Tonight’s episode of The Twilight Zone examines what happens when a freak snow storm breaks out, a bus makes a stop at a late night diner, and reports come in of a UFO landing somewhere in the area. The fun starts once the bus driver realizes that he has an extra passenger. Who is the alien? Or, any other words: Will the real Martian please stand up? This episode is a classic example of how a group of strangers trapped in one location can be used to generate a lot of suspense. It has a great ending as well!
This episode was originally broadcast on May 26th, 1961. It was written by Rod Serling and directed by Montgomery Pittman.
Today’s horror on the lens is a 1978 made-for-TV movie that was directed by Wes Craven. Originally entitled Stranger In Our House, it was retitled Summer of Fear when it was released into theaters in Europe. Personally, I think Summer of Fear is a better title. It has a fun R.L. Stine feel to it.
As for the film itself, it tells the story of what happens when the recently orphaned Julia (Lee Purcell) moves in with her cousins in California. At first, Julia fits right in with her new family but, slowly and surely, her cousin Rachel (Linda Blair) comes to suspect that Julia might be a witch. And hey, who can’t relate to that? Seriously, everyone has that one cousin…
And, it’s actually pretty good. Working within the confines of what could and could not be shown on TV in the late 70s, Craven managed to make an effective little thriller.