Since this episode of The Haunting Hour was a Christmas one, I was kinda expecting it to be cheesy, but wow, uh... this one was incredibly lame, definitely a few steps down the ladder from the rest of the series.
So, this episode features a family at Christmas, with two feuding parents, two spoiled teens addicted to technology and slaves to their cell phones (their names are Mark and Becky) and a younger son, Timmy, who is the only one trying to get into the spirit of Christmas, to no avail. Right away Mark and Becky begin the morning by complaining about their gifts (Mark received a 4GB I-Pod instead of an I-Pad, my god kids these days are growing up to be such useless wastes of space! And Becky gets a dress that she says she can't wear because it looks like her mum bought t, again, kids growing up to be burdens on the few smart people who will be left in the future society of North America). Timmy is more than overjoyed with the 500-piece jigsaw puzzle he gets from his parents. As the episode progresses, Timmy is horrified to see an unopened gift under the tree, which bursts open to reveal an angry gremlin inside, which quickly wreaks havoc on the family, destroying all the technology (release more of these monsters so people will stop texting, PLEASE!!!) and terrorizing the three kids, but as usual in this type of show, the parents don't believe the kids 'till the last minute. The kids are also shocked to learn that mum and dad are getting a divorce. Soon the family finds themselves all trapped in the house with the monster, and they have to work together as a family to escape alive.
This episode had a few funny moments, and I loved how it pointed out that kids today are way too addicted to pointless technology like cellular phones (I'm eighteen but you couldn't PAY me to buy a cellular phone, and I'm so sick of seeing kids using them all the time!) Texting is slowly causing the degradation of society and the collapse of intelligence. No, I'm not a conspiracy nut. Anyway, it was hilarious at the end of the episode when SPOILER ALERT! The house burned to the ground and Mark, with this astonished, horrified look on his face exclaims, "it's all gone... my cell, my computer... NO!!!" The Grand Theft Auto type Santa at the end was kinda funny, too.
Unfortunately, the family was all too fake to take seriously. The parents were totally unrealistic and the mum kept calling her daughter "Beckster"... uh, yeah, I've heard Becky before, but Beckster? Calling your kid Beckster is like taping a "kick me" sign to their back in a public high school! And I find it highly difficult to believe that spending an hour in a freezing cold attic would reunite the parents from their upcoming divorce.
Timmy was adorable, and that made him the character I hated the most in the whole episode. He was one of those "so-cute-that-it's-fake" type kids, with a high-pitched baby voice and his unconvincing routine of rushing downstairs on Christmas morning as whimsical music plays in the background, praying to Santa to reunite his broken family. I'd say the most convincing characters were Mark and Becky, and even they didn't do this episode any favors.
I love The Haunting Hour, but this episode definitely wasn't a high point in the series. It was sort of like E.T. The Extraterrestrial blended up with Full House or something. I mean, I know this was a Christmas episode and all but really, this was more the fault of the characters and acting than anything else.
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