Director: Uli Edel
Writer: Ron Finley
Cast: Brooke Shields, Perry King, Michael J. Pollard, Valerie Wildman, and John Kassir
Composer: Christopher Franke
Air Date: 11/17/1993
While driving home one evening, businessman Roger (Perry King) gives a ride to Norma (Brooke Shields)—a female hitchhiker with a shady past. Supposedly intent on killing Roger, Norma soon discovers that her new acquaintance has a sinister secret of his own.
“Came the Dawn” is a suspenseful, atmospheric homage to the movie Psycho—a 1960 horror classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Especially worth noting are the suspicious and highly immoral attributes of both main characters, leaving ambiguous the true level of threat posed by each individual.
Ron Finley (writer of “Undertaking Palor,” “The New Arrival,” and “As Ye Sow”) deserves praise for his effective use of narrative misdirection, which, when coupled with the clever cinematography of Rick Bota, serves to conceal the climactic plot twist from the audience—an outcome that few episodes have managed to achieve.
By forgoing the copious gore and tongue-in-cheek humor of many Tales from the Crypt installments, “Came the Dawn” benefits from a subtle, eerie atmosphere that will appeal to fans of the psychological thriller genre. Specifically, certain horror devices (i.e. thunderstorms, tales of murder, and gothic artifacts displayed throughout the interior of a spooky log cabin) are employed during Roger’s romantic evening with Norma, heightening the tension of an otherwise unremarkable situation.
“Came the Dawn” features an ending that will satisfy those with a powerful, albeit gruesome, sense of justice.
Combining slasher movie tropes with an unpredictable twist in the final scene, “Came the Dawn” offers a modern update on the most iconic murder mystery film ever made. Hitchcock enthusiasts and horror buffs alike will therefore enjoy this outstanding, if occasionally over-the-top, episode.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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