Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 4: “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”
A recap and review of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 4: “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”
The Midnight Society:
- Another rare occasion where the episode begins with a story instead of The Midnight Society, but Eric doesn’t quite have it finished yet, so he quits…..quitter
- This episode is really odd, apparently nobody showed up prepared because Gary states “It’s almost lights out and we haven’t had a full story yet”
- Quiet and soft spoken David pipes up and says he’s got one. Frank gives him shit because he’s quiet and Kristin sticks up for him. She states “You haven’t told one in awhile David”….(even though David actually told Episode 3)….but David goes ahead:
- Dougie and Kevin were best friends, but Kevin was the more daring one. On “Mischief Night”, which is the night before Halloween, they decide to play a prank on the town “witch”, Miss Clove
- They wait for her to come to the door, when she does they spray her with shaving cream. So surprised by the shaving cream, she stumbles and knocks over an extremely large vase. The boys run and Miss Clove stands on her porch….cackling
- The next night Dougie and Kevin set out for trick or treating. They end up back at Miss Clove’s and debate whether they should go up to her door. Kevin shames Dougie into going to the door and Miss Clove answers
- The boys reluctantly enter her home and she presents them with a very interesting….”treat”. A claw of a vulture, but it’s not real according to Miss Clove and whoever is in possession of it receives 3 wishes a piece. At first the boys do not accept the gift, but after Miss Clove insists….they accept their “prize”
- “Be careful what you wish for….you just might get it”….was the warning that Miss Clove gave and the boys scoff at. Dougie “wishes” they could just go home for the night and lose this “stupid trick or treating”. Dougie freaks out when the claw suddenly moves….Kevin thinks he’s being crazy
- The boys encounter a group of teenagers in masks….something out of The Purge or The Strangers, and the teenagers want to steal the boys’ candy. Dougie and Kevin end up getting away
- The next day the boys discuss the events from the night before. Still unwilling to except the claw’s true consequences, Kevin wishes that he can beat the school’s best track star in a race:
- Later that day, the race is held and it seems that Kevin’s wish will not come true as the track star is winning the race. All of a sudden though, a dog comes from behind a tree and trips the boy, causing Kevin to win the race. The boy who tripped is seriously injured and must go to the hospital, causing the boys to once again contemplate the consequences of using their wishes
- That night, with Dougie’s parents out to a show, Kevin comes over and brings the claw. The two argue over the events of the day and with Kevin getting frustrated, he wishes that Dougie would “lose his folks” and as expected, the claw moves. The phone rings and Dougie answers. It’s a police officer telling Dougie that his parents have been in a car accident….out of fear Dougie hangs up frantically
- Not knowing what to do, Dougie mistakenely uses the language “I wish Gramps was here, he’d know what to do” and the claw moves, and another wish is granted. Kevin, looking terrified, states the obvious that Dougie’s Gramps is dead. The boys look outside and see Dougie’s Gramps driving up to the house. Slowly he creeps closer and closer to the house. Kevin, who is not wanting to meet a ghost, jumps towards the claw to wish the ghost away. Kevin wisely states that making another wish like that is a bad idea
- Dougie finally gets a hold of the claw and says that they are sorry they broke Miss Clove’s vase and that they wish it never happened. The claw disappears in a puff of smoke:
- Dougie goes to the door to see if his Gramps is truly gone. He answers the door and it’s his parents, who forgot their keys and are clearly okay. They look outside to make sure Gramps’ car is gone and it is, the phone that was broken earlier is back to normal, and Kevin’s medal is gone from winning the race from earlier. The doorbell rings once more and the boys find a vase with a note stating “Trick or Treat”:
“The Tale of the Twisted Claw” is actually based on the famous story “The Monkey’s Paw”. You might remember this exact story parodied on The Simpsons as well in one of their “Treehouse of Horror” episodes. The whole concept of “Be careful what you wish for” is fascinating to me and I think this episode pulled it off. While not one of the classics, and myself really only recalling bits and pieces, I still found this episode more desirable than most.
What a tough call this is. On paper, a fake claw is not very scary, but the power it has is truly terrifying. I mean at one point in this episode, one of the boys loses his parents for goodness sakes! But still, if I’m truly going on a monster rating, the claw’s aura doesn’t quite cut it in “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”.
Scare Factor: 6/10
To be honest, besides the potential of seeing Gramps at the end and the extremely eerie last shot of the note and Miss Clove’s house, scary is not exactly what describes this episode at first glance.
The ying to the yang. That’s what Dougie is to Kevin and the two play off each other well. With each of their reputations, it’s not shocking to see what develops with Kevin’s wishes and what Dougie ultimately wants to stop wishing for. While I would’ve liked a little more Miss Clove later in “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”, the times we see her truly make the hairs on our neck stand up.
Talk about a life lesson. As mentioned before, one of the boys’ parents freakin’ dies in “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”!!!!!!! Having each boy learn their lesson and the subtle touch by Miss Clove gave this episode the exact ending you wanted, while also leaving you a little unnerved about what you might “wish for”….in the future.
Total Score: 35/50
In case you missed the last episode, click the below link: