Director: Frank De Palma
Writer: Edithe Swensen
Cast: Joe Cortese, Catherine Parks, Scott Lincoln, Julie Ariola, John Brandon, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Ken Lauber
Air Date: 7/13/1986
After the brutal homicide of her boyfriend, Gina Casavin (Catherine Parks)—cousin of the wealthy Nicholas Casavin (Joe Cortese)—blames the murder on a curse inherited from her great-grandparents. Enamored of Gina, psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Webster (Scott Lincoln) intervenes in the Casavin family affairs—with a horrifying outcome.
For its effective use of horror tropes, “The Casavin Curse” may appeal to enthusiasts of Tales from the Darkside. Specifically, this episode benefits from gory prosthetics, ghoulish makeup effects, and ominous backstory for the Casavin family.
“The Casavin Curse” should be commended for its extensive character development, which compels the viewer to sympathize with Gina—the demonically possessed and/or emotionally disturbed protagonist of this episode. Also worth noting is the characterization of Nicholas Casavin, an arrogant, incestuous man with an implied criminal background, who, though potentially innocent of murder, succeeds in evoking contempt from the audience—likely a result of actor Joe Cortese’s domineering and intense performance, which will undoubtedly satisfy fans of the crime thriller genre.
This offering may evoke criticism for its climactic plot twist, which, in addition to being somewhat predictable, is explained through a last-minute monologue delivered by Miranda Dean (Julie Ariola)—the servant of Nicholas and Gina.
Though slightly incoherent, “The Casavin Curse” seems to indicate that surface impressions can lead to false or misguided opinions of others—especially when dealing with those of a suspicious or untrustworthy nature.
“The Casavin Curse” is a suspenseful and well-acted episode of Tales from the Darkside. Viewers who enjoy demonic possession stories may therefore appreciate this installment, which emphasizes horror-themed subject matter of a supernatural variety.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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