Since the events of Under the Flowers, most of the characters have gotten on with their lives, or at least whatever passes for their lives. Not all of them are actually alive, in the strict sense of the term. But for one character, at least, getting on with existing has been getting harder, and in Under the Flowers: Circle of Hell, like Alice, she seems to be having to work harder and harder just to stay in the same place.
Poe (Lauren LaVera) isn’t quite herself these days, and I mean that literally –these days she’s Rose (Amanda Kay Livezey), now much less Goth but also much more confused. If her soul is ever going to be able to move on, there’s a journey Rose has to complete, a journey both physical and psychological filled with dangers of all kinds. Worse, it’s a journey she’s attempted before, without success, and she’s running out of chances. This time she has a guide, Nerissa (Kirsten Lee Hess), which may sound promising but let’s just say that Nerissa doesn’t seem all that invested in Rose’s success.
But there’s a wild card in play: Charlotte (Catherine Kustra), the Halloween Girl herself, who just might be able to help her friend. Her best efforts still might not save Rose, however, and will almost certainly hurt Charlotte — at least if the Darkness (Richard T. Wilson) is to be believed. Even Evil must tell the truth once in a while, right? In the end, though, it all comes down to Charlotte’s decision and Rose’s willpower as she faces her demons one after another. And of course Nerissa, whatever she might be up to, is waiting for her chance.
It’s a satisfyingly scary and suspenseful second series from Mad Shelley Films, featuring plenty of familiar guest stars along with the new arrivals as we follow Rose’s dangerous journey. The two series have a good sense of connection without being too much alike, each possessing its own unique feel while still seeming to exist in the same strange — and not so strange — realms. Best of all there’s still an enticing air of mystery about the characters which should continue for a while, since every answer seems to lead to five more questions. This is easily one of the best and creepiest web series out there, and I look forward to seeing more from the creators’ twisted minds.