Category Archives: Film

Meet the Suspects of After Nightfall: Oscar

With Season 2 of After Nightfall done and Troy’s killer revealed, let’s get to know the people behind the characters we loved and hated. First up, we have Jace Pickard who played Oscar, the prime suspect for many viewers.

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After Nightfall is a huge ensemble cast of interesting and complex characters. Tell us about your character and how they fit into the story.
I play Oscar, the predatory book shop owner who becomes a major suspect in the Troy McLeavey murder.

How did you become involved with After Nightfall and what made you want to be part of it?
Wayne and I have been friends for years and I believe this role was written with me already in mind. I have worked with Wayne on a number of projects and I absolutely love his writing and the characters he creates. I will always jump on a Wayne Tunks project.

What made you get into acting?
I have always had a passion for film and wanting to play roles that are opposite to my personality. I did drama in year 11 and from there, I knew I wanted to continue this as a career. It became more real when I was accepted into Screenwise, (an acting school) and made the move to Sydney.

What is your favourite memory from the set?
I think it would have to be the Season 1 finale when I push Faye. I was incredibly nervous to do that scene because Emma was actually pregnant, but we were very careful with the blocking. It was just a great scene to work with and I absolutely adore Emma. We play such flawed characters and it was just so much fun to work off one another. It’s also a great memory because after shooting that scene, I left the set to go and have a first date with my now partner and we celebrated our two years last month.

Were you shocked by the killer’s reveal in Season 2?
I honestly thought it was Leanne for so long but it became clearer as we went along with Season 2 that it HAD to be someone that was not on our radar. I was so impressed with Jacinta and her performance. And the scene with her, Wayne and Nick was just heartbreaking. I loved it! I texted her as soon as I found out and was like Good work on killing Troy.

What do you love most about the role you played?
Oscar was such an interesting character to portray because technically he wasn’t doing anything entirely illegal. He was obsessed with younger men, but he would wait until they turned 18 before he pounced. It’s like he had those rules in place but he was definitely a predator and I’d think he would bend those rules eventually. If I was to love anything about Oscar, it would probably be his confidence. I don’t know why he thought he would never get caught. His demons definitely caught up with him in the end.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned or taken away from this project, either personally or professionally?
I love this cast and crew. A lot of us have worked together on various projects and if I have taken anything from this experience, it is that this won’t be the last time I’ll work with this group of people. If we could do something American Horror Story style and do different stories,  I would sign on every year. We all get along and I believe we do great work together. We got to keep doing it! I can’t deny or confirm if Oscar is alive but we shall see (if a season 3 is announced) if we have seen the last of the creepy bookshop owner 😉

What’s next for you?
I am about to go on a film tour as I am releasing my feature film Fragmentary this month. We have our Sydney Premiere on the 21st October at Dendy Opera Quays and then we have screenings throughout Australia where I’ll be doing Q&As. And you will find some After Nightfall alumni in the film 😉

Click here to watch After Nightfall

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 8

Sometimes, words are not enough. And this is most definitely one of those times. Because I’m so genuinely shocked at the things that went down in the Season 2 finale, that this is probably the most difficult review I’ve had to write for After Nightfall. In a good way. Because while a lot of questions are answered, many are not and a number of storylines take new directions. There’s a lot to talk about, both what happens in Episode 8 and what could possibly be next for After Nightfall.

Do I even need to warn you about the earth-shattering spoilers that lie beneath? Well, if I do, then you probably deserve to be spoiled. So here we go.

We open exactly where we left off. Colin knows who killed Troy and he’s off to confront them. But the answer isn’t revealed then. Colin only says to Viv “Don’t worry Mum, I’ll get her,” Instantly, we know the killer is female, and the answer is revealed in small increments, like a good murder mystery does. Really, After Nightfall is very similar to Broadchurch in a lot of ways, and I would never say that lightly.

At the police station, Zara is having a serious conversation with an unknown person over the phone. She’s got the McLeavey file out, and all of Colin’s siblings are there. Including Kate, who we know is dead. Zara tells whoever she’s talking to that while she couldn’t charge Colin with murdering Troy, she’s about to “apply some major pressure on the McLeaveys” and says something called Operation Permeate is on.
What do we learn from this scene? One, Zara isn’t working alone. Two, there’s a lot more to the McLeavey family than we’ve seen, although we know the family is full of criminals. Colin’s father is behind bars, and let’s not forget Quintin and Dave. So there’s a major plot point for Season 3, should that happen.

Just for a change, Angela’s wasted and has gone to seduce her ex-husband, who is sympathetic, but he’s also in a new relationship. There’s a lot more to these two. I just know it. Something else that could be explored in Season 3.

The next scene hit me right in the childhood (proudly raised by a single Mum!). Hayden’s come home and Margie’s lost her job. She wasn’t making ends meet as it was. Could this lead Hayden to take desperate measures? Speaking of which, where’s his Dad, anyway?

Meanwhile, Isobel is taking her criminal activities to a whole new level. Now that she can’t steal from Uncle Dave, she’s now selling stolen school tests to fellow students. This girl could give Don Corleone a run for his money. Good grief.

On the other side of town, one of my theories is confirmed, as Kobie shows up to Wesley’s house in the middle of the night. Kobie was indeed the reason for Wesley’s injuries. Apparently after Troy caught them together, Kobie took his temper out on Wes. Now, Kobie wants Wes to escape with him, because he may or may not have killed Oscar. I repeat, if a character doesn’t die on screen, they aren’t really dead, so until Oscar’s death is 100% confirmed, he’s still alive.
Either way Wesley, run away. Run away FROM from Kobie. You can do better!

And now we get some closure for Nathan and Yardley (♥!), at least this part of their story. The boys have made it back to Nathan’s house, and he’s packing up for good. Pat and Ed arrive home, and Nathan says he’s leaving with his boyfriend. Ed wants Nathan to return to the camp, but Pat finally says to let Nathan leave if that’s what he wants. She’s still rejecting him, but there’s a spark of hope in there that she might come around. Or is that just me? Anyway, Nathan and Yardley are free now, although I’d say with a lot of trauma and I don’t know where they’re going from here since Yardley’s parents are presumably just as bad. I hope they come back for another season.

But we’re still only about halfway through. In the parking lot, Ryan’s still holding everyone at gunpoint, wanting Leanne to leave with him. Dave tackles him, leaving Leanne holding the gun. Who will she shoot? Dave or Ryan? (If the producers of that garbage show The Bachelor are looking for ways to up the tension, there’s an idea for free!) Anyway, it looks like she shoots Ryan, but there’s our cliffhanger for this storyline, so we might just have to wait and see.

And now, it’s time for the big reveal. The one we’ve been waiting for since March 7th, 2018. Who killed Troy McLeavey?

As it turns out, none of the main fan suspects (Quintin, Dave, Leanne, Oscar) were the ones who did it. Troy was killed to be silenced over something he witnessed, but it wasn’t because of Oscar’s predatory behaviour, Quintin or Dave’s drug dealing, or Ryan and Leanne’s affair. It wasn’t Kobie, for witnessing his tryst with Wes. It wasn’t Xavier, to keep his infidelity secret. It wasn’t even the Keltys.

THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING TO TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET.

 

 

 

I MEAN IT!

 

 

OK, YOU ASKED FOR IT!

 

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED.

 

 

 

 

Troy arrived home, instead of going to Hayden’s because of their argument. While there, he caught Simon (yes, the sergeant who was killed in Season 1!) having an affair with Justine.

GOOD GOD WHY MUST THERE BE SO MANY CHEATERS IN THIS TOWN?!? Xavier, Ryan, Leanne, and now Justine??? That’s really low.

Sorry. I really hate people who cheat. And I have plenty of reason to, but this is a review, not a diary. Moving on.

Troy took pictures on his iPad, intending to show Colin when he got home. When Justine came upstairs, Troy confronted her and said he was going to tell Colin. Justine tried to make him keep quiet about it, but when Troy said no (as well he should!), Justine strangled Troy to death in a rage. Then, overwhelmed with shock and panic at what she’d done, she tried to unlock the iPad, and when that didn’t work, she ran it under the tap and hid it in the cubby house before dumping Troy’s body. And she killed Simon to cover it up further.

Colin now knows all this, and he arrives home to find a distraught Justine being tormented by Troy. Justine apologises over and over again, before dying from the cocktail of pills and alcohol she’s taken, rather than face the reality of what she’s done i.e 25-to-life for 2 murders, a lifetime of being isolated and hated for the crimes, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, a one-way ticket to divorce court….you get the idea.

I take back all the sympathy I ever had for Justine. She’s destroyed her family beyond repair. Quintin’s probably going to get caught for killing Brad, and even if he doesn’t he’ll never come home because of what Colin said to him. And as for poor Colin, he’s just learned his wife was cheating on him, killed their son, killed her lover, and she’s just killed herself.

But wait, it’s not quite over yet. There’s another ghost on the horizon.

Kate McLeavey.

End of Season 2.

Holy hell. I’m floored by the killer’s reveal. I honestly never saw that coming, and I don’t think anyone else did either. Between the performances and writing, Justine didn’t even really come onto people’s radar of possibility. And now that she’s gone, there’s no chance at justice. In fact, Colin might even get the blame for this too.

So, what now?

Well, I really don’t know what I’m meant to do on Wednesday nights after this, instead of waiting for the link to appear in my inbox. But I do know that Troy’s murder was a truly great mystery with an excellent twist, and there’s still so many possibilities on where the story can go from here.

If it was up to me, and it’s not, I’d say Season 3 almost definitely has to happen now. Troy’s story may have got a satisfying conclusion, but there’s much more to tie up. The drug storyline, Angela and her ex, Zara’s motivations, Quintin’s murder of Brad, Kobie and Wes, Nathan and how he’ll deal with the aftermath of conversion therapy, Hayden and his mother, and how on earth the surviving McLeavey’s are going to move forward, if they even can. Plus, we have a new mystery. Who killed Kate McLeavey?

I’m beyond impressed with this episode, and beyond impressed with After Nightfall. I’ve said it all, really. So keep an eye out for my next blog about what comes next, and if you don’t mind, I need to have another glass of rose on Colin’s behalf.

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 7

Well…I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

Not Troy’s killer. We’re all but guaranteed to find that out next week, but there’s a real twist at the end that genuinely shocked me.  I need hardly remind you that this is going to be loaded with spoilers, but I will try to keep the big reveal of the episode out of sight as long as possible because, as Troy said, it’s just too good and I feel that not giving my readers a chance to watch the episode first would be doing the series a major disservice.

Last week ended with Troy appearing at a seance held by Colin, Ursula, Viv and Narelle, and we saw the montage of a flashback.
In episode 7, we see the whole thing. The last two days of Troy’s life are covered, and with that we actually get to see who Troy was, because up until now he’s been a great big question mark and completely defined by his murder. And through this, we see the events leading up to Troy’s death without actually revealing who the killer is…yet.

We start the day before he’s killed with Troy being woken by his mother, so a very typical teen in that regard. While walking to school, Oscar sees Troy and tries to turn on the “charm”, although I use that term so generously it should be a charitable donation on my tax return. Troy’s having none of it, but Oscar persists until he finally gets the message. It’s clear he’s not used to being rejected. And not only that, Troy accidentally bumps into Faye and she, of course, attacks him with a homophobic slur. Charming woman.

At the park, Troy’s getting a coffee when he suddenly sees Ryan and Leanne getting a little too close for comfort, and they know he’s seen too much. As he leaves, he comes across Nathan, who’s clearly uncomfortable with speaking to him. The conversation is short, but we finally learn a few details about their relationship. It turns out Nathan ended things with Troy because Troy was pressuring him to come out, which Nathan was justifiably scared to do. “What do you actually think would happen if you came out?” asks slightly clueless Troy. Oh Troy, if only you knew.
I’m very glad this scene was added for several reasons. First, while it’s understandable that Troy wanted Nathan to be out and proud, but he’s pretty ignorant of the fact that it’s not always a safe option for people to do so, and certainly not until Nathan is ready. Troy and Hayden are clearly very fortunate that their families are accepting of their sexuality. Nathan is not so lucky. I know if my brother or myself had ever come out, neither our parents or anybody in the family would bat an eye. However, the reality is, many members of the LGBTQ community can’t.  Every one of them has the right to reveal themselves on their own terms, and when the circumstances allow. And I’m very glad both sides of the argument appeared here. Plus, more screen time with Nathan is completely fine by me.

Now we come to the day of the murder. Again, Troy is woken by Justine, and we go through the breakfast scene we saw in the Season 1 finale. While walking to school, Hayden tells Troy he went to the police about Dave’s tip-off. Troy’s very upset, and conveniently Dave drives past with Quintin at that point. Troy storms off and later on we see him venting to Xavier and Grace about it. He says this fight is not a deal-breaker, but he’s giving Hayden the silent treatment to elicit more guilt from him. And after Grace leaves, Troy confronts Xavier for cheating on Grace.
Well, that throws a spanner in the works. Didn’t know that bit of information. The ominous music in the background doesn’t help Xavier’s case either. He’s going back on my list of suspects. Troy gives Xavier an ultimatum: tell Grace the truth tonight, or he will.

And now for the big one. Troy’s walking through bushland when he comes across two guys having, shall we say, an intimate moment. It’s Wesley (yay, I was right!) and….last week I thought it was Xavier. Well, it’s not.

It’s….

 

 

Spoilers coming below.

 

This is your last chance to turn back….

 

Are you sure?

 

Ok then.

 

 

It’s Kobie.

Yes, you read that correctly. Kobie and Wesley are having an affair. And Troy catches them in a very compromising position. Not only that, but he takes pictures. Wesley begs him not to tell anyone, while Kobie attempts to chase Troy with his pants around his ankles. LOL.

What happens next is unclear for now, but it appears Troy made it home after that encounter. Or maybe he didn’t, because as he approaches the door, he turns and stares directly into the camera. Unemotional, unflinching.

In the present, Colin snaps back to reality. And he says the final words. “I know who killed Troy,”
Cue the credits and the cliffhanger we all saw coming.

I have to hand it to the creatives and actors here for some very refreshing choices. They didn’t make Troy perfect. This is a trap a lot of murder mysteries fall into, and honestly the ‘perfect victim’ mentality would have been very tempting given time constraints, but they instead chose to make him real. He’s a normal, flawed but still very likeable teen. I can see why we’ve waited til now to see this flashback. It not only makes sense from a story and character point of view, but really to see this this any earlier would have given away some crucial plot points before we had all the information. This is also the best way to build up the last bit of tension before we finally get the answers we’ve been waiting for. If nothing else, we’ve learned why Kobie wanted Troy’s phone. And my mind has a final theory for Season 2. We know Kobie isn’t above blackmail, so it’s very likely he threatened to reveal Xavier’s affair unless he handed over the phone. I still stand by the argument that Xavier is realistically the only person who could have given it to anyone.

Next week, we will find out who the killer is, and Colin will likely be the first to confront them. I can’t imagine he’ll get out of that encounter unscathed. But that’s not all. There’s also the matter of Dave’s drug deal gone wrong, the aftermath of Nathan and Yardley’s escape, Quintin killing Brad, the tension in the McLeavey household, Oscar and Kobie, and setting up for a potential third season. The journey is almost over for Troy. But there’s still one more episode, and I for one don’t intend to miss a moment as the final pieces of the puzzle are revealed. Let’s see where this will ultimately take us. Let’s see who killed Troy.

After Nightfall Season 2, Episode 5

Oh. My. God.

W.T.F

I may or may not have needed to down a glass of rosé after last night’s episode. Because I did not see that ending coming. And naturally, I’m here to write about it. There’s a lot to go through in this episode and some tantalising theories to spin, so pour yourself a glass and let’s get right into it.

Episode 5 opens with our friendly neighbourhood drug dealer Dave seemingly contemplating his recent decline, when Leanne shows up. And before I go on, I have to say, I do feel bad I’ve not given actor David Woodland the praise he deserves for his solid performance. So here it is now. He’s wonderful in this role. He sells the danger of this man while also imbibing him with a humanity not often seen with this type of character. This is also down to the writing, but the performance is great regardless. That’s really one of the main strengths of After Nightfall, as I said back in my very first review. The moments we see the characters are short, but the power of the writing and the acting is able to get across a lot with very little. But that’s also an advantage of film as opposed to live theatre.
Anyhow, Leanne shows up and she’s done with the icy reception she’s been getting since Dave discovered her infidelity. She wants to know what she can do to be forgiven, but he’s not sure there’s anything she can do. A feeling I understand all too well.

Next, one of the juiciest scenes in the episode. A big call, I know, but I’m making it anyway for reasons you’ll soon understand.
Hayden shares his suspicions of Wesley (still calling that as a red herring) with Grace and Xavier, and this is where things get VERY interesting.
See, Grace points out something that had actually been bothering me since Season 1. When she and Xavier found Troy’s body, what made them look in the ditch?
Troy’s phone ringing.
And then, Kobie mysteriously got hold of it. Later, they caught him burying the phone where Troy’s body was. Grace rightly wonders how he got hold of it. She suspects maybe the police gave it to him, but we know that can’t be the case; they’ve been looking for it the entire time. Someone else gave it to him, and from the music, the shifty eyes and the camera angle, that person has to be Xavier. Think about it. He’s literally the only one who could have done it. The only question is why? And to that, I have literally no idea. Maybe something to do with Oscar? He did say in season 1 episode 5 Oscar stares at him…

The scene cuts to my beloved Nathan at conversion camp. And this is where I will mildly celebrate the fact that one of my theories has turned out to be correct. Nathan, Yardley, Daisy and two other camp members Finn and Tess (who shares a surname with Leanne. Coincidence?) have joined forces and decided they’re going to try and escape. Next week, we’ll see if they’re successful or not. And I hope to heaven they are. But I’m wondering, did those guards overhear them?

The episode is far from over. Oscar is confronted by an enraged Kobie, and just barely manages to get away. Somehow I don’t think this is over. And I really doubt Oscar is going to survive beyond this season. It’ll be incredible if he survives before the finale.

Meanwhile, at the McLeavey household, Justine discovers the money Isobel’s stolen. But before she can ground her til the age of 18, Zara and Angela arrived with a search warrant…and Brenda.
Brenda claims Troy told her he put his phone and iPad in the kitchen drawer, which she saw Colin do in the last episode. Zara finds it, and after berating Angela for not searching thoroughly in the initial sweep, Colin is taken to the station for questioning.
Since Nathan’s parents and the conversion camp leaders haven’t shown up for me to hate this episode, I shall focus my wrath on Brenda here with no shame whatsoever. What the hell is your problem, lady? You’re so desperate to seem credible you’ll get an innocent man arrested? Sure, Colin’s no angel and he wasn’t polite last week, but why should he be polite to someone who profits off exploiting and scamming grieving families? And it’s not just him, Colin’s not the only one affected by this. Justine’s been through more than anyone should and Isobel may be a scheming little brat but she’s still a kid. Holy hell this woman is a piece of work.
But as Colin is being taken out, Troy appears, causing a chair to fall. Narelle was right. His strength is building.

With bombshell after bombshell, this should be the end of episode 5, right? Haha, no.
The biggest twist of all is coming, in a house Colin is selling for his real estate job. Huh. I picked him more for an accountant. But no matter. Brad arrives, and who should be there waiting for him but Quintin. And he’s come prepared. We have our third death on the show. First Troy, then Simon, and now Brad. I guess that means we can cross him off the suspect list.

Quintin has been on many viewer’s suspect list, including my own, but now we’ve actually seen him kill someone. And he’s clearly premeditated this. He wears gloves to prevent fingerprints. He’s laid down plastic on the floor. It’s almost like he’s done this before….
There’s a massive amount of evidence here. Quintin has a background you could describe as ‘shady’. He reacted to the news of Troy’s murder by angrily kicking a chair, but he hasn’t really seemed overly torn up about it. His father told him last week he wished he’d been the one murdered instead of Troy. He works for his criminal uncle. When Dave was named a suspect, he instantly said “That’s bullshit!” He was in the area where Troy’s body was found, around the time the body was left there. He’s physically strong enough to overpower his brother, and he’s old enough to drive. He obviously attended Troy’s funeral. He knows how police investigations work. He knows how to conceal evidence, and Simon was also stabbed to death. We also know Simon had some kind of deal going on with Troy’s killer, and Dave’s gang had Brad on the payroll.

Did Quintin kill Troy? It certainly seems that way, but this is After Nightfall, and there’s 3 episodes left. Troy was strangled, not stabbed, and there’s definitely a number of people who could have been responsible. But still. This is not going to go unnoticed. A second police officer dead, and in a house attached to the McLeavey name? I think Colin needs to watch out, because there’s every chance he’ll be tied to this murder.

This is yet another episode showing the advancement the series has made this season. The music, the camera shots, the locations, the effects budget, the performances, everything has stepped up to the next level. The story is continuing, not rehashing or falling into the trap of writing without an endgame in sight. You can tell every scene is important in the overall arc. Every single moment is racing towards something, and now it’s full steam ahead on all fronts. It’s a remarkable achievement and everyone involved should be commended for what they’ve done.

I need hardly remind everyone that Season 1 had six episodes, so this time last season we were almost at the end. Here, we have 3 episodes left, and a huge amount of stories to tie up. There’s questions that need answering, and characters that need closure. If I’m honest, part of me is wondering how this is going to be accomplished in such a short amount of time, especially with no guarantee of a third season, which would have a new storyline. But I have confidence that whatever happens in the final three episodes, it’ll be worth the ride we’ve been on, and I’ll be here to write about every moment. Because if there’s one thing After Nightfall deserves, it’s to be talked about. And I’m going to give them that.

 

After Nightfall Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2

Warning: Graphic content. Also, plenty of spoilers abound in the following. Proceed at your own risk.

Clearly, Troy’s ghost and I need to have a serious talk.

The first season of After Nightfall has been, in a word, successful. It’s won more awards around the world than you can poke a stick at, and now we’re back with season 2, which has more episodes, more characters, and a bigger budget thanks to a crowd funding campaign. All these combine into making Season 2 look like it’s going to be even better than Season 1, if you can believe it!

First a quick recap (or you can read my review of Season 1 by clicking here, here, here, here and here)

In the season 1 finale, Colin managed to unlock Troy’s iPad. Nathan and Yardley were caught kissing at conversion camp, with the Naylor couple promising to ‘step up’ therapy. Dave discovered Leanne’s affair thanks to Isobel. Hayden, Grace and Xavier found Kobie burying Troy’s phone where his body was discovered. A heavily pregnant Faye was attacked and seriously injured by Oscar. And lead detective Simon was murdered by Troy’s killer.

Episode 1 opens with a new character. Zara is the new sergeant at the station, and we meet her as she’s leaving her distraught partner. Instantly, you know this is not a woman you want to cross. She means business.

But the main feature of this episode is Troy’s funeral, and Angela is convinced the killer is among the mourners. While we don’t see any of the service, it doesn’t matter. This setting is a perfect way to introduce several new characters. Being added to the roll call is Colin’s sister Renee McCleavey (who is at odds with mum Viv), Colin’s Aunt Narelle who shares the family ESP gene, Angela’s ex-husband Ian, and mysterious school student Wesley, who has obviously come off worse in a fight. There’s also mention of another McCleavey sibling. Kate. This can be no coincidence, given that Colin asked Viv in Season 1 how she coped with losing a child. I think Kate might be appearing in some way sooner or later. Red herrings are a given in a murder mystery, but there’s one thing Wayne Tunks doesn’t do and that’s gratuitous plot holes. Thank God.

(P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, a certain Harper Smith appears at Troy’s funeral. You may recognise the actor. She knows nothing other than the two pages of the script from that day!)

Inside the church, Troy’s ghost stands by his casket, seen by Viv, Colin and Narelle, who tells Colin that Troy has unfinished business. I quite agree.
Also, shout out to the beautiful music performed by the multi-talented Kristina Benton, who plays Ursula in the series!

Moving on to Episode 2, and Troy continues to linger. Sort of a strange thing to comment on, but massive props to the makeup artist for adding the strangulation marks on Troy’s neck. A very effective touch!

We cut to the park, where Sergeant Zara confronts Brad and Angela, both drinking off-duty. She promises there’s going to be a lot of changes, including a crackdown on corruption. And from the look she gives Brad, I’d say she’s onto him. Good. Barbara Gouskos give a very powerful performance in the few minutes she’s been on screen. I’m very keen to see what her character is all about, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Meanwhile, Kobie hounds his little sister for information on Faye’s attacker, but she’s not telling anything yet. Which, honestly, given her age and what she witnessed makes perfect sense. I’m just wondering why she hasn’t been interviewed by the authorities, yet, but the season is still young!

Over at Dave’s, we meet Amaia, the newest member of Dave’s gang. Leanne is still around, but Dave’s justifiably giving her the cold shoulder. And currently there’s no word on Ryan, but I’d be surprised if he still has a face at this point.

Justine’s anger at her husband is growing by the second, and then there’s an unexpected visitor to the McCleavey household. It’s Brenda, a TV psychic who claims she’s been speaking with Troy. Cue the eye roll. And it seems Colin will be the character we follow most in Season 2. He heads to Hayden’s house and reveals the data on Troy’s iPad is corrupted. And this is where, as I said above, Troy and me need to talk.
I’m not entirely sure why he’d leave his damn iPad in the cubby house where water could get to it, and if the data is unreadable. I know, I know, it could be a red herring and there’s very likely going to be an explanation of why/how this happened. But still. Also, if I was killed (touch wood) and came back as a ghost, the first thing I’d do is snitch on the murderer. However, Narelle did say Troy’s strength was building, and I’m pretty sure I saw him name names to Viv in Episode 5, so who knows?

Anyhow, Colin has officially teamed up with Hayden, and is now in possession of Troy’s phone. I’m going to go out on a limb and say we can officially strike Hayden and Colin off the suspect list but to be perfectly honest, I never thought either of them was the killer. 

And finally, we return to conversion camp, where my beloved Nathan and Yardley are being subjected to…well, there’s really no other way to put this, torture. This is why I’ve added a content warning, and I have literally never done that on anything I’ve ever written, so you know I sure as hell mean it.

Nathan and Yardley are forced to view images of gay couples and given electric shocks to ‘train’ their sexuality. I won’t lie, this is a very difficult scene to watch, and it’s even worse when you know this sort of ‘treatment’ is very real. Not since Dolores Umbridge hopped her way into Harry Potter have I ever genuinely wished to strangle a character as much as I do Peter and Melinda in this scene. Holy hell I hope they get what’s coming to them. My hat is off to the actors for their bravery and honesty, as I can’t imagine this would have been easy to film. What on earth is going to happen next?

Season 2 of After Nightfall has really taken things to the next level in every way. The story is dense and building by the episode. The world is expanding and the established characters are developing further. The plot is moving forward in unexpected ways. The atmosphere is building like a pressure-cooker. Presumably thanks to the higher budget, the cinematography has stepped up from its already impressive look, including some great split screen shots of Troy, the use of slow motion, and creative camera angles.

It’s been more than a year since we last caught up with the McCleavey family, but from what has been delivered in these first two episodes, it’s been well worth the wait. We still have six episodes left, and the possibility of a third season, so hang on tight. It’s going to be quite the ride.

 

I Have Returned

For the last year, my blog has been very quiet without any explanation to my subscribers and friends. I’ve posted very little, and very rarely. I wasn’t in any space to give notice or reasons, or to give a ballpark when or if I was going to blog again. This is all going to change right now.

Without going into all the gory details, or naming any names, in October 2017 my life fell apart in every single way. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, in just a few moments, everything I was sure of was gone. Just like that.

It’s hard when other people make bad choices. It’s hard not to blame yourself and then come to terms with the fact that you haven’t done anything wrong. Especially when people insert themselves into a situation, thinking they know the truth when they really have no idea. It’s hard when you find out you were lied to and used, for absolutely no reason.
It’s hard when people you thought were your friends, who you would have trusted with your very life, betray you in the worst way. And thanks to social media, escaping it is also next to impossible. My whole identity was brought into question, through no fault of my own.
On top of this, and really because of it, I was battling some serious health issues. Still am, even though I’m a million times better than I was.

I tried to write. But I couldn’t. I was physically incapable of doing it beyond the occasional short review, and I was too afraid to share it around like I normally would.
Writing is something very dependant on mood, emotions, headspace and personal feelings. I don’t know how on earth J.K Rowling wrote the way she did with the kind of pressure she faced.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that everything is perfect now. It’s not. I’m still rebuilding the person I want to be. But I feel I’ve reached a point to bring this blog back, and make it better than ever on top of everything else I’m doing.

I am sorry to all my subscribers and friends who’ve missed my work. I’m truly sorry for dropping off the radar like I did.  But I had to take care of myself first and foremost, and I have plans for my blog.

What’s coming….

  1. My Wanderlust recap of my incredible solo trip to Europe will be completed by the end of the year, as I plan my next overseas adventure. Travel blogging is definitely going to be a new venture for me, but obviously the arts are my number one passion and my site will ALWAYS be about them above all.
  2. As I take on new acting projects, you can expect to be kept in the loop and brought behind the scenes.
  3. My first artist interview is coming very soon, something I am hopeful will become a semi-regular occurrence.
  4. Yes, I have many critiques, reviews, lists and analysing blogs in my backlog. And they will be released as I see fit.

It’s great to be back.

 

After Nightfall Episode 6

You ever have that moment when a series leaves you on a cliffhanger and you’re suddenly filled with an urge to see more immediately, and simultaneously throw something at the screen because how dare they leave you hanging?

Trust After Nightfall to do this to me. And trust me to love them for it.

Episode 6, the Season 1 finale is the episode where the story starts moving forward, where things are happening, plot points are being explored and small incidents are finally becoming significant.

The episode opens with an insanely clever scene which appears to be a flashback to the morning of Troy’s murder, literally the first time we hear Troy speak or see him interact with other family members, and not as a ghost. However, this quickly morphs into the realisation that it’s a dream, which usually would drive me insane, but in this case it didn’t because Colin now knows the passcode to Troy’s iPad. As I said last week, the investigators could have opened it in seconds, but what do I know? Cliffhanger #1.

At conversion camp, we see the adorable Nathan (Robert Miniter) and Yardley (Adam Haylock) get closer. These two are just….God, I love them. I have never ever shipped a couple like this. Unfortunately it can’t last, because camp leaders, Melinda and Peter, burst in and declare that “therapy” will now be increased. Cliffhanger #2.

During another drug deal, Troy’s uncle receives the video from Isobel of his girlfriend cheating with another of his cronies. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that’s why Isobel nicked the phone from that woman in the last episode. Of course, the police can also trace where videos come from, even if passed from phone to phone (I toured cyberbullying plays in 2016, ok? I had to do some research!) so Isobel might not get out of this one even if she is a minor. Anyway, from the look on Dave’s face, I’d say his buddy will soon have a perfectly flat surface where his face used to be. Should be fun. Cliffhanger #3.

Meanwhile, Hayden and company observe Kobie digging a hole in the woods where Troy’s body was found. This better not be going where I think it is.
Cliffhanger #4.

Meanwhile creepy Oscar breaks into Kobie’s house to retrieve Troy’s phone (by hilariously climbing through the open window…so that actually works?) only to be caught by Kobie’s mother Faye and causing her a serious injury/apparent death. Nice one there idiot. You leave a traumatised child in your wake and possibly a dead woman. Cliffhanger #5.

And finally, we return to lead investigator Simon, who is stabbed by a hooded figure. Before he dies, he chokes out “You killed Troy!” Cliffhanger #6 ends Season 1 and leaves me absolutely cheering (silently, because I was watching this at midnight).

This episode ends the season on the highest of high notes with great acting and the best use yet of cinematography, camera angles and the use of atmosphere. We have possibly two more deaths, blackmail, revenge, mystery and LGBTQ issues, but still not enough to piece together the entire mystery. Questions are being answered for sure, and action is on the verge of exploding, but the pressure cooker that is After Nightfall still wants to keep us in suspense.

We’re left hanging on for more, yet in pure satisfaction that there’ll be more great drama to dive into in Season 2. I gave up watching TV years ago, and a series has not had me hooked like this since I can’t remember when.

Hurry up Season 2. We all need to know who killed Troy.

Watch all episodes here