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New Releases for Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Etheria: Season 1

Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror/Drama

Directed by: Kayoko Asakura, Mae Catt, Sarah Doyla, Gala Goliani, Erin Li, Rebecca Thomson, Jennifer Thym and Julia Walter

Run time: 120 minutes

Rating: Unrated

Format: Amazon Prime

The Lowdown: It’s fitting that you can only watch Etheria, a new high-concept anthology series from The Horror Collective, on the pay-to-view Amazon Prime platform.

This is the kind of ambitious entertainment that streaming platforms excel at because Amazon, much like Netflix, Shudder and Hulu, can afford to take programming risks in the perpetual hunt to provide paying customers with the kind of thought-provoking, visually striking programming not usually found on network television.

It's also exciting that all eight episodes from the first season, which average in length from 10-to-20-minutes, are directed by women.

Etheria swings big, often, playing like an updated version of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, without seeming redundant.

The second episode, “You, Me & Her,” details a woman who discovers that after traveling through a worm hole, there are about 30 different versions of herself, and when she starts meeting her other selves she realizes she’s the least impressive version.

The fourth episode, “Kepler X-47,” showcases the small details that help distinguish Etheria. A woman wakes up with a faceless robot dog in bed with her and a digital voice informing her that she’s 15 minutes past her scheduled feeding time. But what planet is she on?

Etheria feels experimental in a way that’s exciting because as viewers, you’re uncertain what might happen, and as genre fans, we need to champion these kinds of shows because for too long we’ve greedily absorbed a steady diet of shows constructed not by imagination, but template – pre-packaged, focus group-studied and so carefully designed to satisfy that they forget to allow for the tiny imperfections that make something memorable.

Even better, the second season recently dropped with 10 new episodes, all available to stream immediately.

The Stuff You Care About: Hot chicks – Yes.

Nudity – No. Gore – At times.

Drug use – No.

Bad Guys/Killers – Take your pick.

Buy/Rent – Rent it.

Also Available:

The Burnt Orange Heresy

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie – Collector’s Edition

A Trip to Greece

Gunsmoke: The Movie Collection

Now on Video-on-Demand:

The Honeymoon Phase (Dark Sky Films, 89 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): The latest from Dark Sky Films looks suspiciously like 2019’s Vivarium, which imagined an alternate reality where people are lured to a new community to call home, only to discover the nightmare behind the curtain.

We didn’t get to check out The Honeymoon Phase, so if you rent or buy it, please let us know your thoughts.

The Faceless Man (Freedom Cinema, 106 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): Backwoods survival horror mashed together with supernatural hauntings?

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This Australian import was on our list to watch and review, but then the screener expired. If you see it, drop us a line. Let us know if The Faceless Man is worth a watch.

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