Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King

Season 1 Episode 2

Crouch End

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jul 12, 2006 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
116 votes

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Episode Summary

Crouch End
Lonnie and Doris Freeman, an American couple honeymooning in London, go to a friend's house for dinner but end up stranded in the mysterious Crouch End district. The area is strangely abandoned except for some bikers and children, and the couple soon realize they are trapped in a place where the barriers between dimensions are weak... and they may be the next to be sucked in to somewhere else.moreless

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  • A newlywed couple fall into Lovecraftian horror when they find themselves lost in Crouch End whilst looking for a colleague's dinner party.

    This is one of the worst outings in Anthology horror I have ever seen. The acting was torturous, the effects were amateur and the dialogue curved my spine in agony. Honestly, this episode (only the second so far, and hopefully it is all uphill from here) was excruciating to watch. The only reason I continued was in hopes that SOMETHING might come from all this complete drivel. I was not rewarded for my time spent.

    The director need never touch horror again and Claire Forlani should return her check after all these years. This review may sound catty and juvenile, but damn it this piece of garbage was stupefyingly awful and I really felt I should add what little insight I hold on the matter.

    My only hope is that someone reads this and steers clear of this garbled piece of refuse. I promise you, this is not fun bad horror. It's just plain old, hackneyed, TNT movie BAD HORROR.moreless
  • A classic horror encounter

    Starts slowly, with dialogue and strange little encounters and clues providing the adeshive to keep one watching to the latter parts of the show. The performances of the two main protaganists aren't brilliant, but they are convincing enough to allow the viewer to remain interested in their plight and the fate. What I found to be the true source of entertainment in this 45mins was the little clues cast about every scene, building up the picture of the mysterious Crouch End. Conversations with supporting characters, warnings, strange looking locals, wierd locations, old rumours all add together to paint a picture of what a strange place Crouch End is (I should know Ive been there is RL :D). The use of the strangers in a unfamiliar place is a well used device, especially American tourists. Yet its used to good effect. The added use of a couple very much in love and about to begin their long journey in life, so happy to be together provides a noticable character arc given the episodes ending. Are they really meant to stay together forever, given their vows? Are the events that take place, uncompleted. Should they still be together even after the strange events of Crouch End?!

    Once the couple gets to the place they want, the real nightmare starts for them. Again, I felt there was too many scenes with them two on their own - I guess though they play on their once strong relationship is the needed conflict to take one away from what is actually happening and therefore build up suspense. It is however the manifestations of the children, mutilated animals, the unseen forces of evil at work and other surprises that make the nightmare come to a glorious visual ending and seals the fate of our protagnists. I particularly liked Lonnies transformation into madness. While this episode is light on action, a good dose of drama leads to a very hefty amount of mystery that is synomnous with SK and its the journey of happiness to despair to terror that makes this episode a good example of this show.

    The only real downside for me was the irratic behaviour of the two protaganists and their seemingly inability to understand that the area they were heading into wasnt exactly normal. In reality most people would have been able to notice - then again this can be explained away with their status of tourists. Although, Lonnie being a lawyer would have found it strange that they were heading into a seemingly barely middle/working class neighbourhood, which didnt seem a natural area for another lawyer to live in.

    However, it is worth watching, if you can stand the slow laboured first act and enjoy mysterious encounters that provide mild horror.moreless
  • An American couple end up in the wrong part of London.

    Another successful adaptation of a Stephen King short story to the small screen with more than a few nods to Lovecraft.

    The actors did a good job and the London scenery was reasonbly convincing. In this type of story, the logic behind the story is not that important, it is all about the atmosphere and in this respect the story was great. The contrast between the start of the story and the later part, in the bad part of London, was very visible and the cabbie, Archibald, was fabulous. The Lovecraft references, particularly in the street names, were a nice touch.moreless
  • A good T.V. tribute to the Dark Tower and H.P. Lovecraft

    I supppose to those who are not acquainted with King's Dark Tower chronicle or H.P. Lovecraft's works, this could be construed as a throw away episode. Personally, I found it to be very interesting if only for the DT connection and the tribute to Lovecraft. Inserting a "thinny" (thin spot in the fabric between parrallel worlds) and the apparent Taheen characters was a good move. The Lovercraft references over the doorways in the alley came as a pleasant suprise. The appearance by ( at least a portion of) Cthulhu was great! I can see how some folks probably did not like it, but from my point of view, it was a very good show.moreless
  • Poor!

    This episode is 60 minutes of cliche and bad English accents. Ironically Clair Forlani (a Brit herself) plays an American in this tribute to tedium. Did the makers of this show really expect people to believe they were in London? It reminded me of the scene from Austin Powers where he remarks something about \\\'London looking nothing like southern California\\\'. The episode was full of the stereotyped \\\'lumme guvnor\\\' characters, stock shots of Big Ben and the houses of parliament and the obligatory British Bobby and red phone box. The fact that the only Brit they could manage to get was Linal Haft (Late of the BT commercials in the 80\\\'s) as the cabbie spoke volumes, even he was sending up the good old cockney cabbie. The acting was poor even from Eion Bailey and the plot seemed to slowly vanish up that tunnel they kept showing. What was the relevance of the oil/ooze? The tentacles? the wolf people? Was this hell or another dimension? What happened to Lonnie? Why were the kids there? So many questions and I supposed you could have a dozen interpretations but seriously, it\\\'s not even worth bothering about.moreless
Claire Forlani

Claire Forlani

Doris Freeman

Guest Star

Eion Bailey

Eion Bailey

Lonnie Freeman

Guest Star

Don Bridges

Don Bridges

Dark Coated Man

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Despite being supposedly set in Crouch End, London, and many references to London being made throughout the episode, the settings are very obviously Australian. When they are having breakfast, you can clearly see the Aussie yellow cabs and Melbourne's tram system. London doesn't have either. They do use the traditional London cab for the journey. The architecture is totally Melbourne, with the verandas and "hotels." Plus the real Crouch End doesn't look at all like this one, even if you allow for the thin spaces.

    • After the conversation about the lost napkin with the address, in the taxi. We can see a wide street out the side window (over Mrs Freeman's shoulder), but then we see a very narrow, one way street out the front window

    • Crouch End is an area of north London, in the London Borough of Haringey. It has a postcode of N8 and has a football club called the Vampires.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Archibald: Ma'am. You asked me if Crouch End's a nice place to live. To you it looks nice and normal. But it's not what it seems. But what I told you before is true. This world, it's like living inside a huge leather ball. And outside the ball are other dimensions. There are scuffs, nicks in the leather, that made the thin spots. And every once in a while, the leather rips... right through the thin part. It's then the other dimension pours in and breathes and lusts. Right here in Crouch End. You and your husband shouldn't be here.

    • Archibald: Well, you see, London is laid out like no other city. More like it hatched and meandered a street pattern. Then, it planned one, you see. It's because the streets were paved over barriers. Barriers between what is rational and what is not. Crouch End was built on top of a towen.
      Doris: A town?
      Archibald: No, ma'am. Uh... towen. Towen. It's a Druid word. Means a place of ritual sacrifice. Said that Crouch End rests on top of the Druid towen of Slaughter.

    • Lonnie: And how long will it take us to get from the hotel to Crouch End?
      Cabby: I'm sure I can't help you. It's a place for strangers not to go.
      Lonnie: No. (laughs) I got a friend who lives on the outskirts.
      Cabby: Here what I say, man. Don't go to Crouch End.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Differences from the original work: numerous small changes, the appearances of the snake-creature, Lonnie's fate at the end of the episode involving the cat.


    • There are many references to HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, especially as road signs while the couple are running through town: Cthulhu himself is referenced as well as Shoggoths and the demi-god Nyarlathotep. The fourth reference - R'lyeh - is the fictional city where "dread Cthulhu lie dreaming".

    • The black ooze permeating the episode refers to the Lovecraftian construct of a Shoggoth.
      "We were on the track ahead as the nightmare plastic column of foetid black iridescence oozed tightly onward through its fifteen-foot sinus; gathering unholy speed and driving before it a spiral, re-thickening cloud of the pallid abyss-vapour." (Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness, 1931)

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