Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. I’m here with a Christmas gift, or a late Chanukah present, or something for Kwanza, if that’s your thing. Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who reads this, because without an audience, I’d never write. This blog has been active since October and has recently gone over 1,000 views, and I can’t help by smile when I think about that. I also love the fact that people have reached my site by searching the terms “Nicolas Cage I’m a fuckin retard man” “Nicolas Cage, fucking retard” “Nic Cage black it out” “Dragged in the street until you piss blood Nic Cage” “Laughing in the dark chocolate pudding” and “Circus carny.” All my dreams are coming true.
And with that, it’s time for a present. I couldn’t think of a better gift than the kind of review that brought so many of you to this site. Merry Christmas, here are your links:
We start with Gary, Kiki and Frank, who’s played by Jason Alisharan, friend of the site, looking at the next article down for an interview with him., sitting around the campfire. Soon Kristin, David and Betty Anne arrive and shine flashlights in their faces, while questioning whether they really know them at all.
Gary’s not having any of it then, and insists they begin the story. I forget how sexually repressed Gary seemed before Sam arrived. Betty Ann keeps harping on about strangers and how you never really quite know everything about a person, but the mood’s already been shattered by Gary. So Betty Anne tosses some crushed candy canes on the fire and begins. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, she calls this story…
We meet Karen and Billy, siblings that live on the twelfth floor of an apartment building. But this isn’t a story about the twelfth floor, no, this is a story about the thirteenth floor, which is abandoned, and is where they go to play. How terrifying.
Early on, the crux of Karen and Billy’s relationship is established. Billy is awesome at sports, Karen is not, and sports are pretty much all they play. Unsurprisingly, this leads to a fair amount of whining on Karen’s part. We get a humor display of Karen’s ineptitude, before she calls Billy as “zipperhead” and reminds him that she’s adopted. She then comments on how her adoption is a convenient excuse for her lack of sports skills. Generally that’s the kind of thing that works better if you keep it to yourself, Karen.
There’s suddenly some bizarre flashes of light, followed by the roof beginning to shake, and the kid’s decide it’s a good time to leave. They wait for the elevator to arrive, but instead of their usual friendly elevator operator Gus, they meet this fellow.
He introduces himself as Leonid, and the children suddenly feel compelled to take the stairs. I can’t say I blame them, by the looks of him, Leonid’s probably changed the elevator music to A Flock of Seagulls. Later that night, as Karen is asleep in her bed, her TV turns on, and a strange man greets her. He tells her that he’s come for a little visit, but Karen simply dismisses it as a dream.
The next day, Billy and Karen try to take the elevator to the 13th floor, but Leonid informs them that the new tenants are fumigating. Billy laments that the 13th floor is their place, displaying his lack of knowledge about real estate.
Later that day, Karen receives an unmarked invitation to “The Toy Factory” which has apparently moved in on the 13th floor. The kids show a remarkable amount of intelligence and foresight for Are You Afraid of the Dark? characters, and seems to make the connection that a toy factory built in a residential building may not be what it seems. They don’t come right out and say they think it’s a front for child abductors, but you can totally tell that’s what they’re thinking.
That night, Karen’s TV again turns on and the same strange, unblinking man as before lets her know that he’d really like her to come to the toy factory. He says she’s a very special person and it just wouldn’t be the same without her. This is the most elaborate child abduction scheme ever. Shockingly, it works, as the next morning Karen is dragging Billy up to the 13th floor to visit the Toy Factory.
They soon meet Olga, who immediately tries to get rid of Billy. Karen and Billy’s adoptive sibling bond is too strong however, and neither will leave without the other. Olga reluctantly agrees, and takes the kids to meet Raymond, who just so happens to be the guy routinely appearing on Karen’s TV.
Raymond and Olga have the kids play a game in which they have to hit buttons to match the tones that Raymond plays. The whole thing comes off like a really boring version of Simon.
Billy initially dominates the competition. After each round, however, Raymond turns a wheel and Billy begins to get more and more sluggish, until soon Karen is beating him easily. This really doesn’t send out a positive message for females, does it?
Raymond insists that Billy continues to practice, while Karen moves on to the next game. The next game has Karen strapped to a chair, while Raymond promises her that she’ll soon reach her full mental and physical potential. He then makes a box move via telekinesis. He’s just like John Travolta in that movie Phenomenon. I now apologize for reminding you of that movie.
Raymond gets Karen to move a ball with her mind, but she’s more concerned about Billy, who seems to be on the brink of passing out. Raymond explains that they’re simply simulating the atmospheric pressure of “Home” as they want to be sure Karen can survive there. As if Karen wasn’t already unnerved enough by what was happening, Raymond then removes his face.
Things only get more unsettling as Karen’s seat is raised up to a hole where more of the strange aliens are waiting. They look kind of like the Putties from Power Rangers, if the sculptor had gotten really lazy.
Karen uses her new telekinetic powers to flip switches and stop her ascent. That is just some really poor planning on behalf of Raymond and company, but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Karen attempts to rouse Billy, but finds him to be unconscious, so she decides to go and get help. Here, “go and get help” apparently means “hide in an air vent.” It’s a poor plan too, as Raymond has no trouble finding her.
And so we begin our episode’s chase scene. Don’t get too excited, it’s over in just a few moments after Karen brings down the ceiling on top of Raymond. Again, I’ve got to say, this is just really poor planning. Everyone knows that if you’re going to awaken latent telekinetic powers in a child, you’ve got to have a contingency plan in place in case anything goes wrong. Also, they’re aliens capable of interstellar travel; shouldn’t they have some sort of weapon that can subdue a teenager?
I feel like I should mention that on top of being an alien, Raymond apparently is also a robot, and is continually set to pause by Karen. It’s a strange subplot that’s never really explored.
Anyways, Karen for some reason attempts to escape via elevator. She’s apparently forgotten all about Leonid, which I’m sure, will have him listening to The Cure albums on the ride back to their home planet.
Karen escapes Leonid’s clutches and manages to get to the stair way by opening the door with her mind. Again, poor planning! This whole trip is completely irrelevant however, as she’s right back up to the Toy Factory in thirty seconds, this time dragging Billy out with her. Leonid makes one last plea for her to come with them, but she refuses. Also for some reason, Raymond’s face mask comes by on a conveyor belt.
Karen and Billy return to their apartment just in time to look out the window and see flashing lights. I guess we’re supposed to assume this is the alien spacecraft taking off. Ah, budgets. Billy and Karen sit down and begin discussing how weird their day was, when suddenly Olga pops up on Karen’s TV.
Olga explains that they were there to rescue Karen, who they had accidentally left behind ten years ago. Unfortunately, they’ve run out of atmosphere and can’t return for another ten years. Billy wonders whether or not this is a joke, but Karen doesn’t respond, I guess she’s drawing…a Blank!
Well, nothing says Christmas like an obscure joke that hinges on a reference to Dick Tracy. I’m sure that’s the kind of humor that’s bringing in the readers. The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor features some refreshingly on the ball kids. They were cautious and always keenly aware that things didn’t seem quite right. Granted, most people would have been able to see that from a mile away, but in the AYAOTD universe, this is a rare trait. I choose this episode mostly because I was reminded of it the other day. Also, it scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid. Also toys and Christmas go hand in hand, despite the fact that they never really played with any toys in The Toy Factory.
Well, I hope everyone is having a good holiday. As for what’s next here, I’m debating whether or not it would be blasphemous to do this kind of review for an episode of The Twilight Zone in celebration of the New Year’s Day marathon. So check back and see what a decide, and with a cliffhanger like that, how can you not?
Remember, follow me on twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/MyRottingBrain and hey, send me some questions for Jason Alisharan about Are You Afraid of the Dark, so I can do a follow up interview. Leave them in the comments.