Night Gallery 1.3 – The House / Certain Shadows on the Wall

We resumed family teevee night this evening with a pair of creepy stories set in old houses. Our son let us know that he enjoyed these two tales more than any of the previous Gallery installments. I don’t agree at all, but I did find a thing or two to enjoy about “The House.” I occasionally get lost in my dreams, and dream that I have awakened when I’m still asleep, so the weird experiences of Joanna Pettet’s character, who finds her way to a large house hidden in a quiet valley that she has dreamed about for years, struck a chord. The episode was directed by the wonderful actor John Astin, and I see that we’ll be seeing him on the other side of the camera in a week or so.

“Certain Shadows on the Wall” reminded me of a few of Serling’s less pleasant Zone tales, especially “The Masks.” It’s centered around a family who really can’t stand each other and speak with very large vocabularies. These hateful three have returned to their childhood home for the long, long death of their eldest sister, played by Agnes Moorehead. I think this has become our son’s favorite installment because it’s very predictable, but not in an obnoxious way. It’s pitched perfectly for younger viewers, like something from a mainstream late sixties horror comic. The final shot would work just as well as the last panel in an issue of House of Mystery, with the horror host, Cain, wishing readers pleasant dreams.

I should probably find the kid some seventies DC horror books when I’m in Athens next. He’ll probably appreciate those more than superhero funnybooks…

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