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'The Haunting Hour' recap: Home is where the heart is

Season 4 | Episode 3 | “My Old House” | Aired Oct 11, 2014

As a kid, moving can be tough. You don’t want to leave your friends, your school, your neighborhood, and your house. Change is hard, and you just want things to stay the way they are. What if your new room isn’t as big as the one you had before? What if the kids at your school are mean? It’s emotional leaving behind a house you’ve lived in for so long. And maybe it’s hard for the house to let go of the owners it’s loved for so long, too. Maybe the house isn’t ready to say goodbye yet…

Alice (Olivia Steele-Falconer) doesn’t want to move away, but her parents have decided to. So, they’re packing up their house. On a wall in her room, the light fixtures and vent are arranged in a way that looks like a face. As she broods, she creepily caresses the “face” and says, “I’m never gonna leave you.” Alice tries to convince her parents not to leave, saying the house will be sad. As her and her family drive away, we see the light fixture “eyes” turn on and see that she’s right.

At the new house, Alice lies in her bed, staring longingly at a picture of her and the old house, as if they’re the best of friends. Her mom comes in and tries to hang a picture on the wall, but Alice rips it down, saying this isn’t her home. Her dad offers to take a picture of her and the new house to replace her old picture, and based on the look she gives him, he may as well have told her he just murdered her mother with his bare hands. She has a strong and unhealthy attachment to the old house.

The old house can feel her missing it, and that night it calls to her. The next morning she convinces her dad to let her walk to school, and she instead goes to the old house. It’s locked, but she asks it to let her in, and it happily obliges. She is not at all surprised by the door moving independently of anyone.

She goes to her room and talks to the face on the wall, happy to see it again. Meanwhile, her mom gets a call that Alice didn’t come to school and begins to panic. Alice tells the house that she knew it was alive, meaning this is the first time she’s seen evidence of its sentience. At this point, you’ve gotta wonder why in the world she would’ve already thought the house was alive. She proceeds to show the house some things from her childhood, like her first tooth and A LOCK OF HER HAIR FROM WHEN SHE WAS A BABY.

Maybe this is standard practice in Canada (where the series is shot), but it sure came off as creepy here. It’s clear that Alice should be institutionalized, and perhaps she’s imagining this entire scenario in her delusion. The house responds to her “friendly” gestures by turning the fireplace on and communicating with her through light flashes. Her parents show up, ruining the moment. She hides in a closet as they search the house for her, though not very thoroughly since they never even try to open the closet she’s in.

She listens to her mother break down and sob, terrified that her baby girl is missing. She continues to hide like it’s no big deal, indicating she cares more about this house than she does her parents. Her parents leave, and she comes back out to the fireplace. They reminisce about the good times they’ve had, and Alice realizes finally that she loves her parents more than the house.

Alice watching her mom break down in tears

Alice watching her mom break down in tears

She tells the house it’s time to say goodbye, but the house is not OK with that and locks her in. As she struggles to pull the door open, the light fixture eyes come off the wall, exposing tendrils behind them. They make their way down the stairs and turn into a snake-looking face. Alice looks up at it, screaming, and it attacks her.

Some time later, a new family is moving into the house. A teenage girl walks into Alice’s room, which will now be hers. She tells her parents there’s a face on the wall, and her mom laughs, saying she noticed how the light fixtures and vent look too. The girl says that’s not what she’s talking about, and as the house says, “Welcome!”, we pan over to the opposite wall where Alice’s face is trapped!


R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour airs Saturdays 4/3C on The Hub Network.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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