I wasn’t sure what to expect from Pooka but I was pretty sure that I’d hate it. As a recent Hulu subscriber, I was a bit annoyed by how often the commercial for the film popped up when I was watching something else. But there was something intriguing about it as well. Could Pooka, which looked completely silly on the surface, actually offer viewers anything of value?

I’m happy to share that Pooka is actually (surprisingly) decent and takes viewers on interesting journey, with shades of It’s a Wonderful Life peppered throughout. The story follows struggling actor Wilson, who attends a strange audition, only to find himself suddenly hired as the live mascot for a new toy being released over the holidays - the terrifyingly unstable Pooka, a fuzzy creature who repeats what you say as either “good” or “bad” Pooka. Though Wilson has questions, he takes the job and finds himself in a horrifying nightmare in which Pooka’s dark side seems to take over, leading Wilson to do horrible things to those he cares about.

The film is well-acted, and though it’s not going to change the horror game in any major way, I found myself entertained for the duration of the film. The film’s final moments are poignant, and a good reminder that life is about loving those around you. It’s totally worth checking out if you’re still trying to ride that holiday high.