- Series title: Or So The Story Goes - Happy Thoughts
- Created by: Melissa Malone
- Starring: Noah Dunton, Rayna Loos, Melissa Malone, Joe Lenihan
- Elevator pitch: Peter Pan meets horror in this reimagining that puts the real world and Neverland together as the ghosts of children help Peter gather more “lost boys.” If you refuse, you die. If you give in, you die. Either way, he wins.
- Features: abusive relationship, gaslighting, flashbacks, classic filming style (no vlogs!), various sets (outside and inside), death, sibling relationships, grief, horror, great ensemble, plot twists
Have you ever wondered what the story of Peter Pan might be like when viewed through a warped window? A little creepy perhaps, that Pan demands his Lost Boys never even contemplate leaving Neverland? In true Halloween fashion, I would like to introduce you to Happy Thoughts. This webseries is actually a part of a larger anthology encompassing everything from Hansel and Gretel to Rumplestiltskin, but for the sake of brevity I’ll focus on this part of the collection.
After the mysterious death of her brother, Jane Hook dedicates her life to tracking down and destroying malevolent spirits, especially the one who caused it all: Peter Pan. She accidentally managed to chain him to one house, but despite not having the free rein he once did, this spirit still manages to convince children that he’s lonely and they need to play with him. The catch? The only way to join his merry band is through death.
Forced to move for her dad’s job and thoroughly bitter about it, Wendy Darling wants nothing more than to get away from her fighting parents and go back home to what’s familiar. Things take a rather unexpected turn when a boy shows up on her bed asking her to read him stories. She thinks he’s a ghost, but starts to shut down arguments and her own questions because perhaps she doesn’t want to see what’s right in front of her. As time goes on, John Darling dreams of each of the deaths of Peter’s band…including the death of his little sister Michelle. After that, he calls Jolly Roger Investigations in the hopes that they’ll be able to get rid of Peter for good.
This series only has seven episodes, but each episode is about seven to seventeen minutes long. It breaks away from the more popular vlog format and is instead completely told through the classic filming style. This enables the creative team to combine the past, the present, the Darlings’ perspective, and Jane Hook’s perspective into one place without having any plot holes. It’s the perfect webseries to watch at 2am on a weekday, obviously, because it will leave you looking over your shoulder and wondering if you heard a child laughing. (Actually would not recommend, that was a mistake on my part. But definitely watch it with the lights off, it makes the whole experience better.) If you enjoy seeing stories twisted in completely unexpected ways, you should definitely check this one out.