Home > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 2: "And All Through The House" - 8, Tales from the Crypt: Season 1 > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 2: “And All Through The House” – 8

Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 2: “And All Through The House” – 8

Director – Robert Zemekis

Cast – John Kassir, Mary Ellen Trainor, Larry Drake, Marshall Bell, Lindsey Whitney Barry

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

This episode of Tales from the Crypt is one that I had always heard of throughout the years but was never able to watch it until recently. It combines the Christmas holiday with the horror genre, and we all know that when horror and holidays are involved we are destined for a fun time. One of the most memorable episodes of this famed horror series, “And All Through The House” delivers a truly horrific experience thanks to stout writing and direction from two notable veterans, writer Fred Dekker (writer/director; Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad) and director Robert Zemeckis. If I ever have less than 30 minutes to acquire a horror fix, this episode will be gracing my screen.

It is Christmas eve and a greedy wife kills her husband in hopes of running away with her lover and her late husband’s fortune. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of killing him right before an escaped mental patient in a stolen Santa suit decides to pay her a Christmas visit.

Much like every great episode of the series, this tale takes off right away. The opening sequence involves the wife killing her husband and dumping his body down a nearby well, all while her dear daughter waits patiently for “Santa” to arrive with her presents. Soon enough, Santa does arrive, but he does not come bearing gifts, unless dismemberment was on the wife’s Christmas list. The barrage of attacks the Santa puts the wife through is intense, from trying to break into the house to finally being let in by the daughter anxiously awaiting his arrival, the tension is unrelenting and the film rarely slows down for more than a few seconds. The initial conflict of the killer Santa trying to get inside is not the only conflict the wife faces. She soon realizes that she really screwed up when she calls the police, begging for help, only to realize that when they arrive they are going to find evidence of her husband’s murder. This only allows her a short amount of time to get rid of the evidence, all while keeping the killer Santa at bay, and as with any good horror story…she succeeds at neither.

Zemeckis is not known as a horror director given he has never really directed a devout horror film (What Lies Beneath is debatable), but he has directed several TFTC episodes and proven his ability to succeed in the genre. His atmosphere is dark and spooky and he makes the most of the few sets used for filming. The look of the Santa (portrayed by Larry Drake, of Darkman and Dr. Giggles fame) was creepy enough (the Cryptkeeper donning a Santa suit was much scarier) and his mannerisms sold the psychotic character. Zemeckis really showed his expertise in his execution of Dekker’s simple but highly tense story, giving us numerous scare sequences that appeared to have been directed by a veteran of the genre, and not the guy behind the Back to the Future trilogy, Forest Gump, and The Polar Express.

Overall, “And All Through The House” is a great TFTC episode that I recommend to those who enjoy the series and especially those of you who enjoy holiday-themed horror. The direction is solid and Zemeckis’ execution of Dekker’s tense story provides worthwhile horror in a short package.

Rating: 8/10

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