Welcome back to my “Tales from the Darkside” Marathon! We’ve all seen movies and shows depicting the idea of a monster lurking in a kid’s closet. Maybe some of you believed just that when you were young. But today’s tale wants to show that it’s not always kids who may experience that kind of nightmare, but possibly adults as well. This is “Inside the Closet.”
Gail Aynsley is a university student on the hunt for a place to stay. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Fenner, a professor in veterinary medicine, she takes residence in his huge house. But as the days go on, weird things begin to happen that Gail can’t explain. Dr. Fenner seems like he’s hiding something as well. Could it be Dr. Fenner’s daughter home from school, or is this the work of an unexpected guest?
This episode was…odd. I didn’t end up hating it, but I can’t say I liked it either. The story mainly focuses on Gail trying to figure out why the little closet in her room keeps opening at night, despite Dr. Fenner claiming it can’t be opened. It’s decently told, and there’s just enough suspense at first to get you invested. However, midway through the episode, the audience is given a general answer for what’s going on long before Gail finds out. I tend to go both ways on this kind of trope, as while it’s fun to be in the know before anyone else, it’s also frustrating having to wait for characters to catch up. There are also some questions that get brought up that are left unanswered by the end, making the story come off as pretty simplistic overall.
Gail and Dr. Fenner are the only characters involved, and as a main character, I thought Gail was fine. She’s naturally curious and is quick to defend herself when Dr. Fenner doesn’t believe her claims. Dr. Fenner is the type of character that I immediately felt suspicious of with his immediate and obvious denial of everything Gail sees. Those suspicions weren’t helped by the fact that he’s British, since there’s long-running trope now of evil British people in movies and TV.
The episode was directed by Tom Savini, who also contributed to a spoiler-y but pretty well done aspect of this episode. However, I feel the need to mention some gripes I had with the cinematography and music. The cinematography is pretty good overall, but there were sometimes random shots thrown in of mounted animal heads in the house. It didn’t happen too often, but when it did, I couldn’t help but find it distracting. I also thought the music was often a bit too in-your-face, and I feel a more ominous score might have added just a bit more tension.
This is another episode with more than one twist, though the first is basically an untwist thanks to that mid-episode reveal I mentioned. In-story, I thought the build-up to it being revealed to Gail was still done pretty well. The other twist involved was…one that left me with many questions. I can’t really say it was confusing, though I saw at least part of it coming, but I felt the ending could’ve been better.
Overall, “Inside the Closet” was an okay-ish episode. It had some decent suspense and at least one interesting twist, but it’s bogged down by a story with one of the two characters coming off too suspicious and more questions raised than answers. It just felt like a very average, not overly interesting episode to me.