Director: John Lewis
Writer: Edithe Swensen
Cast: Lori Cardille, David Hayward, Carol Levy, Lauren Klein, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Richard Einhorn
Air Date: 10/19/1986
After committing adultery, Dr. David McCall (David Hayward) reconciles with his emotionally unstable wife Emily (Lori Cardille) and moves into an old house with her. Sometime later, the spirit of Florence Bravo (Lauren Klein)—a wicked, man-hating murderess—convinces Emily that David is having an affair with real estate agent Juliann Hanratty (Carol Levy), with a horrifying outcome.
“Florence Bravo” should be commended for its effective use of ghost tale tropes. Nevertheless, this offering may evoke criticism for its clichéd narrative concept and predictable twist ending.
By combining an eerie violin score with haunting images, “Florence Bravo” maintains a creepy, unsettling atmosphere from beginning to end. Exceptionally chilling are Emily’s conversations with the spirit of Florence, whose sexist, malevolent, and manipulative qualities serve to fuel the paranoia felt by the main character—already suspicious of her cheating husband.
Also praiseworthy is the acting of Lori Cardille, known to horror fans for starring in George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead. Specifically, the subtlety of Cardille’s performance allows Emily—a victim of David’s infidelity—to retain an air of sympathy despite behaving irrationally on multiple occasions.
Employing a haunted house theme to deliver moral commentary, “Florence Bravo” contains a laudable message on the dangers of jumping to conclusions without evidence—especially when dealing with close friends and family members.
In spite of its unoriginal premise, “Florence Bravo” should appeal to Tales from the Darkisde fans with a taste for supernatural horror. Viewers of a sensitive nature may, however, wish to avoid this episode for its cruel and mean-spirited conclusion.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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