The Twilight Zone 1.34 – The After Hours

Great day in the morning, was THAT ever entertaining! Sure, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” is the most important of the fourteen episodes that we watched, but Rod Serling’s “The After Hours” is downright fun.

Sure, grownups will probably figure out the twist as Anne Francis gets locked in a department store after closing time and starts hearing the mannequins whispering her name, but it’s such a delicious twist that it would be churlish to complain. The direction by Douglas Heyes is completely wonderful, with lots of little things to catch. I love how he puts a telephone front and center in one shot, but doesn’t have the character rush to it for help just yet.

Of course I asked our son, who said this was “SO CREEPY” and watched most of the weirdness with his security blanket balled in front of his mouth, whether he was reminded of the Autons in Doctor Who and of course he was. It’s a terrific, safe little horror movie for younger viewers, and I think that the success of this installment foreshadows future avenues that Zone would take in its next series. It’s very obviously an antecedent of “The Invaders,” which we’ll certainly be watching before too much longer…

That’s all from The Twilight Zone for now, readers, but stay tuned! We’ll begin looking at a selection of second season episodes in December!

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