For those of you suffering through this first season of NOS4A2 with me, I have some good news to share:
We actually got about 15 seconds of something spooky this week!
I know! Crazy, right? It only took us seven weeks, but we have finally seen something disturbing enough to warrant calling this show a “horror series”. Following their example, of course, I’m going to make you wait until the end of the article to go over it.
We saw two instances this week of Manx’s children using telephones. You see, after Jolene (please don’t take my man) messed up the Wraith really bad like last week, Manx has been out of touch and hasn’t been back to see his kids in a long time. They’re wondering where he’s at, so they call Vic and ask.
As any good spooky telephone call should be, its ring is mysteriously only heard by Vic. She walks downstairs, landline buzzing, but her mom doesn’t hear. Later in the episode, she hears a payphone wailing in a bar, but no one else notices. Apparently, these kids only know how to call landlines, ensuring that they would never be able to get a hold of 90% of their intended call recipients.
They are hungry, and their father (Manx) is missing. Vick knows that he is all old and stuff, trying his best to get the Wraith back up and running, but she doesn’t tell them. Smart move on her part. If paranormal children with dental problems ever called me at a bar and ask me about a scary guy who abducted them, I’d probably lie, too.
The kids know that she is lying, so they then begin to taunt her with some really socially regressive rhymes. They tell her that young motherhood is in her future, but there won’t be any man to wed her. Big whup, kids. It’s 2019, why should Vic need a man to marry her to raise a child? You really cut her to her core, you dummies.
Manx finds his way to a general store where he phones his old pal Bing. He instructs the incestuous oaf to come pick up the wraith and drive it to Nebraska where the old woman (who he met years before, stealing her grandchild away to Christmasland) can fix the Wraith. She recognizes them as soon as he arrives, placing a call to Sherriff Bly up in Iowa as she tries to stall the dastardly duo.
After fixing the car, she watches as Manx transforms back into his handsome self, and he kills her for being an unfit mother. An “Old Bitch”, in his terms. If she really wanted to stall them until the police came, why the hell did she fix his car in the first place? Why didn’t she reach into the Wraith’s engine and pull out some important things? Why in the name of all is good in the world would she ever give him an actually functioning water pump? As we’ve seen in the past two weeks, the car is tied to his health and life, but it’s not like the car is Christine, or anything. It doesn’t regenerate itself. It’s literally just an old hunk of junk that can be destroyed by some Illinois potholes. None of it makes sense, but she made those decisions, nonetheless.
The police arrive to find the old woman dead on the ground. Bing is scared, but Manx is calm as a cucumber. You see, the police couldn’t see the Wraith. They were completely unaware that an ancient car with two men inside were mere feet away from the cooling corpse of the junkyard lady. Apparently, according to Manx, they weren’t invisible, just unnoticeable. This is something new the writers pulled out of their backsides seven hours into the show, but whatever. The two killers drive away, with a new destination in mind after finding Bly’s card on the old woman’s person.
In Iowa, Maggie wakes up from a pain-killer-induced pass out to find that Bly is missing. On his squad car, there’s a note informing her that he has been taken to Christmasland. In the snowy lands of forever-jolly, Manx opens the gates and goes inside with the Sherriff in the trunk of the Wraith.
Here we go, folks! This is the 15 seconds of spooky we’ve all wasted our lives waiting for! As he gets the helpful policeman out of his trunk, he is suddenly surrounded by the dozens of children Manx has abducted to Christmasland. They are hungry, you see, and they want to play a game. The game is called “Scissors for the Drifter”, and apparently, they are very good at it. As they surround the doomed man of the law, they draw scissors out of their garments, and attack. They take him to the ground, stabbing and slashing him until his blood stains the snowy ground of the festive fairgrounds. They start to consume him, tearing his flesh from the bone and gobbling it up as if it were the finest Roast Beast in all of Whoville.
This brief moment of brutality isn’t enough to save the episode, but it does give us a small glimpse of what the show could be if they stopped stretching it for time and extra seasons. Give us more of this, AMC! As horror fans, we want blood, we want fear, we want the destruction of souls. As the children consume Sherriff Bly, one little girl stands by Manx and says, “I have missed you, Father”. This is pretty dumb, but it does at least show a glimmer of motive for Manx and company. IS this little one actually his daughter, from long ago? Did he create this place to help her? Either way, it’s still pretty boring and would have worked decently as a 40-minute episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? back in the 90’s.
NOS4A2 airs every Sunday night on AMC. Keep your eyes on Nightmare on Film Street as we continue to recap each episode and give you the latest and greatest horror news available on the web. While you’re at it, join our Facebook group, Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street and let us know what you think!