This Isn’t What You Think It Is, I Promise
Adult Swim Yule Log (The Fire Place)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Casper Kelly
Writer(s): Casper Kelly
Cast: Andrea Laing, Justin Miles
Where To Watch: Now available to stream on HBO Max
RAVING REVIEW: I’m still not entirely sure what I just watched; I can’t write this review without some spoilers, so even though I’ll try to keep them to a minimum, I must at least put that warning out there.
So there’s no way to write this without diving into spoilers. I do my best to avoid them the best I can; for this one, there’s no way of avoiding them.
This was one of the most unique and unsettling experiences this year. I’m impressed how they created this entire film around the yule log in the fireplace. I don’t think many people will click on this expecting to find the traditional yule log experience. Especially on HBO Max with a TV-MA rating.
The film's slow burn just piled on with the strange occurrences, taking what you thought you knew and flipping it on its head. The constant reminder of the fire crackling in the background was an intriguing element of the film, although I wish it had remained the sole focus for the entire movie. The back-and-forth element of this specific fireplace used over generations was an intriguing addition to the film. It connected the different periods while allowing the story to be expanded on.
If you like micro-budget horror films that play on the unknown, check this out. The runtime for the film, even at just an hour and a half, is too long to be fully immersive. This may have been a better experience if edited down to 45 minutes to an hour in length to pack in the most intense experience but also have fun with the crazy and deranged idea that it is.
More than anything, I appreciate the out-of-the-box experience; pretty much everything you think you know, you don’t. Hopefully, this review gets a few people to watch it, and then they can tell a few more people, let’s try to keep the experience as much a surprise as possible.
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[photo courtesy of ADULT SWIM]