Friday, June 17, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #37: Stage Fright
Original Airdate: January 12, 2012
Director: Peter DeLuise
Nowadays, it seems like you can make a musical out of anything. From Alexander Hamilton to the Wicked Witch of The West to the final days of Jesus's life. Surprisingly though, there has never been a musical about Hansel and Gretel... Until an obscure kids horror anthology series was all like, "A musical based on the story of Hansel and Gretel? Write it now! Soon we will beat Disney to the punch! Mwahahahaha!!!" Or... So I've been told.
A high school drama club is doing a play based on the story of Hansel and Gretel, but bad things have been happening: the original lead actress breaks her leg and is demoted to a tree and the witch actress keeps forgetting her cues. One of the stage hands reveals that the play is cursed and other schools have had trouble with it where one boy was even beheaded on stage. The other stage hand is attacked and vanishes and during the play the mother and father actors are attacked and all three are found bound and gagged backstage. The first stage hand believes that the drama teacher is the real witch that cursed the play, and gets Hansel and Gretel to throw her into the fake oven.
One of the things I liked about the episode was the songs. Even though you only see little snippets of them, I think they do a good job not only getting stuck in your head but also telling the story of Hansel and Gretel in musical form. They each sound distinct from one another and fit the humorous and dark tone that the musical was going for rather well. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect with a Hansel and Gretel musical but I'm glad that they put actual effort into these songs, even if they're just snippets.
The other thing I like about this episode was the twist. While I was watching this episode, I got a bit bummed out when the teacher looked and behaved like the witch the students were describing. I thought the twist was going to be that the teacher was the witch the whole time and to be honest, I almost stopped watching the episode. However, I pressed on and by the end, the episode took a complete one eighty with the ending. You see, the witch isn't the drama teacher. It's the actual witch (Ellie Harvie) from the story. She reveals that she cursed the play because she was mad that her story wasn't being told properly. As she locks the stage doors and turns off the lights, she says she didn't eat Hansel and Gretel, she ate their parents. I'm glad that they didn't take the easy way out by making the drama teacher the witch. You know, now that I think about it, I think that having the drama teacher act and look like a witch might've helped the twist be all the more effective by throwing the audience off.
Overall, Stage Fright was a fun yet dark episode. You'd think that a more musically oriented Haunting Hour episode would be something really stupid and crash and burn before the first five minutes were over. However, the execution of the premise was fairly well done and in turn, the episode becomes a lot better than it sounds.
Overall Grade: B+