From Men’s Health
Spoiler warning: the following story discusses the entire episode, including the ending, of “Eugene, Oregon” from Hulu’s Monsterland.
The second episode of Hulu’s horror anthology series, Monsterland, explores the dangers of internet conspiracy groups and radicalization.
Titled “Eugene, Oregon,” the episode follows a teenage boy, Nick, who cares for his ill mother and shoulders much of his family’s hardships, financial and otherwise.
Here’s how we can interpret the episode and its ending.
Just in time for Halloween, Hulu’s new horror anthology series Monsterland is here to bring all the creepy, scary goodness you can fit into a 50-minute package. Done in the style of Netflix’s sci-fi megahit Black Mirror, each episode of Monsterland takes place in a different city, focused on different types of monsters, both human and not human. Embedded within each episode’s horror story also comes a layer of social commentary, explaining what can drive humans to do real-world monstrous things that we see and hear about with sometimes alarming frequency.
The second episode in the series, titled “Eugene, Oregon,” is ostensibly about shadow monsters. The protagonist of the episode is a boy named Nick (played by Ozark star Charlie Tahan), who lives an extremely troubled life—he’s about a year removed from his mother suffering a crippling stroke, rendering her unable to work. He’s dropped out of school to work a fast food job for any attempt to make ends meat, and his health insurance no longer covers the medication that his ailing mother desperately needs.
So when he sees a living shadow in his room, he doesn’t know what to make of it. We know he’s tied to a virtual life—he gets his joy from gaming online and video-chatting with others. The shadow does nothing more than