Due to a storm in our area, a bad signal prevented me from seeing the previous episode, but I sure hope it was as good as "SPOOKED" turned out to be. Co-written by creator Mick Garris with Matt Venne, (who adapted the jaw-dropping PELTS from F. Paul Wilson's short story), and directed by Brad Anderson (SESSION 9 and the MASTERS episode "Sounds Like"), this was a perfect showcase for all the talent involved, but most especially for the underrated Eric Roberts. It's a terrific performance that makes you wonder why he isn't working a lot more.
All the themes that Anderson loves to work with are here: alienation, family dysfunction and tragedy, a deep exploration of the dark side of the human soul. The plot will not be unfamiliar to most avid horror fans, but the execution is amazing to say the least.
Roberts plays Harry, a disgraced cop whose heavy hand with his suspects leads to the death of a creepy kidnapper (Jack Noseworthy.) Years later, Harry, now a sleazy P.I. specializing in divorce cases (and occasionally shaking down his clients for more money), takes a case from a desperate woman (Cynthia Watros) out to prove her husband's infidelity. But rather than have him followed, she pleads with Harry to stake him out at their home, using the abandoned house across the street as his lookout post.
Well, one look at the house across the street tells you that Really Bad Things are going to happen, which they do. But it's HOW those things happen and what they reveal about Harry and everyone involved that makes this story different.
Larry Gilliard Jr. and Watros are also great as Harry's assistant and his new client, respectively. But much in the same way that director Anderson was able to get outstanding performances from Peter Mullen in SESSION 9 and Chris Bauer in SOUNDS LIKE, he puts it on the line for Roberts, who does not let him down. Harry is not so much a "good guy gone bad" as someone who is irreparably damaged, and the fact that he makes us empathize with him although he's dead-wrong about the methods he uses to "make things right", lends a human touch in a tale where deeds are being perpetrated by forces that are anything but.
"SPOOKED" has definitely convinced me to stick with this series for now.