The elderly Elva Keen is not too happy when she begins receiving phone calls in the middle of the night. At first the calls are little more that static and her complaints to to local telephone operator, Miss Finch, seem to go unheeded. Over time however, she begins to hear a man's voice but out of fear, tells whoever it is to go away. When Miss Finch reports they've found the problem Elva visits the site only to realize the identity of the caller and that regardless of anything she's said, desperately wants the calls to continue. Written by
Miss Elva Keene lives alone on the outskirts of London Flats, a tiny rural community in Maine. Up until now, the pattern of Miss Keene's existence has been that of lying in her bed or sitting in her wheelchair, reading books, listening to a radio, eating, napping, taking medication - and waiting for something different to happen. Miss Keene doesn't know it yet, but her period of waiting has just ended, for something different is about to happen to her, has in fact already ...
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It's really hard for me to claim this or that as the best ever, or my favorite, simply because it's so limiting and something always pops up sooner or later, to prove me a liar. In this case, however, I MUST say, I have seen all of the "Twilight Zone" episodes, half and full hour-long and of any of them, this is the one I always recommend. Directed by the vastly underrated Jacques Tourneur (whose "Cat People" revolutionized horror films as we know them, and has resonance even today), this is a story which simply plays on our fears and messes with our minds. A crippled old woman sits in her lovely cottage home, aided only by a nurse. Alone and miserable, she begins getting strange nightly phone calls from somebody who makes odd sounds and leaves her terrified. Is she senile? Her maid seems to think so, but as you might expect, there's much more here than meets the eye. I won't go into details more than to say that the ending won't disappoint and Martine Bartlett, as the old woman, is likable and sympathetic. I saw this recently and yeah, it's still scary. Is it the best "Twilight Zone" episode, though? Well, if you like creepy irony, then yeah, this one is the best, ever.
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