Director: Michael McDowell
Writer: Michael McDowell
Cast: E.G. Marshall, Margaret Klenck, Sky Berdahl, Jenna von Oy, Mark Capri, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Michael Gibbs
Air Date: 12/29/1986
Bored on Christmas Eve, children Stefa (Jenna von Oy) and Jimbo (Sky Berdahl) demand a story from their mother (Margaret Klenck) and father (E.G. Marshall). Feeling mean-spirited, both parents tell Jimbo and Stefa about the Grither—a terrible monster who preys on the innocent during Christmas season.
A modern retelling of the Krampus legend, “Seasons of Belief” will appeal to fans of the horror/holiday crossover genre. This episode does, however, suffer from dated special effects, predictable plot twists, and occasionally weak performances.
By going to extraordinary lengths while convincing Stefa and Jimbo of the Grither’s existence, the mother and father in “Seasons of Belief” offer an amusing, relatable experience for parents with a dark sense of humor. In one scene, for example, the father and mother perform a macabre rendition of “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” substituting the original lyrics with an ominous warning about the Grither—a sequence that will resonate with those who enjoy telling silly, old-fashioned ghost stories to their children. (It should be noted, of course, that there are times when the mother and father take the “Grither” joke a tad too far, inducing a panicked reaction from both children prior to the climax of this episode.)
Viewers may take issue with the casting of E.G. Marshall (in his early 70s at the time of filming) and Margaret Klenck (nearly forty years younger than her co-star), who, for obvious reasons, lack the chemistry of a compatible husband-and-wife pair.
“Seasons of Belief” is an entertaining, if clichéd, installment of Tales from the Darkside. Black comedy buffs in particular may enjoy this episode, which benefits from ironic undertones and a gruesome—albeit unsurprising—twist in the final scene.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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