Welcome back to my “Tales from the Darkside” Marathon! Trick or treating is a tradition enjoy by kids of all ages. But every kid has had their own horror story while partaking in it. Maybe you ran into a creepy old house, or were sent away with nothing but healthy food and a toothbrush for your troubles. Today’s tale shows us why you should always be nice to trick or treaters. This is “Halloween Candy.”
Mr. Killup is a cranky old man who torments kids on Halloween by refusing to give them candy. His son, Michael, gets so fed up with having to always deal with the aftermath of pranks that he decides to leave his dad home alone with some candy one Halloween. After turning away a few kids, Mr. Killup gets paid a visit by one apparently dressed like a goblin. However, this goblin this the real deal and he doesn’t like people who deny him candy. Will Mr. Killup finally decide to embrace the holiday, or will the goblin have the last laugh?
I’m going to start by giving you all a fair warning: if you despise bugs, do not watch this episode. The little creepy crawlers show up a few times here and in many different places. That aside, this was a good episode. The plot takes a little time to get going, but it spends just enough time allowing you to see what a miser Mr. Killup is. Once the goblin shows up, it becomes almost nightmarish. Bugs randomly show up, the phone doesn’t ring through to Michael, and it’s perpetually nighttime. It builds a suspenseful atmosphere that doesn’t let up until the very end. The dialogue is pretty good, and the goblin looked fantastic.
As you can expect with a mean protagonist, this story has a bit of karma attached. Mr. Killup just plain hates Halloween, and while you can understand why kids constantly ringing an old man’s doorbell could get annoying, he revels in being known as the meanest guy on the block. He even gives one kid candy, only it’s been mixed in with mayonnaise, honey and glue. That’s even crueler than not giving him anything. What’s good is that while the character could’ve easily been one dimensional, the actor’s performance makes Mr. Killup feel like a believably ornery man. As for Michael, while he’s not in the episode much, he’s appropriately tired of his dad’s behavior. Not just because his dad has a poor attitude, but also because he’s the only forced to deal with the clean-up duty each Halloween after kids prank him. Anyone in his position would be rightfully annoyed, and he at least tries to get his dad in the spirit so his night won’t go horribly.
The twist actually ties in with a few things established during the early scenes between Michael and Mr. Killup, as well as adds to some nightmare flashes he has whenever he tries to sleep. There’s a brief bit of foreshadowing in these flashes, but you don’t get the full context until the end reveal occurs. I felt it was an appropriate and creepy ending to Mr. Killup’s story.
Compared to the last episode, “Halloween Candy” takes a simple idea and makes a compelling story out of it. The characters are fleshed out just enough and are well-acted, the goblin was seen occasionally but looked cool, and the twist ending capped off this creepy little story nicely. I would recommend this one for sure, especially at this time of year or even on Halloween itself. Just be wary of those bugs if you’re not a fan of them.