"Did you ever watch The Twilight Zone?"
Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), is an anthology film produced by Steven Spielberg and John Landis and is a theatrical version of the the long running Twilight Zone series.
The film contains four stories and a prologue, all the stories are based on episodes from the original series except the first and even that resembles a couple different old episodes. The stories are directed by John Landis, Stephen Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller.
One of the consistently good things about Twilight Zone: The Movie is its direction. This is the one way the stories consistently top their original television episodes. These are all good and well seasoned directors well along in their careers by the time they came together to make this and it shows.
These are fair adaptations of the original stories, I still have some preferences that go back to the original series episodes, but I think that comes from my personal attachment to the Rod Serling series (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.)
The first story after the prologue, "Time Out" is the only original story of the lot and I feel like it shows. It's not really bad, but it's just clearly not as good as the others. It seems very surface level, I think what it's missing is a resolution with the main characters, I think if this was an original series episode we'd see the main character have a complete change on screen whether (its too late or not.) This one just seems super unsatisfying.
Meridith Burgess, who starred in four separate episodes of the original series, does most of the narration in the film filling the Rod Serling role of the series and I think she really nails it. She somehow does her own thing with it and still subtly suggests Rod Serling's voice over. Steven Speilberg or whoever made that decision really nailed it.
The other thing I really like about this film is that their selections of stories, and variety of tones really do feel like the perfect tribute to The Twilight Zone series!
Twlight Zone: The Movie (1983) is a bold undertaking that is largely successful. It's totally worth a watch.
This review is part of my 2014 run of 13 Nights of Macabre Movies! Tune in tomorrow as I review another horror anthology sequel Creepshow 2 (1987).
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