feature Chapter 12, since it features a major spoiler, it is still a web series I would be interested to continue with.

Out of Time – Episode 1.1

A man travels back in time to try and prevent a crime from happening. With a time travel narrative, it can already be a bit difficult to follow the plot of Out of Time, but I really found this series not all that coherent, especially the multitude of sudden cuts between scenes. Interesting premise, but the execution really needs work.

The Shelter – Episode 3

This web series follows the life of people in a basement shelter. It’s hard to get a full grasp of the plot based on a single 4 minute episode, but I do have to note that The Shelter has a real soap opera feel to it.

Haunters

A musical web series about a newly dead girl who wants to get back home. Episode of Haunters screened highlights the musical aspect, with an overtly long folk song. However, it didn’t really get all that deep into the plot, save for some scene and for some reason featured a caveman.

Narcoleap – Episode 2: Range to Target

A woman suffering from narcolepsy discovers she as the ability to swap bodies. The premise of Narcoleap is humorous in how it takes the basic premise of Quantum Leap and makes it about someone with narcolepsy. This episode made me interested about what happens next, so that’s definitely a plus.

The Vault – Episode 2: Extraction

A science fiction series about a group of survivors in a military bunker. As with many single episodes, it is hard to get a full grasp of the story for The Vault, however there some well done effects in this episode.

P2 – GTA – Episode 6: Drift Life

A car thief is tasked with infiltrating a notorious car theft ring and smuggling operation. This is an episode of the second season of the award winning web series Petrol and it’s definitely the most glossy of the much, which includes the casting of Vivica A. Fox as the police officer the protagonist reports to. However, I do have to say that behind all the gloss, and nightclub makeout sessions, is a bare-boned plot and a protagonist I couldn’t really care less about.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).