Review #5: The Tale of The Hatching

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Part 1-

Part 2-

Part 3-

We open with David staring into the campfire as the rest of the Society arrives.  They seem to imply David can’t do anything by himself and must want something if he came early and made the fire.  David seems particularly moody, but he was always the emo kid of the group.  Turns out David is upset because his family moved across town and he had to change schools and wah wah wah, no one likes him or understands him. See? Emo.  The rest of the Society is correct to ridicule him.  In fact, we should all join in, just look at his unibrow!

He kind of looks like Shawn Hunter's dimwitted, less attractive brother.

Of course David has used his problems as the basis of a story, because this is how kids in Canada deal with their problems, and soon he’s reaching into the magic bag full of chalk dust and making the flames pop.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, he calls this story…

We meet Augie and Jasmine, who’s parents are dumping them in a boarding school while they go away on business.  Augie is your prototypical nerd and Jasmine is too cool for this, or presumably any school.

Lisa's skateboarding with some cool kids...and she looks like Blossom!

Soon after they enter the school, their parents hear screaming and follow it to a room where a girl seems to be waking up from a nightmare, surely confused as to why there are two strangers standing over her.  Two staff members arrive and rush her off to the infirmary for a fever, while some strange sound comes out of the intercom to signal a class change.  Boarding schools are too good for bells, obviously.

It's okay, we're parents! They actually say that.

The family meets with the headmaster, Mr. Taylor in his office, where he explains the strange sounds as tones that are more soothing than the typical bells you’d hear in most schools.  The alarm on Augie’s watch goes off and the Mr. Taylor freaks out and begins screaming.  He passes the whole incident off as a bout of migraines, and the parents are happy with the explanation.

Ow my freakin' ears!

Augie and Jasmine have a brother/sister bonding moment over why the must stay at the school and do it for the parents, and soon their both in school uniforms, with Jasmine complaining about how she’s now a geek.  She shouldn’t worry though; her brother can’t go five seconds without saying something incredibly awkward and nerdy, so she should be fine.  Then she does the robot, so maybe not.

They head to dinner, where everyone is eating something called spunge, which they get for dessert every night.  It looks like grits, and both Jasmine and Augie decide to pass on it.  I applaud them for their ability to stand up to peer pressure, because all the other kids suck it down like it’s crack.

Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans? A My Cousin Vinny reference? Oh, I'm not proud of that.

The kids try to settle down and fit in, but they’re confused by some of the school’s odd rules, such as no video games and no music on school grounds.  That’s a shame, because Augie has one sweet walkman.

I think it's a Casio

After a few weeks, Augie and Jasmine have adapted to their new setting, though they still refuse to eat spunge.  Then one night, all the kids wake up in some sort of trance and head downstairs.

All in all we're just another grit in the Spunge

Augie and Jasmine find each other and decide to follow the other kids to find out what is going on.  The kids are all heading to a creepy basement where they all start to fertilize what appears to be a large swimming pool full of eggs.

Well that makes sense, eggs are traditionally paired with grits.

We learn that it’s the spunge that has the kids hypnotized, which just goes to show you that you should never eat strange looking food.  That’s why I don’t eat bananas.  Augie and Jasmine follow the headmaster and his wife back to their office where they talk about how their master is pleased.  Oh, they’re also revealed to be some sort of lizard people.

Or lepers, perhaps they're just lepers.

Augie and Jasmine attempt to hatch a plan, but Jasmine is captured when she goes to change her clothes.  See ladies? This is what can happen when you insist on changing your outfit all the time.  She bites her way to freedom though and the kids take off down to the basement, where they quickly end up trapped again.

Mmm, tastes like alligator. Which tastes like chicken, in case you're wondering.

Mr. Taylor and his wife explain that they’re the last members of a species who have been nurturing eggs for years, and soon they’ll hatch and populate the world with more lizard people.  We also learn that all the kids at the school will be eaten by these lizard people babies, which is probably going to get the school some really negative reviews.

Not to mention the effect it's going to have on the standardized test scores.

Augie and Jasmine, for all the trouble they’ve caused, will be fed to the master, who looks like this.

Perhaps the Power Rangers can rescue them and toss it into some poorly constructed cardboard cityscapes.

Of course Augie has a plan, and using his sweet walkman, and a stolen speaker, blasts the monster with high frequency sound in the form of generic rock music.  It kind of sounds like when Chet Steadman throws out his shoulder in Rookie of the Year.  I’m pretty sure for the rest of this project, I’ll never come up with a more obscure reference than that.

What? Someone is talking about me?

The music causes the master to explode, but I couldn’t get a good screen grab, so you’ll to see it. you’ll have to watch the episode, it’s towards the end of part 3.  But it looks like a carnival ride full of Nickelodeon slime blowing up.  The aftermath looks like this:

Please refrain from hugging Marc Summers.

In destroying the master, they also destroyed all the eggs and freed the students from their trance.  We see the girl who had nightmares at the beginning of the episode, and Jasmine tells her that she’ll never have nightmares again.  Why make such a bold statement Jasmine? You can’t guarantee that.

We then pan through several broken eggs before settling on one that is still intact, and it begins to shake.

I'm sure it'll grow up to lead a long and productive life.

The End….or is it?

Yes it is.  What chance does that lizard creature have of surviving? As soon as it hears something high pitched it’s going to explode.  These things are just slightly less vulnerable than those aliens from Signs who’s weakness was water.

Best episode of the series? Absolutely not.  I’m not even sure I’d count it among the good episodes.  It does have one of the first big creature effects seen in AYAOTD, but that just comes off as amusingly bad now.  You never really get the feeling that the kids are in any danger, and it’s pretty apparent from the beginning that some high pitched sound will be used to defeat the monsters.  Why do I like this episode?  Because Illya Woloshyn plays Augie and I remember him fondly from The Odysessy, a really obscure Canadian show that sometimes air on the Sci Fi channel when I was younger.  Ryan Reynolds and Devon Sawa were both in The Odysessy too!  Well look at that Mr. Steadman, you’ve been surpassed.

By the way, Chet Steadman throwing his arm out sounds like this:

You’re welcome.


5 thoughts on “Review #5: The Tale of The Hatching

  1. Pingback: Are You Afraid of the Dark? Review Index « My Rotting Brain

    • Na in the episode they eat Spunge as “Dessert”, they eat normal food otherwise, keep in mind the kids are normal kids who get controlled by the lizard people.

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