Director: Tom Sanders
Writers: Larry Wilson, A L Katz, and Gilbert Adler
Cast: Anthony Andrews, Imelda Staunton, Anna Friel, John Kassir, Paddy Navin, Finty Williams, Emma Bird, Pip Torens, and Lone Vidahl
Composer: Vladimir Horunzhy
Air Date: 6/28/1996
Sixteen years after seducing a young lady in his service, a corrupt priest named Jonathan (Anthony Andrews) is confronted by his daughter Angelica (Anna Friel). Complications arise when Angelica’s twin sister Leah (Anna Friel), a horribly disfigured woman, takes out her anger on Jonathan and his wife Sarah (Imelda Staunton).
Produced in the United Kingdom, “About Face” will appeal to fans of British horror movies. Notably, this offering deserves praise for its topnotch acting, unnerving imagery, and realistic 19th century set designs.
A period piece, “About Face” benefits from a Victorian England setting—similar to the majority of Hammer horror films. Especially worth praising is the gothic atmosphere of this episode, accentuating the demonic undertones of Leah’s character.
“About Face” should also be commended for its haunting make-up effects. Specifically, the deformities of Leah exemplify a hellish quality that—when coupled with the sinister acting of Anna Friel—strengthens her position as a malevolent, perhaps even satanically influenced, creature of evil.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
Though quite disturbing, the twist ending recycles the main plot device of season five’s “People Who Live in Brass Hearses.”
Despite operating on a fantastic premise, “About Face” contains a valuable lesson on taking responsibility for one’s actions.
“About Face” is a creepy, worthwhile entry of Tales from the Crypt. The character of Jonathan does, however, come across as a one-dimensional stereotype of a sleazy, hypocritical religious figure.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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