Review #14: The Tale of Apartment 214

The links:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:
It’s a post Tucker, pre Sam episode from season 3 today.  It’s a usual Midnight Society meeting, they’re discussing how much it sucks to move to a new place.  Kiki however, loves it.  I bet you can’t guess who’s telling a story tonight.  Kiki’s story is about moving, and about promises, I’m sure if they had a discussion about promises, she’d have told them all how much she loved those too.  She tosses some talcum powder onto the fire and begins.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, she calls this story…

We meet Stacy Cooper, who’s parents seem to be getting a divorce, so she and her mother move into a small apartment on the other side of town, hmm, her father must have thrown them out.  Since it’s a Kiki story, Stacy is of course African American. Because maybe Kiki just hates white people.

In an amusing moment, Stacy and her mother are getting some things from the trunk of their car, when the building manager tells them to move their car.  This spooks Stacy’s mom, who’s got it going on, and she drops a jar of pennies.  The building manager has an accent of some sort, let’s say Lithuanian.  Really I’m just looking for an excuse to post a picture of him.

He's like Santa if Santa has questionable ties to the Russian mob.

Stacy begins to have strange experiences with the apartment down the hall from them, Apartment 214.  She notices the door cracking open on it’s own and occasionally hears strange noises coming from inside.  This all culminates one night with a knock at her door.  When she sees that no one is there, she’s drawn to 214, and of course the door swings open on it’s own.  But before anything exciting can happen, Stacy’s mom, who’s got it going on, stops her and brings her back inside.

The next day, Stacy is poking around 214 and attempts to see in the peephole, like a creep.

Yeah, that's the kind of neighbor you want.

She’s interrupted by Angela, a girl from down the hall.  They bond over the fact that there aren’t many kids in the building.  Stacy asks Angela to hang out sometime, and Angela agrees, but you can totally tell she feels like she has no choice.

After catching a glimpse of someone on the balcony of 214, Stacy finally does the logical thing and knocks on the fucking door.  Remarkably, someone answers, because you know, that’s what happens when you knock on doors instead of creeping around like a peeping tom.  Turns out it’s an old woman who invites Stacy in for tea.

Her name is Madeline and used to be a painter. She lives in the apartment because her nephew got tired of taking care of her and asked her to leave.  Madeline laments over the loss of her old friends, who she had to leave behind when she moves, and Stacy bonds with her over that feeling.  Madeline suggests they visit each other often and maybe they won’t miss their old friends so much, Stacy aggress. This is such a nice episode, what could possibly be scary about this?

We’re shown a montage of the fun Stacy and Madeline have together, though it really just looks like Madeline is putting Stacy to work for her.  Apparently they’re both happy with the arrangement though, so who am I to judge.  An elderly white woman putting a young African American girl to work for free, what’s wrong with that?

When you're done serving the tea, it's back to the fields with you!

One day, Madeline makes Stacy promise to visit her the following day, as it’s a day she prefers not to be alone.  Stacy promises she will, and Madeline tells her she has a surprise for her.  I bet it’s ribbon candy, old people always surprise kids with ribbon candy.

The next day, Stacy runs into Angela and her wonderfully atrocious fringed denim jacket.  Angela has tickets to The Battle of the Bands, and wants Stacy to tag along.  Tickets to a concert full of unnamed bands, how can she say no?

That jacket it totally radical

She does try to protest as she’s promised to visit Madeline, but Angela is persistent, guilting her over the fact that they haven’t hung out yet, and finally Stacy caves and agrees to go.  As they take off in the car, we see Madeline staring longingly out at them from her window.  Stacy is a terrible person.

It's like someone kicked a puppy.

Stacy returns later that night and hears Madeline sobbing.  She enters her apartment as if she wants to fucking see you right now, Stacy.  With lightning flashing in the background, Madeline screams at Stacy, asking her why she broke her promise.

Continuing her inconsiderate ways, Stacy goes to turn on the lights, which are obviously off because Madeline prefers them that way, but nooo Stacy doesn’t give a shit about anyone but herself.  Once the lights are on, Stacy find the apartment to be completely empty.

Empowered by her newfound hatred of Stacy, Madeline moved out of the apartment in the blink of an eye.

Stacy tries to leave but can’t get out, and she pounds on the door until it’s opened by Lithuanian Landlord, who wonders what the hell she’s doing in the empty apartment.  The next day, Stacy and her mom go to ask the Landlord about Madeline, but he claims that no one has lived in that apartment for years.  Stacy doesn’t understand what happens, and allegedly feels very guilty over her broken promise.

Does that look like the face of someone who feels guilty!?

One night, Stacy is left alone and hears a knock at the door.  She looks through the peephole and sees Madeline, but when she opens the door, she’s disappeared.  This causes Stacy to go investigate Madeline’s apartment, but she finds it empty, aside from a nice painting of them that Madeline did.

Well, it looks like one of them cared about the friendship.

When Stacy stops looking at the picture she realizes all the furniture is back in the apartment, and Madeline begins backing her down and telling her off for breaking her promise.  Madeline informs Stacy that she didn’t want to be alone that day because it was the anniversary of the day she died.  Gee, that’s certainly macabre.  Stacy feels the apartment and heads back to her own, but Madeline isn’t letting up.  She slips a note under the door asking why she broke her promise.  She then also appears on the balcony, scary the living hell out of Stacy.  Madeline is not fucking around.

Oh yeah, lock the old woman outside in the rain, that's a classy move Stacy.

Stacy ends up again talking to the Lithuanian Landlord, who insists no one lives in 214 because he can’t rent it, as every time he tries, people get scared.  This is of little comfort to Stacy.  Things get worse when her dog wanders into 214 and she must go in after him.  This of course leads to another encounter with Madeline, but when Stacy tells her that she was just trying to make a new friend in Angela, Madeline stops being a crazy old lady ghost and returns to being a…normal old lady ghost, because apparently it’s important to make new friends.

Stacy and her mom end up moving into 214, and all is well.  Though I assume Stacy’s mom, who’s got it going on, thinks her daughter is insane for talking to people who aren’t there.  It’s probably also the reason her dad never comes back.

The End

Pissed off Madeline scared the crap out of me as a kid, and I am not too proud to admit that.  The Tale of Apartment 214 is a memorable one because of it’s excellent pacing and the fact that crazy old lady ghost is terrifying.  We just did 3 reviews involving ghosts in a row, and the creepiest one of the three is an innocent looking old woman, by far.  214 plays out like a G rated horror movie, which is what most Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes should shoot for.  There’s a good amount of tension here, something that is definitely missing in a lot of episodes.  The air is kind of let out at the end when Madeline is so easily calmed down, but her all her haunting scenes up that point were really well done.  The moral of the story is of course, don’t piss off the elderly, especially the dead ones.


One thought on “Review #14: The Tale of Apartment 214

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

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