Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three's a Crowd

****(out of 4 stars)

Three's a Crowd is a Tales from the Crypt episode from the second season. It was originally aired back in May of 1990

Richard (Gavan O'Herlihy) and his wife Della (Ruth DeSosa) are planning to take a nice trip to a secluded cabin for their anniversary. Della, however, has been staying out late and acting strange. It seems that she is showing a little too much attention to her ex boyfriend, Alan (Paul Lieber).

Richard and Alan do have some history. Evidently they are good friends, but Richard is envious over Alan's good looks and money. Richard begins to suspect that Alan and Della are having an affair behind his back.

The three eventually head out to a cabin where there is some sort of surprise waiting for Richard. For most of the time, Richard sits alone drowning his sorrows in whiskey as he ponders about the suspected affair. Alan and Della spend most of the time together, leaving Richard alone. They are seen talking secretively and we learn that the two used to have a relationship. Alan tells Richard on numerous occasions that he's a lucky man and that he may have made a mistake by letting Della go. On top of all of this, Richard is feeling guilty over the unsuccessful attempts to give Della a child.

Alan has his own cabin, while Della and Richard sleep in a separate one. Alan and Della return to Alan's cabin frequently and Richard's worst nightmares seem to be coming true. Alan returns to Richard's cabin and says that the surprise is ready for him. Richard's jealousy and rage get the better of him and he eventually kills Alan in a jealous frenzy with a bow and arrow. When Della returns to the cabin, she is chased to an upstairs bedroom where she eludes Richard by jumping out of the window. As she lies on the hard ground Richard strangles her and takes her body to Alan's cabin. But when he opens the door he's greeted with cheers and a big "Surprise" from family and friends. In the end it is revealed that Della was pregnant and she and Alan were planning this party for Richard the entire time.

I loved this episode and thought it was the best one so far out of the second season. Gavan O'Herlihy is great as the jealous husband. His maniacal manner is very believable and by the time he starts offing his wife and friend we almost feel that, in some way, they had it coming to them. Of course, TFTC adds that twist ending that I never saw coming and then you feel stupid rooting for Richard.

This episode is so atmospheric with the music and lighting. The acting is great and you always get the sense of unease. We already know what Richard is plotting; it's clear and obvious. But what we don't know are the intentions of Alan and Della. For the most part, I felt that they were going to off Richard and run off and live happily ever after. Or, at least, that's what director David Burton Morris had us believing. But when you get that final twist of the knife, you feel like you've just slammed your car into a tree going 80mph. This episode gets a high recommendation from me. Just go watch it. You'll be pleased with the way it's constructed and brilliantly written and directed.

Cast: Gavan O'Herlihy, Ruth DeSosa, Paul Lieber

Screenplay by: Kim Ketelsen, Annie Willette and David Burton Morris

Directed by: David Burton Morris

Airdate: 5/1/90

1 comment:

  1. Cool blog...always looking for a good gory flick. I trust your judgement and now I can check out your blog for recommendations. Well written. I'm a fan!