Director: Bill Travis
Writer: Nancy Doyne
Cast: Craig Wasson, Tandy Cronyn, Larry Pine, Lana Hirsch, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Charlie Morrow
Air Date: 10/26/1986
A little girl named Audrey Hummel (Lana Hirsch) acquires a dollhouse from her Uncle Richard (Larry Pine). Thereafter, Audrey’s father Sam (Craig Wasson) observes a number of eerie parallels between the events of his own life and those of the Geezenstacks—the name given to Audrey’s doll family.
This episode deserves praise for its creepy doll figures, disquieting subject matter, and haunting use of string music. The final scenes of “The Geezenstacks” are, however, marred by an ambiguous execution.
“The Geezenstacks” should be commended for its quirky violin score, which serves to accentuate the tense, paranoid nature of Sam’s interactions with Edith (Tandy Cronyn)—a nagging housewife—and young Audrey, whose connection with her doll family borders on the unsettling.
In addition to maintaining a subtle atmosphere throughout, “The Geezenstacks” benefits from the performance of Craig Wasson. Specifically, Wasson’s portrayal of Sam Hummel embodies the obsessive, irritable qualities that one would expect of a man who enslaves himself to superstitious belief systems—at least from the audience’s point of view.
As evidenced by the predicament of its main character, “The Geezenstacks” may offer a valuable lesson on mistaking coincidence for cause and effect.
Operating on a unique and terrifying premise, “The Geezenstacks” will undoubtedly appeal to Tales from the Darkside enthusiasts. Especially worth noting is the character of Sam, whose mental breakdown is conveyed in a convincing, and therefore disturbing, manner.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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