It's not often that an episode stays with you, lurking in the corner of your mind, shouting out voicelessly to you in idle moments of your otherwise humdrum day, but this is one episode. It leaves an imprint. It abides. The tone is set for this horror tale with SF overtones by the control voice speaking of the perfection of evil. That is, that evil cannot afford to make a mistake -- and so the voice fades as a mysterious man delivers a gift to wedding party. Upstairs, curiosity gets the better of the groom, who opens the gift. He goes mad and the next scene is some years later, where history threatens to repeat itself. Two young lovers have met at a justice of the peace to wed; the tension in the atmosphere is nearly unbearable; the acting and atmosphere are top-notch. Worry clouds the expressions of the runaway underage lovers; the justice of the peace is a conflicted, careful man; his wife is a scheming malevolent soul. It is she who arranges for the newlyweds to spend the night at the house with the gift. The house has fallen into ruin and decay; its sole inhabitant, the woman who still expects her husband to return at any minute. Time has not been kind to her body, nor her mind; she is now quite mad and morbid, keeping her wedding dress at the ready and marking the bridal suite with petrified flowers. I cannot emphasize enough how utterly chilling and disturbing her scenes are!
I will not spoil the ending, but the twists and the turns keep coming as we find out what resides in the box marked "Do Not Open Until Doomsday" and whether or not evil prevails.
This is a true classic.