THE UNDISPUTED HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – Trick ‘r Treat

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. We here at Hidden Horrors You Must See have spent the past month recommending some of the best hidden horrors, underrated gems, underrated sequels and anthology television, to put you in the Halloween spirit.

Personally, they are some of the films that hold a special resonance, and perhaps to some of our readers too, reminding us of the Halloweens of yesteryear. We’ve also embarked on some new films never seen before, and it has all led up to quite possibly the Halloween horror flick that everybody needs to see, so without further ado…

Trick ‘r Treat is commonly mistaken as an anthology film. Only it’s not. It’s a collection of five stories all weaved together to make a smart, well-paced, single narrative. Think of it as if Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) penned a horror script.

These stories include a couple who condemn themselves for breaking a Halloween tradition, a murderous elementary school principal hungry for blood, a group of prankster teens who get what they bargain for, a 22-year-old looking for her “first time” with the aid of her promiscuous friends, and a disgruntled old curmudgeon – a real “Scrooge” – who gets a visit from a supernatural being (and it’s not the ghost of Christmas past, present or future!) all taking place on All Hallows’ Eve.

Although the opening sequence regarding the ill-fated young couple is quite short in length, it wets the viewers’ whistles before the retro comic book title sequence, paying homage to films like the Tales from the Crypt franchise and the Creepshow films.

The second story, titled The Principal, is as dark as it is disgusting. Dylan Baker (Fido, The Cell) nails it as the overly nice, but peculiar, principal Wilkins and Brett Kelly (you all remember Thurman Merman?) does a swell job of playing the gluttonous adolescent who would put Hansel and Gretel to shame.

The School Bus Massacre Revisited concerns five kids paying a visit to a haunted site where a busload of “special” children met their end decades before. The flashback of events is truly disturbing and not for the faint of heart.

And in Surprise Party, Anna Paquin (True Blood) plays the irregular prude amongst her group of trolloping friends, but things begin to change after her friends decide to play matchmaker.

There are several twists and turns throughout the film, and each segment is told in fragments spread out to make one hell of a mosaic masterpiece. It may seem a bit confusing at first, but things are all tied together nicely by the dénouement, which all funnels through the final segment titled Sam, where Brian Cox (Red EyeThe Ring) must face a demon, as well as some of his own. The titular character of the final story is a strange little burlap-veiled trick ‘r treater who mysteriously binds these strories and characters in one way or another. Some of the highlights include many of the interesting effects, from revealing Sam’s ugly mug under that burlap sack and one of the most original werewolf transformations ever put to screen.

Trick ‘r Treat 2 is slated for an October 2015 release, so let’s hope this time around more people will see it, then little Sam may find his place in the horror icon hall-of-fame, with the likes of Michael Myers and the boys.

Till next year: Godspeed on the next two months of over-crowded malls and Christmas music, and, HAPPY HALLOWEEN from HIDDEN HORRORS YOU MUST SEE!

 

 ~ Matthew “Spooky Mulder” McPhee

And for a special Halloween treat, here is director Michael Dougherty’s original short film Season’s Greetings

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HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – WNUF HALLOWEEN Special

01 wnuf-halloween-specialNow since it is the night before Halloween, it is only expected that I review a strongly Halloween themed hidden horror for you dear horror hungry fiends. This Halloween hidden horror is really more of a “Hidden Treasure” that came out last Halloween. It is what the Found Footage sub-genre SHOULD be, it is Chris Lamartina’s WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. Now its safe to assume that the found footage subgenre has over stayed its welcome with horror fans. At this point they have become menotanous and annoying with only 1 or 2 Found footage films a year that are actually good (Houses October Built). But sometimes a found footage horror movie can do something new or “Retro” to a point it can take horror fans by surprise. That is the case with Chris Lamartina’s WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. A found footage horror film that plays itself as a lost local televiosn station Halloween special from 1987!!! filled with bad VHS grain as if it was a third generation video recording and annoying 1980’s local business commercials throughout.

from IMDB: Originally broadcast live on October 31, 1987, the ‘WNUF Halloween Special’ is a stunning expose of terrifying supernatural activity that unfolded at the infamous Webber House, the site of ghastly murders. Local television personality Frank Stewart leads a group of paranormal investigators including Catholic exorcist, Father Joseph Matheson and the prolific husband-and-wife team Louis and Claire Berger. Together, the experts explore the darkest corners of the supposedly haunted Webber House, trying to prove the existence of the demonic entities within. Did they find the horrific truth or simply put superstitious rumors to rest?

Now it is quite wonderful that Chris Lamartina knew that the found footage genre has become annoying so he cleverly decided to put fun but bad 80s commercials throughout the film and that is what adds to the overrall fun viewing experience of the film. The fake commecials throughout feel so realistic and true to local television of the 1980’s that youll be convinced that they were real commercials from back then and combined with the 3rd grade generation VHS grain to it all the film succeeds in making you think for just one second that maybe this really is a lost Halloween special from 1987, making it do what found footage horror films are SUPPOSED TO DO in the first place…make you think that maybe this is real lost footage even for a few minutes, I know it fooled me for a few. But what I loved best about the WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL commercials is that the movie does not in any way romanticize the 1980s at all, the movie and the commercials are very era appropriate and show just how ridiculous, ugly, dull and annoying the 1980’s really were to a point that it is practically painful but in a fun “Look back in time” sort of way.

Now other then the commercials throughout the film the main story itself has been done before but this time it succeeds in actually feeling like a live recorded Halloween special and a BIG love letter/fuck you to the Geraldo Rivera Satanic Panic Halloween special from the 1980s (those who were around in the 80s know what im talking about). It is akin to that real life special with the character of Frank Stewart a snarky dickhead of a reporter so desperate for Ratings the viewers will think that possible he is behind several of the spooky shenanigans that happened throughout the webber house. And like a real life live recorded special whenever tense spooky stuff does start to happen Frank Stewart always tries to cut to a commercial. The movie is also a look back into the ridiculous Satanic Panic of the 1980s and the sensationalism that was taking hold of television news in the country.

Now there is some actual horrifying stuff that happens to our doomed reporter and all who enter the house. Spooky, funny and downright fucked up stuff does happen in the weber house and there is quite a tense moment of desperation and horror for our snarky reporter near the end where your not sure what is going on but you know Frank Stewart is doomed. Not to mention there is one scene were an intern is sent into the webber house that actually caused shivers down my spine. And finally about the ending a little spoiler…it is not Ghosts nor demons that end up causing our doomed reporters fate but instead some monsters that are much more rooted in reality.

Overrall the WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL is a must see this Halloween season for those who want to have a fun and incredibly nostalgic time. Those who want a Halloween movie that can truly feel like looking back into a time that was over the top, annoying and ridiculous as the 1980s really were. You wont regret this Found Footage. – James J. Coker

TERROR TV FOR HALLOWEEN – Goosebumps – The Haunted Mask

The_Haunted_MaskFrom 1992 to the latter end of that decade, children across the United States of America would often flock to their local supermarkets(usually with parents in tow), and happily approach the “Goosebumps” display rack located within its walls. We all remember that awesome looking logo slapped on all the books in various colors. It was one of the most easily recognizable registers to our world, right next to the golden arches and the “D” in Disney that we all thought was a G for the longest period. Within the pages of these books we’d chronicle what was then considered to be some fairly creepy stuff. Through basement dwelling mistakes to Yeti’s that claim a northern based LA suburb as their home, R.L. Stein made sure we had our choice of cool kid reading material narrowed down to one option. As the series took off, merchandising did as well. We saw school supplies, home decor, video games(most notably “Escape From Horrorland”, which was AWSOME!)and even its own anthology horror show. This show was great for kids who’d want to take a break from Nickelodeon’s take on scare-of-the-week programming. Much like the aforementioned show however, the acting, production value and translation to film was never that great. But we didn’t care. Not only was this show not about the technical stuff, it had something extra behind it that “Are Afraid of the Dark?” and “So Weird” didn’t. It had adaptation from highly collectible source material. Shove that in your crypt and smoke it.

    Not only one is it regarded as of the best books in the series, “The Haunted Mask” has also been deemed as one of the best episodes of the original television series as well. Opening to a pretty unique, independently run Halloween shop, Carly Beth(a name you simply can’t forget)and her best friend Sabrina are on their way to pick out some pumpkins to perform lobotomies on. Once they get to the patch, we quickly learn that Carly Beth is tortured beyond reason by her classmates, and her being scared of her own shadow doesn’t help matters any. Returning home and full of humiliation, she must witness the terror that is an overly affectionate mother. Having just made a plastered replica of her own daughter’s face in art class that same day, Carly has every right to be as creeped as she is. After experiencing what should have been the low point of her day, her mom then reminds her of the incredible duck costume she’ll be wearing this year! After declaring that she wants to be scary for once on Halloween, her mom then sends her 5 steps backward. She her little brother jumps out of her room and scares her with it. Yes that’s correct, she gets scared by a duck costume… Well, let’s not stop the barrage of bad luck just yet. Lest we forget the next day at school, in which her 2 neighborhood bullies, Chuck and Steve, decide to pull the old, “Let’s distract her with fake apologies so we can slip an earthworm into her sandwich and risk giving her dysentery” trick. Try watching up this point while listening to Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life” for the full effect. If the viewer is at all educated on the general chain of events that take place in the origins of vigilantism, seeing her return to that cool little Halloween store from the beginning will help anyone confirm her actions.

    As she arrives at the store, she is greeted by a creepy, pissed off, Bela Lugosi-ish store owner. He tries to kick her out due to the store being closed, but she timidly begs for 5 minutes to buy something scary enough to exact revenge on Chuck, Steve and her brother. With her wish granted, she get’s distracted by a backroom full of really high quality faces. With the owner busy on a phone call and his main merchandise anything but up to standards, she sneaks in and takes a fancy to a particular green goblin mask(notice that wasn’t capitalized in order to show this has nothing to do with Marvel Comics). Carly Beth gets caught browsing in the room and is swiftly threatened to leave immediately. Having stumbled upon something she apparently shouldn’t have seen, she tries to beg, bribe and reason with him in order to have this certain mask. After explaining she wants it solely for revenge, a glimmer of ominous satisfaction overtakes the store owner’s face. He then snaps out of this trance and again, tries to kick her ass out. So, she does what any, timid and obedient middle schooler would do after being told repeatedly to exit someone’s personal property. She steals the mask out from under him and ru… Wait, what? Surprisingly, this is the exact reaction Carly Beth has to her own actions. Looking down at the mask she can now call her own, she simply asks, “What am I doing?” A foreshadowing remark that will come back to haunt those searching for a bit of philosophical interpretation. Once at home, she decides to take her new face for a test drive, with her brother begin her first victim. She re-imagines an internet jump scare video on him and it works wonders. He begs her to remove the mask as if it has some kind of power over those it’s used on. She laughs and decides to take it off out of pity. Sadly, pity is the one thing the mask itself doesn’t have. Later that night, Carly Beth and Sabrina are in full costume for candy scavenging. Upon trick or treating at neighborhood household though, Carly Beth begins acting a bit out of character to those who know her best. Her voice is altered, actions are completely executed without regard for others and she doesn’t seem to be very easy to reason with, even for Sabrina’s sake. Knowing her motives of the night must be met with success, she heads out to find Chuck and Steve before they pass out from sugar comas.

    With her mom’s plaster replica of her real face being carried around with her on a stick, Carly Beth finds her prey in the town cemetery. After stalking them grows tiresome, she jumps out from amongst the trees and practically convinces them she is no longer Carly Beth, but a demon out for revenge in her place. She gets them to admit they liked her and only teased her for such a reason. They’re very sorry, but soon can’t form the words to say so. The plaster head begins speaking, asking for help from only person who can provide such help. However, she’s currently under the control of something else and powerless to act upon the request. Chuck and Steve run, and Carly Beth is alone now and must now put herself under self-intervention. Once inanimate objects begin to possess your soul, it’s clear that must happen. But instead she buries the sculpture and leaves. Of course! Soon, she gets a talking to from Sabrina, someone concerned who wants her best friend back. She then gets through to the real Carly Beth and she agrees to take off her mask. But then those plans go right down the shitter, as the mask won’t come off. Sabrina goes to her aid, and notices that there is no longer a separation from the mask’s material from her skin. She’s officially become the mask and everything it represents. The personality attached to it, the skin it was made out of and the emotions it passes onto its host. It has chosen her as this said host. Running out into the streets in a blind panic, she asks every single person she sees for help. They run from her. Her face is far too terrifying. No one believes she is who she says she is. It’s getting hard to control her voice and her memories are slowly fading. All that remains is fear and a nasty grin. She knows only one person who she can turn to at this point. And he’s probably still angry about the whole thievery thing.

    Carly returns to the store front. She explains to the owner that she can’t take the mask off. The owner is not surprised one bit. He explains that he created the masks in which he warned her about. He had created the masks in order to hide himself from the monster he sees within him. In the end, they had become so disfigured by him self-depravity that they were fit for no one. Only a “symbol of love”, he says, can remove the mask from one’s being. The one emotion he never allowed himself to experience. Just when logic overwhelms the episode’s turn of events, all the masks then awake and start chasing her out of the store. She realizes the very symbol she may need to overturn her condition and heads back to the cemetery. Unearthing her sculpted head from the grave she laid it in, she takes with pride and shows it off to the pursuing masks as way to prove who she really is. The negative personalities the masks possess then realize the error of their ways. They take their leave and with it, the spirit of the mask within Carly Beth’s as well. She removes the mask, returns home and is able to finally live as herself once more. Apologizing to her family for what she’d almost become, she’s a changed woman after realizing changing isn’t meant for her at all.

    The Haunted Mask was later followed by a sequel episode, however this follow up didn’t include any level of depth that this entry did. It is sad to realize this upon viewing it, as this TV special went to such a great length as to share a universal lesson in character. Watching this the first time, you’ll see the story of a girl haunted by a mask, leading her do things she cannot control. This is what a surface level of interpretation will tell anyone with two eyes. Yet, if one reads in-between Mr. Stein’s fine lines, you’ll see it’s not a story about that at all. But the story of how one’s surplus of peer pressure and built-up anguish can lead us to change ourselves from the inside out. We lose our past nobility in exchange for the chance to fit in through becoming something we are not. We become the bully in order to fend off the bully. We ignore the feelings of those in our lives for our own “needs”. Sometimes even for something as selfish as revenge. Further more, the kind acts of love received by the family unit are tossed aside and labeled as an embarrassing curse, all while forgetting the importance and beauty of having such a unit in our lives at all. The mask in this episode slapped its brutality upon Carly Beth as any symbiotic personality trait would. Through weakness, we succumb to the desires of society and as a result, it makes us “ugly”. A contorted version of what we used to be and completely unrecognizable at face value form that day forward. This mask and it’s host were the representation of this act occurring before us. Instead of taking life head on and embracing who we are, we submit and become what Roddy Piper’s sunglasses warns us about. It happens everyday, and not everyone is as lucky as she was as to allow an epiphany to save them. We’ve all known those in school who we’ve lost to popularity campaigns, vapid changes of heart and substance abuse. R.L. Stein apparently has as well. And we must commend him for such, as that is a true horror story of life if we’ve ever lived one.

– Sterling “The Spork Guy” Anno

The full episode can seen below. “Viewers beware, you’re in for a scare…”

TERROR TV FOR HALLOWEEN – MASTERS OF HORROR – Haeckels Tale

masters_of_horror_13_haeckels_tale It is quite depressing that the 00’s Showtime anthology horror show “MASTERS OF HORROR” is seldomly talked about among horror fans. what gives? many of the episodes had a different famous horror director direct them (hence Masters of Horror) and they were filled with stuff horror fans could love very much. Especially John McNaughtons episode based on a Clive Barker story…”HAECKELS TALE” a period piece tale filled with black magic, Gothic cemeteries, rotten zombies, gore and a ghoulish sense of sexuality that involves a young beautiful womans love for her dead husband that “knows no bounds” if you get what im saying.

In the time when the laws of science battled the secrets of magic, medical student Ernst Haeckel (Derek Cecil) believes the power of life,death and resurrection lay in his arrogant hands. But on a jorney to visit his gravely ill father, he finds shelter in the home of an older man and his seductive young wife (Leela Savasta) who cannot be fulfilled by mortal hungers. Somewhere in the darkness of a nearby cemetery, a defiant necromancer (John Polito) will now summon them all to an orgy of the undead and unleash the ultimate depravity for those who do not heed the warning of “HAECKELS TALE”

Haeckels Tale is one strong episode of Masters of Horror and it will appease both horror fans who love the strong shocking stuff and horror fans who love a good Gothic sensabilities. It is directed with good pacing by John Mcnaughton, and the acting is quite good as well especially the beautiful actress Leela Savasta who plays the young wife at first as a innocent yet seductive woman only to turn into a sexually aggresive woman with a love for her dead husband so strong it positively macabre. The cemetery in which most of the “action” happens will please most fans of gothic horror for it is a well set up cemetery with old moldy tombstones and fog shrouded everywhere. And finally the most shocking scene of all, where our young Ernst Haeckel discovers what is all the “moaning” in the cemetery is from is quite a “whoa” moment for the viewer. Rarely if ever do we ever get a rotten zombie-human love making scene and then it goes further when more rotten zombies start to grope our lovelorn woman while she makes love to her dead husband! then to top it all of there even a scene where one character is then ripped apart by two cemetery zombies in gory detail. the whole scene in the cemetery is a Gothic and wonderfully ghoulish and perverse mix of horror,sex and death.

Haeckels Tale sex Scene

So this Halloween season if you want something gothic yet still gruesome and if you want some good horrorfying sex thrown in there (you sick depraved horrorfiends) seek out John McNaughton episode HAECKELS TALE. It is gothic story of grief,power,Sex and death all wrapped up in a ghoulish and perverse bow. – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – Ginger Snaps

All Hallows’ Eve is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate the favored holiday then to take in an outstanding werewolf flick?

But this year, put The Howling back on the shelf, don’t go to London, and stand up Lon Chaney Jr. for the night – and feast your eyes upon the Canadian cult classic independent horror drama Ginger Snaps.

Ginger Snaps is a coming-of-age tale with bite, about the death-obsessed Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger (Canadian scream queen Katharine Isabelle, American Mary) and Brigette (Emily Perkins, Stephen King’s It), who spend their time avoiding social interactions at school, daydreaming the best way to commit suicide, and staging and photographing death scenes for a school project.

While out late one night for another death scene photo shoot, Ginger is attacked by an animal that has been going around the community and killing all the neighborhood dogs, dubbed “the Beast of Bailey Downs.”

But when Ginger begins to find herself changing into something more than a young woman, the titular character’s sister, Brigitte, will stop at nothing to save her influential older sibling.

The underlining theme of the film is metamorphoses, as Ginger’s transformation into a lycanthrope parallels with the commencement of her menstruation – both coinciding by a lunar cycle. As her hormones take over, so does her taste for flesh and blood, and there is also a reference on sexually transmitted infections, as the shewolf spreads the contagion after a one-night-stand with a fellow high school student (wrap it up, kids!).

Ginger Snaps is much more than your typical teen horror. It’s tone is deep and the humor is dark. It’s also smart, edgy, and it’s a bloody good time for anybody who remembers the experiences of the trek from adolescence to teen territory.

So if you’re looking for change this Halloween season, check out this film, or the entire trilogy (including Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning), because this is the werewolf film you can really sink your teeth into.

 

~ Malevolent Matthew McPhee

UNDERRATED SEQUEL FOR HALLOWEEN – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

By the end of the eighties, people believed the American slasher was dead.

Originality and fright-factor had been gutted from the subgenre thanks to countless sequels and their antagonists, who had evolved into cartoon-like anti-heroes. Horror fans tended to root for these caricatures, who were no longer garnering screams, but harvesting cheers.

That is until 1996, when Scream rebooted the slasher genre, in a brilliant deconstruction of the slice-and-dice subject matter. But was Ghostface really that terrifying in a film that almost parodied the slasher?

Rewind one year to the release of a truly terrifying slasher that spent five years in development hell. Through countless rewrites, a multitude of on-board directors and one big legal battle, the follow up to 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers finally saw the light of day.

The Curse of Michael Myers was intended to answer many questions about Myers’ past and counter the ambiguous ending of its predecessor.

It’s also the most panned Halloween film (with Michael Myers) of them all, by fans and critics alike. Not to mention the best sequel in the Halloween franchise.

After the traumatic events of the original Halloween, Tommy Doyle (a young Paul Rudd in his film debut) has spent his entire life as an introvert, researching Myers on his sweet-ass Commodore 64 while waiting for him to return home to Haddonfield.

When Tommy tunes in to a radio show on Devil’s Night, that just so happens to be broadcasting a Michael Myers special, he listens in on a call made by Jamie Lloyd, who tells the shock-jock that her uncle Michael is back and he is coming to get her.

After Tommy’s investigation into the strange call he finds Jamie’s baby, who she had stashed away before meeting her demise, and Tommy takes the infant on as his charge.

The next day, Tommy and Dr. Sam Loomis reunite for the first time in over fifteen years, and they begin to anticipate the Shape’s return.

Meanwhile, Laurie’s adoptive father’s brother John Strode (Bradford English), of Strode Real Estate, has recently moved his family into the old Myers’ house after years of being on the market and being unsuccessful to sell (one wonders why).

Without giving too much of the plot away, let’s just say there’s a new child contingent on taking on the mantle of the Boogeyman, after a much thought out plan and some information on why Michael is the way he is. But everybody who has viewed Halloween H20: 20 Years Later or Halloween: Resurrection knows how that turns out.

Not only is Curse one of the most forgotten films of the franchise, but it’s also the third film that H20 forgot about by not including the story arc of Jamie Lloyd in each film’s recapitulation (including Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers).

Sadly, Curse is also Donald Pleasence’s last turn as Dr. Loomis, as the brilliant actor had passed away months before the film’s release, causing filmmakers to alter the ending (a “Producer’s Cut” of Curse has been circulating around the Internet for many years before getting a much approved – by Halloween enthusiasts – “liberation” in the latest box set release).

The film has much going for it including a joke about Michael Myers in space (before Jason Voorhees and the Leprechaun did it), a rock n roll twist on the original score (as if Randy Rhodes laid some licks over top of John Carpenter’s original score), and a throwback to the ridiculous amount of white bed sheets people owned in 1980’s slasher flicks (and happened to wash them all on the same day).

The greatest thing about the death of the slasher film was the booming psychological thrillers that captivated audiences throughout the nineties (The Silence of the Lambs was the first horror film to win an Oscar). But keep in mind that there were still a few worthwhile horror films out there that buoyed the slasher subgenre throughout the grunge era, and most have yet to be seen by the laymen (that is, non-horror fiends) or have been brushed off since first viewing. So take a piece of that Halloween nostalgia everybody feels this time of year, and revisit Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. You may come out with a totally different perspective, or just be entertained as much as the first viewing – like me.

~ Mad Matthew McPhee

TERROR TV FOR HALLOWEEN – TALES FROM THE CRYPT – Strung Along

38 Strung Along.avi_001253015C’mon my fellow horrorfiends. Throughout all the horrors we have been reviewing for this blog for the Halloween season some of you felt that a “Killer Doll” horror was inevidable. And this Halloween season instead of Chucky or those pesky puppets from Puppet, lets look into the Crypt to see that one Killer doll episode from Tales from the Crypt. A really well done episode about an aging puppeteer, his young cheating wife, his new young student and how his clown Marionette “CoCo” talks to him. An episode that scared me very much as a child and now as an Adult its one of my favorite episodes of the whole damn Season…the season 4 episode of the crypt “STRUNG ALONG”

An aging puppeteer Joseph who longs for his glory days suspects that his younger wife has a lover all the while he is training a new young protege and his own clown marionette “CoCo” talks to him in his mind.

Now this episode does not start off with a bang like some crypt episodes go but instead starts off with an old 50’s puppet show about coco the clown, it is then revealed to be on tape being watched by our old puppeteer Joseph with a look of sadness and longing on his Face for Joseph earns to back in his glory days. Right from the very start we know that this episode isnt going to be killer doll action for the whole episode. “Strung Along” takes most of its time developing its three characters especially Joseph as he is seen sometimes “Talking” to Coco the Clown puppet and in his mind Coco talks back. Now granted the coco the clown puppet is both cute yet insanely creepy in a very subtle way. The way a clown doll should and when i was little the sight of that doll scared me to bits.

Now though the episodes its more of a tense and somewhat creepy character drama, it isnt until the ending in which Joseph believes Coco the clown is actually murdering his young cheating wife that things go the horrific route. The scene where Joseph discovers what Coco the clown is doing is pretty nightmare inducing in a very “Crypt” style way that can make horror fans give an evil grin from ear to ear. But in that typical but amazing “Crypt” way all that is a twist into itself and and our Poor Joseph has been played a fool….only to have yet another horrifying twist happen again! and the second twist is more satisfying in a revenge and creepy yet bloody way. lets just say they treated Joseph like a puppet so Joseph ends up treating them like puppets in the end. Its a double twist whammy with one right after another. One horrific and another satisfying and creepy.

All in all “Strung Along” is an incredibly well made episode that boasts good talent both in front and in back of the camera. Good character developing drama, a slow yet creepy and tense between between Joseph and Coco. Two rather good twists right on top of each other and finally a Killer clown marionette that can be seen as the stuff of nightmares. It certainly did for me when I was little. So give this little “Puppet” episode of the Crypt a go this Halloween season. Youll be satisfied. – James J. Coker