PEEP SHOW: THE LIE CHAIR (TV) (David Cronenberg, 1975) ***
This is an effectively eerie piece which has the feel of a one-act play: a couple are stranded in the countryside on a rainy night and seek shelter in house nearby. When they knock at the door, they're welcomed as the guests the elderly owner had been expecting for dinner; the maid asks them to play up to the old woman but it soon transpires that she's just as batty and deluded! In fact, the people they're supposed to be have been dead for some time!
Other weird goings-on include: when the couple ask the owner to use the phone, she tells them they don't have one however, when enquiring about an extra place at table, she tells them it's for the handyman but he phoned saying he got caught up in town because of the storm!; also, they hear the voices of children when approaching the maid's room but, on opening the door, she's all alone!
The twist is that, as if by a spell, the couple are slowly turning into the persons they're pretending to be: a particularly chilling moment occurs when the man wonders where he might find a pair of pyjamas in the room they've been assigned and his wife, who obviously had never been there before, casually indicates the exact drawer where they're kept! The last scene sees all four people having breakfast and gleefully reminiscing about the good old days! Incidentally, the title is a reference to a chair in which the hero's 'grandfather' would sit with him and make-believe to while away the time.
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