Twilight Zone – Gramma (02/14/86)

There is just not a lot to grab on to here, but that is a reflection on my deficiencies, not the segment’s.  For almost all of the run time, the only character is 11 year old George and he is very good.

The story taps into some shared but seldom discussed fears:  Fear of the otherness of really old people, fear of responsibility, and fear of helplessness.  And all are handled well.  There is some witchery involved, but the human elements are the scariest.

George is left alone with his Gramma while his mother goes to see his brother in the hospital.  The ancient, morbidly obese, intermittently senile old woman is terrifying to George under the best of circumstances.  When he is the temporary man of the house, his anxiety escalates.

I watched it, then watched it two more times with different commentaries, then read the short story.  Both the segment and the story are very good.  The short story really didn’t need to be 28 pages, but that’s typical Stephen King.

And that’s about all I have to say about that.


  • Based on Stephen King’s short story in Skeleton Crew.  I have the hard-back with a cover price of $18.95.  That would be $42 in today’s dollars so I must have bought it hugely discounted at CostCo.  I’m not sure I ever actually read this story since it was the 3rd to last story and I have a habit of bailing before I finish anthologies.
  • There is a toy monkey on the kitchen counter that looks suspiciously like the one on the cover of Skeleton Crew.

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