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Twilight Zone, Episode 3.16: Nothing in the Dark
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by Charles Tatum

"Don't open the door"
4 stars

Wanda (Gladys Cooper) has been a shut-in for a long time.

You would shut yourself in, too, if you feared death. Wanda has lived for years in the basement of a tenement, never opening the door for anyone in case Mr. Death comes to the door to take her.

Instead, young policeman Harold (Robert Redford) is shot and wounded right outside of her door. She brings him in, and begins nursing him back to health, never notifying anyone that he is there. Soon, a construction worker (R.G. Armstrong) comes to tear the building down, and all is revealed.

Of all the "Twilight Zone" episodes, this small cast is one of the most impressive. Gladys Cooper does a bang-up job as Wanda, her reminiscing of younger days is sad and touching. Say what you want about him, Redford is great here, sporting such a trustworthy face. His nonthreatening manner is key to the story. Armstrong is always reliable.

Despite the one room set, director Johnson does a good job of keeping the pace going. Screenwriter Johnson revisits Serling's oft-told tales of Death personified, and does a nice if not sometimes predictable job with it.

The episode lets us know that we fear things in the dark, yet those fears are still there when the lights are on. A spooky entry in the television canon.

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originally posted: 01/14/04 04:54:07
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This episode of Twilight Zone has been reviewed as part of an ongoing retro TV series. For more in the Twilight Zone Episodes series, click here.

User Comments

5/22/07 action movie fan quite good surprise story decent but not exceptiional twilight zone episode 4 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini brilliant, frightening 5 stars
7/28/06 David Cohen Gladys Cooper was a great actress, almost makies up for Redford's woodeness 4 stars
11/19/05 BrendaS918 Death be not proud. 4 stars
1/14/04 tatum Excellent cast, great pacing 4 stars
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  05-Jan-1962 (NR)
  DVD: 28-Jun-2005



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