Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Twilight Zone (1959) -- Season 2 Episode 15 (The Invaders)

I remember having a nightmare once.  I was trapped in my grandmother’s house.  All of the doors were locked and I was being chased by a small snail that secreted ribbons.  I have no idea why, but I was deathly afraid of this snail.  I could easily outrun it, but I kept screaming and trying to get out of the house.

In The Invaders, an unnamed woman finds herself in a similar situation.  A high-pitched noise precedes a small flying saucer.  A small being emerges and chases her around her house.  In this case, the small being is dangerous, as it can wield one of her knives.  It’s unclear why she doesn’t simply leave the building or call for help, but she’s terrified of the small man.

In a way, though, the fear is understandable.  There is a risk to her life.  She can easily kick or throw the being far away, but it returns.  She did nothing to provoke him, yet he’s aggressive and that’s enough.  And then, there’s the twist at the end.  Rod Serling liked to play with our perspective and we get a bit of whopper here.

The Twilight Zone was no stranger to budget restrictions.  It shows here, in that there’s one building, requiring a minimum of sets.  There are two characters, one played by Agnes Moorehead and the other by what would appear to be a toy robot.  With this, we’re given a complete story.  We have a beginning, a middle and a resolution.

There are also a minimum of lines.  The Woman tells us everything with little more than grunts and facial expressions.  Maybe it’s not a particularly deep episode.  There aren’t a lot of complexities, but we get the point.  She wants nothing more than to defend herself and her property from The Invader.

To be fair, she would appear to be on a farm in a remote area.  As to why she didn’t call for help, it’s possible that her neighbor was too far away.  My big question is why the invaders would head for these extremely large artificial structures.  You’d think that someone would have the good sense to keep their distance.

Still, it’s a good study in simplicity.  Motion pictures are more than just words and people.  There’s an emotional element to it.  There’s a physical aspect that’s just as important as sounds.  This episode relies on the small details.  If you are able to watch this, pay attention.


IMDb page


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