Friday, August 7, 2015
Every Haunting Hour Ever #3: A Creature Was Stirring
Original Airdate: December 25, 2010
Director: Ken Friss
Ok! I'm just going to cut right to the chase. This episode is about a little boy's parents getting divorced. Damn Haunting Hour! You didn't even wait 5 episodes in to give us an episode with a subject as serious as divorce! Well that's one of the things that makes The Haunting Hour so great. When it wants to show a heavy handed subject like divorce, it's not afraid to do so. In fact, you'll see a couple of episodes with some heavy handed content for a kids show later on. But with that said, what else is there to the story besides divorce? Well, let's take a look.
All Timmy (Thomas Robinson) wants for Christmas is for his soon-to-be-divorced parents to stop bickering and a Krampus-like gremlin may be the solution to the family's strife. In the end, it turned out that the Krampus was helping Santa Claus to grant Timmy's wish of getting his parents back together.
One of the things that makes this episode work is the main character. In this episode, the protagonist is a little kid around 7 or 8 I think and it's not too often you see a little kid as the main character in an R.L Stine related show. Usually the protagonist is either a 12 year old or a teenager and little kids tend to be side characters or not used at all. In fact, I think this maybe the only Haunting Hour episode in which a little kid is the star. The other thing that makes the main character good is that he isn't too annoying or generic. Yeah he has some typical kid traits like making up stories about monsters and being excited for Christmas, but he's also quite brave and optimistic. Not only are his parents considering a divorce and fighting with each other but he also has to deal with surviving a monster attack. Even with all of this going on, he never sheds a tear or tries to run for his life. Instead, he works with his family to survive the monster while at the same time doing his best to keep them together.
Another thing that makes this episode work is the impact that the parents divorce proposal has on the family. As a person who has been through this type of situation before as a little kid, I can safely say that they got it down pretty well. From the parent's constant bickering to everyone seeming more reclusive to the fear of not being a family anymore. Even when there's a monster running loose and destroying the house, it doesn't stop the episode from taking a moment to address the difficulty of the situation.
The main issue with this episode is that I didn't really find the scenes with the monster to be that scary. Don't get me wrong, I actually like the monster's design and the special effects for its powers (i.e flying, spitting acid out if its mouth, etc) are pretty good. However, I guess I wasn't scared by the scenes with the monster because I was really invested in the family bonding, which I think is the real focus of the episode.
Overall, this may not be one of the scariest episodes of the series, but it certainly has a lot of emotion and likability to it without coming off as too corny or cheesy. Is it one of my personal favorites? No. But nevertheless, it's still an enjoyable episode that deserves at least a couple of viewings.
Overall Grade: B+