Friday, February 19, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #29: Sick
Original Airdate: November 12, 2011
Director: Terry Ingram
Does anyone remember the 2003 Nickelodeon movie called The Electric Piper? If not, I'll give you the rundown of what it's about. The plot of the movie is basically the story of The Pied Piper except this time, it takes place in the 1960's with a more rock oriented soundtrack and the piper is a Jimmy Hendrix-esque character both in looks and personality. While this sounds like an interesting take on The Pied Piper story, you cannot find the full version of the movie anywhere. It's not on VHS or DVD. Why is this you may ask? Well, from what I understand, there doesn't seem to be a clear reason. My theory? Everyone at Nickelodeon studios thought it was a fever dream and just forgot it was a real movie. Speaking of fever dreams, The Haunting Hour had an episode that focused around fever dreams.
A boy named Alex Howard (Garrett Ryan) is staying home from school because he is sick with a bad fever. While his mother is out getting him some medicine, he finds out there is a monster in the house and he is being quarantined. With help from the TV newsman (Peter Benson), he fights the monster. Alex then wakes up to find his mother. She then tells him it was all a fever dream. But in a twist ending, Alex then hears the TV newsman saying that they (the newsman, monster, and the quarantine) are not the fever dream and that his mom, the painters (the people doing the quarantine in his "dream"), and vacuum cleaner (the monster in his "dream") are the fever dream. The episode ends with everything engulfed in a blinding white light with Alex still not knowing which is which.
Maybe it's because I'm a fan of psychological horror but I really enjoy the more psychological based plot of this episode. I think this comes from the fact that the episode really makes you question whether or not this is a fever dream. Throughout the episode, it seems like an ordinary sick day. However, as the episode progresses, things become stranger. For example, the walls of Alex's house start to sweat, there's slime everywhere, his house is being quarantined by the government, there's a talk show host telling Alex about a creature, and by the end, Alex comes face to face with the creature. After the fight, it's revealed that Alex was in a fever dream. However, the talk show host turns on Alex's TV and tells him that what he experienced wasn't a fever dream. Speaking of fever dream, that leads me to my next point.
Another reason why I love this episode because it doesn't spell everything out for the audience. With a plot like this, explaining certain details but leaving some details up to interpretation is a smart move. This makes the viewing of the episode fun and interesting and allows viewers to create their own theories as to what's going on.
This episode has a slow start, which may turn off some people, but I think it helps the episode become evenly paced because if they're going to give the audience the more intense content later on, the slow start seems like a good contrast.
Overall, Sick has a great idea complimented by a brilliant execution. Heck, even the title is great! It says everything about the episode and nothing about the episode at the same time. If you want a piece of modern horror that isn't filled with jump scares and awful characters, this is a great episode to check out.
Overall Grade: A+