You know what never gets a proper review? Those holiday log videos, which give you the treat of a burning fireplace right there on your television. So Pajiba has got you covered this holiday season, with a real time review of Netflix’s own Fireplace for Your Home. Let’s jump right to the action.
00:01: George Ford is the director, that’s how you know you’re in for a treat.
00:30: Familiar holiday music, and for some reason the subtitles are on by default. [Music plays]. [Crackling]. I’m just glad for the translation.
01:40: So far this is underwhelming. I mean, we’re on the second Christmas song already, but it’s all instrumental. And really, all I want is the sound of the fire, I don’t need this added music. I should be able to put a fake fire in high definition on my computer screen without having to listen to Christmas music. This is a violation of my basic civil rights.
02:33: The flame is a bit small. All yellow, mostly triangular, with a single central peak. The wood hardly seems to be burning. I suspect a gas line is actually supplying the flames here.
05:19: Small flickers of flame just started to spread over the left piece of wood. Scorch marks Houston, we have scorch marks.
08:04: This thing runs for an hour. What if the wood runs out? How long does wood last? I feel this thing should have a sidebar. I tried to start a campfire once. It didn’t work. Stupid wood.
11:44: Crackling? This bitch is blazing now. The flames have spread over most of the wood now, though it’s still peaking in the middle. At some point the subtitle switched to all caps [CRACKLING].
13:02: I think a knot just exploded. Is that a thing? I remember that being in a description of a fire in a book, but I don’t have any first-hand knowledge.
18:59: A lot of sparks now, showering all over the place. Looks like footage from a steel mill.
22:33: Just realized that I can only see shadows flickering on the right side of the ashen bricks. The left ones have no shadows on them.
23:42: We’re on to totally second-rate Christmas music at this point. I think they’re committed to not repeating.
25:11: The fire’s intense now, more white than yellow, dancing like sheets in a hurricane.
28:02: A lot of charring now on the wood, crisping up like black scales. The shadows continue to be wrong somehow. They only appear on the right, and somehow they’re darker now than when the fire was lighter.
31:12: I thought it was an optical illusion at first, but the shadows aren’t moving with the flames at all. It’s like something invisible is doing its own dance in the few inches between fire and brick.
34:37: The fire is reaching a fever pitch. The music — some Christmas song I don’t recognize — sounds like it has heavy breathing in the background, almost panting.
37:10: The shadow isn’t moving anymore, and it’s almost pitch black. It almost looks like a face.
42:42: The fire suddenly started to die down. It’s back to a low yellow now, spread out over the tops of all the logs and much less bright. The shadow seems to be moving again, but only when I’m not looking at it.
44:23: The screen went black for a moment, but the sound track continued, and for a moment, just a moment, I swear there was a face on the screen, colors reversed like a negative.
47:59: The music stopped entirely, there’s now only that hard breathing, with a little moist sound like a gurgle or lips being liked.
49:01: The subtitle just said [BURN]. I’m shutting this off, this is just getting weird.
49:27: The pause button doesn’t work. The browser is locked up and won’t close out. Keyboard is dead (I’m writing this on my spare laptop).
50:55: I just tried to close the laptop, but as I touched the screen, the flames surged on the screen and I could feel the heat. I jerked back, my hands are blistered. I can feel the heat on my face from two feet away.
52:01: OK, I’m going to pull the battery out of the laptop.
53:05: The battery is detached, sitting on the floor, smoldering a hole in the carpet. But the video is still playing.
54:32: The flames are quite peaceful you know, warm so warm, the hairs on my arms curl into black ash one by one.
56:01: The shadow is looking at me.
58:09: The shadow is here now. All the shadows are here.
59:30: I am in the shadow there is no shadow nothing is here or there the shadow is nothing something is moving in the nothing I will never be alone again shadow fire shadow shadow flame and heat and flames.
59:59: Episode 2 of 3 begins autoplay.