The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 5

The Howling Man

Aired Unknown Nov 04, 1960 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

out of 10
161 votes
  • Capturing Evil

    This is another one of my favorate episode because it makes you both think and turns your blood cold in the end. What was interesting about this story was it really took on a rather phylosophical concept.

    Everything in this tale was well constructed from the gothic castle structure, the lighting and rain with it, and that howling sound that I'll admit sends a chill down my spine everytime I hear it. These things really help give the story a forboding quality and a sense of doom.

    We see a dynamic between both Brother Jerome (play brilantly by the late John Carradine), scholar David Ellington, and the Devil inbetween. David Ellington is obviously a man grounded in reality, ethical and has little belief and faith in extitencial spiritual forces beyond him and the earth. Jermone is a man from a much different world, from his clothing and custom it looks like he was from a time long gone, where beliefs in existencial spirtiual forces are real. We see David's conversations with both the Devil and Jerome. The Devil we see is disguised as some poor sod in a cage. He gives Daivid all off his facts, his story seems believable but rather unreliable, he seems to be in the dark a lot and if you notice he seem to look a different direction with his eyes sometimes when he talks as if he isn't giving all the facts. Brother Jermome though in the story is the real one telling the truth and strangely you believe him because his voice has real conviction in what he says. David's schetisms is easy to emphise with I mean if I ever see people where the clothing and look the way Brother Jermome does I might think they could be crazy, and that's part of the point in the story.

    What we see are themes of the problem with realistic modern day thinking, how clinging to what we see, hear, and touch and completely accept it we become blind to certain other truths in life that we may be unable to see, touch, and hear but it exists all the same. As well as the phylosiphical problem with evil it is an ongoing force that conninously exists and takes many forms of destruction, despite our efforts we can only stop or slow this force down but can never fully capture or destroy it, it is a part of life that refuses to be denied.

    David's sceptism of course is his undoing and comes down to probably one of the most chilling moments in the Twilight Zone when we see a gradual transformation the devil in full form and realize from the characters eyes and physical features that David has truely released a force of evil.
    And the ending gives us chills because despite David's sucessful efforts they gain him only brief victory because we see his housekeeper also falls victim to sceptism.

    They say that the cruelist trick the Devil pulled was to say he does not exist, and then he suddenly disapeared never to be seen by the human eye.