'The Twilight Zone' reboot: 5 scariest original episodes to binge on ahead of the new series
With the Jordan Peele reboot releasing April 1, it's time to take a look at some of the scariest episodes from the original, just to remember what we need to brace ourselves for
April could never compete with the spooky season of October, but fans of the horror genre actually have something to look forward to when this April. After comedian Jordan Peele, known for his hilarious sketch comedy 'Key and Peele', managed to leave us stunned and marveling at his Oscar-winning debut venture 'Get Out,' his firm grounding in the genre of horror was established.
This year he's taking things up a notch with not just another horror movie titled 'Us', but also with a brand new reboot of the iconic 50's horror show 'The Twilight Zone', branded a go-to classic for fans of the genre.
The original ideas of the anthology horror came from creator Rod Serling, who was the narrator of the original 'The Twilight Zone' too, that aired from 1959 to 1964. Not only is the show regarded as one of the best TV shows ever made, it is also highly recommended as one of the scariest, as it earned wide critical acclaim for redefining the concept of surrealism in TV shows.
The response its upcoming revival has received, has only proven further the immense impact the show has had on the masses over the years. And a lot of that is to do with the several different elements of horror it portrayed. From aliens to disfigured entities, the show could get well creepy and eerie, but just enough to keep viewers begging for more.
And now, with the upcoming reboot releasing April 1, it's time we took a look at some of the scariest episodes from the original just to make you aware of what you need to brace yourself for!
'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet' (season 5, episode 3)
Apart from the spook factor, one of the main reasons of citing this episode as the first one on the list is that fans of the original and new viewers alike have a chance of witnessing the same once again, in the reboot. Starring Adam Scott in the reboot, the original episode, as the title suggests, was about the fear of flying.
Sounds pretty basic, right? But despite this episode being one of the only few stellar ones after Serling withdrew his involvement with the project, the twist in the script by Richard Matheson (a frequent writer on the original) is what's to watch out for. The twist being a monster on the wing of the craft that only one man is able to see. Talk about intense!
'The Hitch-hiker' (season 1, episode 16)
The reason 'The Twilight Zone' is such a celebrated horror is partly because of the scare factor, and partly because of its elements of science fiction. But things take a turn in this episode as it deals with the concept of urban legends and brings to us a hitch-hiker ghost through a woman on a road trip as she gets eerily aware of the presence of a spirit on the road.
The reason this episode reigns on the higher side of the horror scale is because of the woman's point of view, as she closely embraces the possibility of her being haunted and soon, it's more about the viewers meandering through her journey, than her dealing with it alone.
'The Howling Man' (season 2, episode 5)
Playing a little more on the lines of urban legends, this one manages to make things scarier by personifying an element of horror. Granted, a local monk claims he has trapped the devil himself in this human residing in a spooky castle, but what's really scary is that this devil in a man's body haunts his surrounding countryside by howling incessantly (hence the title).
It gets even more messed up when the protagonist - a European traveler - chances upon the howling man. The latter's appearance has been labeled one of the most disturbing, unnerving portrayals on a TV show. Add to that the possibility of the monk also being the potential antagonist, and voila! A classic case of mind-f*ckery!
'The After Hours' (season 1, episode 34)
What happens when triggers of claustrophobia come together with the fear of darkness? This brilliant, surreal masterpiece of an episode, beautifully depicts frantic paranoia evolving into submission, or acceptance if you will.
When a woman finds herself entrapped in a department store post closing time, the viewers go through her trauma as she slowly spirals into the eerie uneasiness of being all by yourself in a closed space. But what helps the episode peak, is the realization that dawns on her, which isn't one insinuating a happy ending; instead, she gives in to her fate and accepts this is it for her. There's no exasperated rescue mission or escape - just quiet submission to fate.
'And When the Sky Was Opened' (season 1, episode 11)
The fear of being forgotten by those around you is something a lot of people share but won't admit. And it is this fear of being alienated that comes into play in Serling's adaptation of a short story by Matheson, that is this episode. Matheson's story was published in print first, and Serling only made the concept far more sinister in his version of the tale where a trio of astronauts find the experimental spacecraft they are traveling in, go off the radar for a bit.
They do make it back to our planet alive and in one piece, but right from the moment they return, something doesn't sit right. In that, there seems to be an external force trying to wipe out all signs of their existence and as time goes by, they just keep feeling more and more alien to the world they call their own.