Hammer House of Horror: Season 1, Episode 4

Growing Pains (4 Oct. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 151 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

After the death of their son William Morton, the diplomat Laurie Morton and her husband, the scientist Terence Morton adopt a boy, James. From the moment James moves to Morton's house in the country on, weird things happen with the family.

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Title: Growing Pains (04 Oct 1980)

Growing Pains (04 Oct 1980) on IMDb 5.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Laurie Morton
Gary Bond ...
Terence Morton
Norman Beaton ...
Mr. Ngenko
Tariq Yunus ...
Charles Austin
Matthew Blakstad ...
James
Christopher Reilly ...
William Morton
Daphne Anderson ...
Matron
Michael Hughes ...
Mechanic, Thornton
...
Nurse Foster (as Karin Scott)
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Gravedigger
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After the death of their son William Morton, the diplomat Laurie Morton and her husband, the scientist Terence Morton adopt a boy, James. From the moment James moves to Morton's house in the country on, weird things happen with the family.

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4 October 1980 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
So-So 'Eerie Kid' Hammer Episode
19 June 2009 | by (Salzburg, Austria) – See all my reviews

Storywise, the fourth episode to "Hammer House of Horror", "Growing Pains" is the weakest of the first five I've seen so far. This is not to say however, that the film has no redeeming qualities. On the contrary, it does feature many creepy moments and it builds up atmosphere and a certain level of suspense. After the death of their own son, successful married couple Laurie (Barbara Kellerman), a diplomat, and Terence Morton (Gary Bond), a scientist, adopt a boy named James (Matthew Blakstad). Even tough the boy is polite and well-behaved, something seems to be wrong with him, however. Shortly after he moves in with his new parents, mysterious thing begin to happen... The child-possession theme had been made vastly popular in the 70s by films like "The Exorcist" or "The Omen", and it is therefore clear that the Hammer Studios would devote at least one episode of their short-running 1980 TV-series to a similar theme. Which is all fine, of course, but it is also obvious that this particular episode looses a lot of its impact due to sloppy writing. The episode is quite atmospheric and there are some genuinely creepy moments. Furthermore, it has to be appreciated when a child actor succeeds in playing a sinister part, and Mathew Blackstad does here, without exaggerated overacting. Yet this does not fully excuse the weak story which is full of holes and inconsistencies. You won't hear me complain that the concept, which had been used many times by 1980s, is unoriginal, but merely that it could have been thought through a little better. Yet, "Growing Pains" isn't all bad, and while it is the weakest H.H.H. episode I've seen so far, it is still entertaining enough for its approximately 50 minutes.


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