Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon)

There are certain things in our childhood that make us fans of what were are today. Those shows and movies keep a special, nostalgic bond with us no matter how much better today’s versions are produced.

Such is this case with Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a children’s TV series from the 90s about a group of kids from different walks of life telling ghost stories around a campfire every week. It aired on the 9:30pm slot of SNICK, Nickelodeon’s Saturday night TV block for adolescents. This led to many of us moving on to Gilbert Gottfried’s USA Up All Night and Joe Bob Brigg’s MonsterVision to get our more adult horror fixes until we got driver’s licenses and forgot that we even had TVs on the weekends.

We continue our episodic recap of Are You Afraid of the Dark? with “The Tale of the Twisted Claw.”

Episode 1-4: The Tale of the Twisted Claw

Series Plot-line: No one in the Midnight Society has a story prepared, so David breaks one out. Not the most interesting side-plot, but it’s better than nothing.

Storyteller: David

Story Type: Magic

Segment Plot-line: After playing a prank on a creepy old woman in their neighborhood, Dougie and Kevin receive a twisted claw that is said to grant wishes. How those wishes come about gives the boys more than they bargained for.

AYAOTD: Twisted Claw (Nickelodeon)

Scene of Awesomeness: The punks that harass Dougie and Kevin have some pretty good “simplistically evil” masks.

Scene of Ridiculousness: The track coach looks like the only running he does is when the ice-cream man drives by. And aren’t track meets with real medals supposed to be held on a track, not on a grassy field with road cones?

Actors/Actresses of Note: No one. Maybe a few of the actors had bit parts in some B movies in Canada.

Episode Grade: D+

The story was easy to follow, had a nice hook and twist, and decent acting. The problem is that this was just an updated, kiddie version of “The Monkey’s Paw” story by W.W. Jacobs.

By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.