'Tales From the Crypt' Review

Season 1, Episode 2: 'And All Through the House'

Hello again, Boils and Ghouls. As of writing this review, it is in the month of May and of course, Christmas is still a long time away. Although with this fiendishly festive episode, you don't have to wait for Jack Frost to nip at your nose, or Jolly Ol' Saint Nick to come to town, but in this case, this Saint Nick is anything but Jolly.

The scene starts off as anything but horrifying. It shows a beautiful and serene Christmas setting, panning over the tree and other home decorations with the Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" playing over it. The husband of the house, Joseph, played by Marshall Bell (General Owen in Starship Troopers. Mr. LaChance in Stand By Me), sitting on the couch, kinda bah-humbug-ing the holiday. Unknowing that his wife, Name Unknown, played by Mary Ellen Trainor (Gail Wallens in Die Hard. Mrs. Walsh in The Goonies), is standing behind him, holding a fireplace poker.

With the poker in hand and the scared but still frantic look on her face, I'm sure you can guess what happens next. Classic wife-kills-hubby-for-money routine. (Granted the hubby was an SOB; people like that kinda have it coming in stuff like this.) The wife tries to hide everything from her young daughter, Carrie, played by Lindsey Whitney Barry (whose only other, sort of, notable movie role, was one of the little girls Marty McFly borrows the hoverboard from in Back to the Future Part II). Her mother tucks her back into bed, warning her to go to sleep or else Santa won't come to their house. 

She goes back downstairs and calls her lover to let him know what she did. Then she goes to work at getting rid of the body. The funny part about this episode is that you can tell they don't use a dummy dead body for the husband. Whenever the wife is moving him around, you can see Bell's slightly moving at times, like see that his chest is going up and down due to breathing, and in one part you see him with his mouth open and his tongue is twitching a bit. It's one of those things when you notice it every single time you watch it.

There is even one part where she ties clear basket wrap around his head, and if you look at his nose, you can see the wrap going in then back out again. I always think that they were able to do this scene once so he wouldn't pass out due to lack of oxygen or something.

Wifey Dearest then drags the stiff outside to throw him down the well in their front yard. Because every ritzy family has wells in their yard, for just this reason. As she is doing her thing outside, the camera pans to the radio that stopped the Christmas tunes to a news flash. The anchor talked about a lunatic that had escaped from the local mental asylum, stole a Santa suit, and had already murdered a few women. Again, you can see where this is going, and of course, the wife doesn't hear it. 

As she is about to have Joseph join the Polar Plunge Club, in a shocking twist, he regains consciousness and starts to strangle her. I mean, come on, wouldn't you be just a little bit peeved too if you were in his shoes? She frantically gasps for air as she reached for a nearby ax stuck in a tree stump. She can't reach it and she begins to press her foot on his neck, suffocating him fully and she finally broke free. 

She hears a strange noise coming near the house, and she goes to investigate. Ya know, the perfect thing to do in any scary story. Once she comes back after finding nothing, she literally bumps into the Psycho Santa, wielding an ax. Must be a small neighborhood or Santa is really fast for a heavy set guy. 

She tries to fight him off by cutting his face with a fat icicle and a nicely placed nut shot and manages to get the ax out of his hands. She runs into the house, Santa's arm wedged in the crack of the door as he tries to simultaneously grab her and get in the house. She swings the ax at his arm, dealing some more damage and momentarily gets him to retreat.

She soon after calls for the police but hesitates when she remembers Joseph's body lying outside. She looks through her windows to try and see if the maniac is still there but he gets the jump on her, coming at her through the window Jason Voorhees style and starts to strangle her. (Man, strangling is so basic for this show. Haha.) She gets the ax and whacks him in the forehead with the flat back end of the blade and he falls in the snow, knocked out cold. (Haha... sorry). The first time I saw this episode I thought, "Lady, all this could be over with if you used the sharp end." Then, Rational Me thought, "True, but then the episode would basically be over."

She finally gets a chance to calm down and she then gets a call from the local Sheriff letting her know more about Scary Santa. A light bulb then goes off above her head when he tells her attacker used an ax in the previous killings, so she goes outside to hack away a few times at Joseph's body and pin the murder on Santa. While all this is going on, her daughter Carrie wakes up, thinking Santa finally arrived for the night.

Once the deed is done, she goes back inside, calls the cops, but then sees Santa and the ax gone. As she waits for the police to arrive she goes into her closet to get the gun Joseph kept in there. Why she didn't go for that the first time, I'll never know. As she is in there, she ends up getting stuck as the doorknobs fall out of the door (how convenient) and sees Santa through the little window, climbing up a ladder to get in through the window of her daughter's room. 

Carrie opens the window and sees him climbing up. Thinking he is the real deal, she reaches out her hand and tries to help him up. This kid has to be way too innocent and trusting. When I was that age, I used to be creeped out by Mall Santas (then again, who wasn't when they were little) and if I saw this dude, I'd lock my window and hide under my bed. Mom soon busts out and runs up to find her daughter, but comes to see a wide open window and no Carrie in sight. 

She then runs downstairs when she hears Carrie calling for her. She is relieved to see her safe, but then terrified when she sees maniac Santa holding Carrie's hand, Carrie proudly claiming that she let him in the house. (Again, this kid is too damn trusting). The episode then ends with Mom screaming bloody murder on the stairs, knowing that it's goodnight for her and her child. Pretty dark ending.

Now, this episode is a pretty great and memorable one that, surprisingly for this show, was mild with the gore, with not that much bloodshed. Maybe it was their blood guy's day off and they had to make due with what they had. 

So, you don't even have to wait until Christmas to put this on, if you want a good chill up your spine. But it does make it feel that much better to watch something gruesome like this around the holiday with your friends and loved ones. 

Rating: 8.5/10