Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday the 13th the series - The Playhouse = favorite episode of all time!

 Friday the 13th the series - The Playhouse = favorite episode of all time!

PLOT - Micki, Ryan and Jack travel to a small town where the disappearance of several children is linked to a mysterious toy playhouse.

LOWDOWN - I honestly can't express enough how much I truly adore Friday the 13th the series. In fact I've written several posts raving about how it will and forever be my all time favorite show even though it only lasted three seasons between the years of 1987 to 1990. Hard to believe I was born the same year the second season began! For those who follow me on Instagram know every Friday I do a Throwback Friday in which I post a different photo each week from the show. Well it's November now, and as strange as this sounds it's my favorite time to watch this show. I've posted other reviews on different episodes in the past (And Now The News, Heads I live, Tails You Die, What A Mother Wouldn't Do? and Night Hunger.) Today I decided to post a brief review on my all time favorite episode...The Playhouse. Yep, besides the mulcher from season 1, this is the largest object that's been collected in the vault.

The episode tells the story of two young siblings who live with their abusive mother who's constantly out picking up different boyfriends, leaving the young boy and girl to fend for themselves. After being given a large playhouse for their tiny backyard, the two discover it's power, in which once you enter inside you flash to a much larger room inside the playhouse that physically couldn't even possibly be inside. There it gives you anything you want. It can give you toys, candy, even the ability to fly. It gives false love and comfort that these two children need badly. For several weeks they use the playhouse before they discover in order to continue it's hidden power, they must lure innocent children from the neighborhood inside and start shouting "I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!" In which the playhouse opens up, eating the children and trapping them inside it's walls. There the fun can still be continued with the children not seeing what horrible things they have done. 

With several local children missing, the neighborhood is up in arms wondering why is taking their children and why? Not long, Micki, Ryan, and Jack hear a news report dealing with the missing children and dismiss it. Not soon afterwards, after following some leads dealing with objects, they discover one of them is the very playhouse that's been behind all the children's disappearances.Taking matters into their own hands, Micki and Ryan crawl inside the tiny playhouse wondering just how exactly they can get it out of the back yard when boom! They are knocked unconscious and wake only to find themselves tied together with jump ropes with the two children grinning over them along with several clowns and bunnies with chainsaws and knifes.


I had the pleasure to meet and talk with the director of this episode Tom McLoughlin a few years ago at HorrorHound. Tom is the man behind such classics as Friday the 13th part 6 Jason Lives, and of course a movie I just reviewed a few days ago Date With an Angel. Tom went on to direct several other great episodes of Friday the 13th the series, but the Playhouse was my favorite. He told me the reason he did it was because it was a great crew and cast and he loved the story he wrote because he himself had just begun to have children at that time and found the idea of a playhouse that could do anything you wanted amazing.

I find this a great episode that deals with some heavy issues such as child abuse. I cringe everytime the mother slaps the son and he simply turns towards her and smiles and says "That didn't hurt a bit." Also the fact the children have bruises on them and really do seem to only have each other. A lot of people might think this was just a dumb horror show, but the truth be told it dealt with issues that really do happen. I love the shot of the two children holding hands as they wander the streets alone, truly showing just how alone they really are.

The playhouse itself is a wonderful set piece, I wonder who owns it...hummm...

The inside of course is meant to look cheerful but there's something just under the surface that just isn't right. Yeah some of the effects are dated, but my favorite moment is when poor Micki and Ryan wake up only to be surrounded by dozens of crazed clowns and animals with knifes and chainsaws. Sounds silly, but it worked very well. With a hopeful ending, I did find The Playhouse one of the most enjoyable episodes of the entire second season. Also doesn't hurt that John D LeMay has never looked more handsome "swoon."

5 stars!

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