Questions and Observations From Tales From The Crypt, Season 1, Episode 2: And All Through the House

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this episode of the HBO TV series Tales From the Crypt, it tells the same story as the first segment of the British anthology horror film also named Tales From the Crypt circa 1972 (both of which were based on a segment from an old Vault of Horror comic book, Vault of Horror being one of two sister series to the titular comic series whose name I’ve typed twice already) — the story of a young woman that bludgeons her husband to death with a fire poker on Christmas Eve to collect his life insurance then finds herself on the other end of the stick when an escaped mental patient dressed as Santa Claus targets her and her daughter. Here are just a few of the observations I made and questions I asked myself when I re-watched this on Christmas.

And All Through the House 1

•The woman’s daughter wanders downstairs and just barely misses her stepfather’s murder. You should probably double check that your children are asleep before, you know, committing homicide.

•The woman calls her lover to confirm that she’s done away with her husband. His voicemail answers. It says, “I’m out partying. Leave your name, number, and measurements.” She says, “It’s done, I did it. It’s all ours — the money, everything.” It’s neither smart to incriminate yourself on audio tape or to kill your spouse to be with a person whose voicemail says, “I’m out partying. Leave your name, number, and measurements.” Something tells me this guy’s not looking for a long-term relationship.

And All Through the House 2 point 5

•The woman drags her dead husband’s corpse to the front door and it’s shown that her living room drapes are wide open. Apparently, she couldn’t even be bothered to close the drapes beforehand.

•She proceeds to drag his body out the front door, down the steps to an old-timey well. Again, is she not concerned people will see her?

•She jokes about heaving her dead husband down the well. If she’s hiding his body, I assume that she’s going to be claiming he simply disappeared. Well, if the movie Absentia taught us anything, it’s that it takes years (at least four, aside from something like a plane crash) to officially declare someone dead in absentia, meaning this woman won’t be getting her hands on that life insurance payout anytime soon. It would have been much more efficient to poison her husband with something that mimics a heart attack, no?

•The woman stops and yells, “Who’s there?!” really loudly, even though there was no audible noise. I went back and listened to this scene with headphones on. Nothing. Now, I thought this was obvious, but it’s probably not the best idea to draw attention to yourself while you’re standing over the body of a person you’ve just fire-pokered, especially when you’re not even sure that you heard anything.

•A moment later, she’s attacked by the very same escaped mental patient dressed as Santa Claus mentioned above. She scrambles back in the front door. It was hinted she’d locked herself outside when the door closed behind her — there was even a close-up of her keys falling off her purse onto a table — but fuck it, I guess not.

And All Through the House 5

•She dials an operator for help. First of all, why can’t she dial 9-1-1? It’s only another two digits. Then, remembering her husband’s corpse is chilling outside in the snow, she goes silent. Just throw the bloody fire poker outside and claim the insane Chris Cringle whacked him around. A perfect opportunity wasted.

•The operator hangs up before the main character, after she’s frantically screamed “Get me the police! You’ve got to help me! You’ve got to help me!” Someone’s life is on the line, quite literally, and this operator hangs up after, like, eight seconds of silence. Fuck you too, operator.

•The killer is circling this character’s house, peeping inside her windows. She still doesn’t close the drapes.

•During a brief struggle, she knocks the killer unconscious. She decides the easiest way to frame him for her husband’s murder is to embed his axe in her dead husband’s forehead, getting her finger prints all over it in the process, rather than place the fire poker she owns and won’t need to explain handling into the killer’s palm.

•She runs to a coat closet to fetch a handgun from a shelf. The door slams shut. This is the third door that’s slammed behind her. House must be drafty.

•While she’s trapped inside, she watches helplessly through a window as the killer scales a ladder up to her daughter’s bedroom. Wait, what kind of rich people coat closets have windows? And why would you “hide” a handgun so that it’s visible from the outside of your house?

•She decides (again, this woman has poor decision making skills) the easiest way to save her daughter is to break the closet door down and run upstairs to her bedroom, rather than use her handgun to shoot the killer through the window where he stands. Shaking my head.

•You might be surprised by this story’s ending, unless you’ve seen the 1972 version, or, uhhh, any Tales From the Crypt episodes ever.

•This woman should run, not scream for an hour.

•My lord is she dumb. I totally would have survived this episode.


2 Responses to “Questions and Observations From Tales From The Crypt, Season 1, Episode 2: And All Through the House”

  1. I loved Tales from the Crypt. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to thank me. And so did I! I just found this episode a bit predictable and ridiculous upon revisiting it. I might have to review some of my favorites in the near future.


two cents here

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