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Nightmare Fuel / The Twilight Zone (2002)

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  • The "It's a Good Life" sequel, "It's Still a Good Life". Anthony is grown up but still has the mental capacity of a child, getting pissy when the townspeople don't properly try to beat him on bowling night and, upon finding out that they're hiding secrets from him, refer to them all as "sneaky people". There's also the lovely Fridge Horror that at some point in between, Anthony married some poor woman (most likely by force), got her to sleep with him at least once (also most likely by force), and cared for his young daughter (played by Bill Mumy's real-life daughter, Liliana Mumy). Given how completely terrified the townspeople are and how they do whatever they can to please him, one can only imagine how much choice that poor girl had when Anthony fancied himself in love with her. And while Anthony really does love his daughter and never even considers using his powers against her, imagine how terrifying it must have been for his mother and the other townsfolk, watching him be the guardian of a baby.
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  • "How Much Do You Love Your Kid?": Basically, a woman sends her son off to school, only to get a call and discover that she's been chosen as a participant in a game show that kidnaps children and has the parents solve puzzles to find them again. The mother is terrified for her child's life, but no one will help her, because somehow the show is perfectly legal. It ends with the kidnapper performing an unscripted act which causes the child to be injured in a car crash, and the production crew urging the mother to shoot the kidnapper for more prize money. It turns out that the kidnapper was her husband, who took the job so they could have a steady source of income. And then she kills him and is taken to jail for homicide. It gets better (or maybe worse): the closing narration implies that she won't be convicted due to everything, including the husband's involvement and murder, being planned all along, because that's want the audience wanted.
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  • "The Placebo Effect": A guy becomes so utterly obsessed over a fictional disease he read about that he somehow manages to catch it, leading to a massive haemorrhage with blood gushing out of every orifice. Before dying he spreads it to the rest of the hospital. The doctor manages to cure him with a placebo... but in the process, she causes him to worry that a meteor hit the Earth, so he mentally starts a second Ice Age.
  • "Sunrise": In it, we see a group of teenagers believe that they disrupted an Aztec artifact and caused the sun to be blocked out, with the only way of saving the planet to sacrifice one of themselves. Eventually, they pick the girl who disrupted the artifact to begin with and stab her to death. And then it turns out that the whole thing was meaningless and that the sun was just blocked by a stellar cloud... a stellar cloud that just happened to show up out of nowhere after they disrupted the artifact.
  • "Evergreen": A family moves to a gated community. Over time, the family drugs their daughter, and forces her to conform to society. She learns that those who don't conforms are sent to Arcadia Military School. She looks it up and discovers it doesn't exist, and soon learns that the people there die for not conforming. She tries to save a friend of hers who is being sent there, but fails. She tries to escape with her sister, but gets ratted out and sent to the military school, which turns out to be a place where troubled kids are turned into fertilizer.
    • Even worse, the daughter didn't even seem that bad. Besides the fact she smoked, had tattoos, and had a bit of an attitude, she came off as a pretty decent person otherwise. She was a good friend to the fellow troubled youth she met, and when she discovered the truth, she tried to save her sister as well. Her family comes off as worse than her as they drugged her, took away everything she held precious, the sister ratted her out for trying to escape, and showed little remorse as she was turned into fertilizer.
    • This practice actually still exists in places such as Pakistan and India as honor killings.
  • "Harsh Mistress": The guitar has a perpetual cycle. It gives the user great musical talent that makes them famous, gets jealous when the user falls for someone, kills them, then becomes If I Can't Have You... and drives the user to insanity and they die in an accident mistaken for suicide.
  • "The Monsters Are On Maple Street": This Setting Update is full of Paranoia Fuel and Nightmare Fuel, courtesy of its Setting Update... so who is more of a monster for setting you up for a paranoia-fueled lynching? An Alien Invasion scout party or a United States Government Conspiracy, neither of which cares about your death other than how it provides tangible data for their theories? You decide!
  • "The Lineman" has a man (played by Jeremy Piven) get struck by lightning and gains the ability to read other's minds. In realizing the power he now possesses, he decides to use it to his advantage. By the end of the episode, however, he is driven mad by this new ability and wishes to be free of it and climbs up a telephone pole to get electrocuted again. This time, though, he wakes up in the emergency room with the medical staff spending three and a half hours trying to revive him. He discovers to his horror that he's still crazy, he still has the ability to hear the thoughts of others and believes that the staff is trying to kill him.
  • "Future Trade" has a stressed out, working-class man, frustrated by his place in life, get an opportunity from a mysterious store to switch lives with a successful and wealthy man with a beautiful wife. Upon getting it and after ignoring the apparent "catch" to the trade and him being asked if he wanted to change back, he refuses. Only then did he discovers that his lot in life is much worse: his wife is carrying on an affair with a deliveryman, who hopes to get her and his money all to themselves. Deciding on this, the wife then poisons him and the last shot of the episode is of the boyfriend dumping his body in the swimming pool, leaving it to be seen as an accident or a suicide.
  • "The Executions of Grady Finch" has a death row inmate about to be executed for the murder of a convenience store clerk in spite of his and his lawyer's repeated claims of innocence. His execution was attempted three times, each with failure; the first time, he got really sick and passed out while in the execution chambers, the second time, another situation happened in the prison, delaying it and finally as he was in the chair being electrocuted, the wiring failed and he survived unscathed. He's soon granted a new trial and found not guilty. Then after his trial, the slain man's son tries to shoot him, only for the gun to jam and he confesses to his lawyer in private that he did kill the man, saying how he didn't want to shoot him, but he refused to give him the money. Lastly, at his press conference as he celebrates his "redemption", the voice of a woman that has been heard saying "Not yet!" throughout the episode during all of his failed deaths finally shouts "Now!" as a large, concrete statue of an angel falls on him and kills him. What was the name of the statue? Nemesis, The Goddess of Vengeance. Even though the guy definitely had it coming, the horror of seeing a man being crushed like a bug (and keep in mind, he wasn't a small guy at 6'3") cannot be understated.
  • "The Pharaoh's Curse" features Mario Devlin trying to discover the secret to the titular magic trick, in which two participants are suspended in spinning glass coffins and switch places, a feat that is nearly impossible for traditional illusions like mirrors and trapdoors. He goes to the trick's current "owner," Harry Kellogg, who takes him on as a protégée. Harry announces his retirement and agrees to perform the trick as a final bow. Too late does Mario realize that the trick is real magic, and Harry uses it to stay forever young.


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