Tales from the Crypt Episode 85: Horror in the Night

General Information

Director: Russell Mulcahy

Writer: John Harrison

Cast: Elizabeth McGovern, James Wilby, Ronan Vibert, Edward Tudor Pole, Peter Guinness, and John Kassir

Composer: J. Peter Robinson

Air Date: 5/24/1996

 

Overview

Tales from the Crypt Horror in the NightWhen double-crossed by his partner, jewel thief Nick Marvin (James Wilby) checks into a hotel to treat his gunshot wound. Thereafter, Nick is plagued by a variety of bizarre, dreamlike occurrences.

Similar to The Shining, “Horror in the Night” makes chilling use of the Hell Hotel trope. This episode should, however, evoke criticism for its mediocre twist in the final scene.

 

Pros

For its haunting and surreal imagery, this offering deserves praise from horror buffs and fans of experimental television alike. In one sequence, for example, Tales from the Crypt Horror in the Nighta mysterious woman (Elizabeth McGovern)—at first implied to be a ghost, succubus, or other demonic entity—grows a pair of wings and pins Nick to a bed, now crawling with tentacles and squirting a yellow substance all over his body. Also worth noting is that the hotel walls, heaters, and bathtubs appear to “bleed” at various points throughout the story, providing an ominous indication of Nick’s dark and terrible connection to said hotel.

 

Cons

Tales from the Crypt Horror in the NightBy relying on horror clichés to build claustrophobia around Nick’s predicament, “Horror in the Night” lacks an original, compelling theme to distinguish itself from similar works of fiction (e.g. the aforementioned The Shining).

In addition to its hackneyed premise, this episode employs a superfluous amount of backstory/exposition to support the twist ending, weakening the revelation of Nick’s past involvement with Laura Kendall.

 

Analysis

The fate of Nick, possibly a victim of guilt-induced hallucinations, will satisfy viewers with a sense of justice.

 

Concluding Comments

This episode is a creepy, nightmarish installment of Tales from the Crypt. Series enthusiasts may therefore enjoy “Horror in the Night,” unoriginal subject matter notwithstanding.

 

Overall Quality: 6/10

 

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