Blumhouse’s anthology series “Into The Dark” calls out the hypocrisy of Influencers who promote “health, wellness, and positivity.”
The creators of Blumhouse’s “Into The Dark” series on Hulu created a character that every single Instagram user will recognize immediately. Danielle is a vlogger and owner of “Very Very Vegetable” juices who promotes a healthy and positive lifestyle through her heavily curated social media account. But behind the facade, Danielle is a sociopathic murderer and control freak.
“Into The Dark” director Sophia Takal spoke with Refinery29 about how the character came about and the meaning behind Danielle’s double life.
“We’re mimicking people who are presenting their lives in such a curated way and then feeling bad about our own life. I think that’s a shitty way to live,” Sophia tells the publication. “There’s something that feels dystopian to me about it. We’re turning ourselves into the product, and not selling anything besides ourselves. In the same way that products are disposable, we become disposable. We aren’t present in our own lives, we’re only aware of how other people are perceiving us.”
Sophia and her team researched popular wellness vloggers in order to create an authentic and believable character.
“I watched a lot of YouTube videos, specifically of health and wellness influencers. The kind of people who make their own juices and do yoga, and then post photos of themselves doing yoga and looking super hot.”
She continued, “I really wanted to get specific with these kinds of ‘self-care’ influencers,” Takal explains. “They’re not super bubbly types. We wanted to capture the cadence they use. They’re more even-keeled, more mellow, have more of a California ‘hippie’ vibe — but through the lens of wanting someone to constantly be looking at you, approving of you.”
The upcoming “New Year, New You” episode, set to air on December 28th on Hulu, shines a light on the hypocrisy of preaching about the importance of self-care and inner peace despite doing the exact opposite in their own lives.
“Spending all of your time creating a persona for yourself, and only thinking about how you’re perceived and not checking in with yourself emotionally [can cause a disconnect from your own humanity,]” Takal explains to R29. “On the flip side, looking at images or tiny little videos and sentences on Twitter means you’re not getting a full picture of human beings.”
Although Danielle’s character and the episode itself takes a jab at the Influencer community, Sophia nor the creative team thinks that all wellness vloggers are secretly homicidal maniacs. The episode more aims to show how toxic that lifestyle can be for both the Influencers that perpetuate it and the consumers who buy into it.
“I find this culture [more than individual influencers] very insidious,” the director notes of Alexis’ motives at the end of the episode. “When everyone else wants to be looked at, it’s hard not to want that, too… The fact that a character dies, and then right away [the influencers] shift away to some other [self-promotional] stuff — that happens so much in our society. I’ll be reading just the most horrible stuff that is happening in our world right now on Twitter, and it is interspersed with the most banal comments about life, or self-promotion.”
Press play above to see the trailer and catch the full episode on December 28th on Hulu.