Tales from the Crypt Episode 74: Staired in Horror

General Information

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writers: Colman deKay and Teller

Cast: D.B. Sweeney, Rachel Ticotin, R. Lee Ermey, and John Kassir

Composer: Jay Ferguson

Air Date: 12/14/1994



Tales from the Crypt Staired in HorrorHunted by an angry sheriff (R. Lee Ermey) and his posse, fugitive Clyde (D.B. Sweeney) seeks refuge in the mansion of Lilian Charbonnet (Rachel Ticotin)—an ostensibly old and senile woman. Unbeknownst to Clyde, however, Lilian’s home has a terrible curse attached to it.

For its haunting atmosphere and first-rate make-up effects, “Staired in Horror” deserves commendation from Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts. Also worth praising is the performance of R. Lee Ermey (known for Full Metal Jacket and the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), whose over-the-top shouting and aggressive manner accentuate the comedic undertones of this episode.



Despite her Puerto Rican ethnicity, actress Rachel Ticotin offers a convincing portrayal of a Southern belle/Confederate widow. While relaying her talesTales from the Crypt Staired in Horror of hardship and adultery, for example, Ticotin’s character succeeds in conveying the pathos of a woman whose husband (described as a cruel, unforgiving man) had left home for many years to fight in the Civil War, leaving her no choice but to seek comfort in the arms of another—an aspect that adds credibility to the predicament of Lilian Charbonnet, who comes across as a sympathetic individual in spite of her disloyal behavior.



(Spoilers beyond this point)

Searching for Clyde in the final scene, Lillian reverts to an infantile state after climbing the stairs of her cursed home—a twist ending that, though slightly unpredictable, is marred by a cringe-worthy execution.



Tales from the Crypt Staired in HorrorOperating on the premise that one should always respect the elderly, “Staired in Horror” contains a worthwhile message for viewers of a young age group.


Concluding Comments

Combining subtle humor with a dark supernatural theme, “Staired in Horror” may appeal to fans of the black comedy genre. Especially remarkable are the decrepit appearances of Clyde and Lillian, reinforcing the concept of a curse being placed upon them.


Overall Quality: 8/10


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