Cosmic Rock

Hammer House Of Horror Episode 4 - Growing Pains


Ghastly greetings groovy ghoulies! Your archeologist of anthology horror is back with another Rev-Elations. Vacation in Florida was wonderful. Though limited in the summer, I took in all the horror I could.


 We first went to Universal Studios (which is pretty well my favorite place on earth), I took my daughter to the Monster Cafe for her first time and she loved it. The classic Universal props on display there are a must see for any true horror fan. Her favorite was the bride of Frankenstein.  I also recommend the horror make up show and museum. There are some iconic pieces of horror movie history housed there and my reaction is jaw dropping every time I get that close to true magic. The energy in that room is unbelievable.

I also rode the Mummy coaster (a must on any trip.), King Kong Skull Island, got the signature picture with Jaws (RIP Jaws - The Ride) and was actually lucky enough to run into Beetlejuice himself in the park (Bring back the Graveyard Review Universal!!!), and of course did the full Harry Potter experience in both parks.

We are also now less than 6 months away from Halloween and my spirit is already poking through my skin in anticipation of going back for Halloween Horror Nights. Disney is of course, more family friendly but I still got in The Haunted Mansion (one of the great modern marvels of the United States!) , Expedition Everest and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, not to mention taking in the mildly horror/fantasy themed "Fantasmic" show at Hollywood Studios.

After a wonderful 10 days of R&R (rest and relaxation? Pshhhh more like running around and rides. You walk an average of 10 miles a day there.), reality beckons. It is time to get back at it and when that means watching more Hammer House Of Horror, that can't be a bad thing.


We are now 4 episodes in and the show has definitely given us a mixed bag but all with something to enjoy. I'm not going to go into excruciating detail on this episode. Overall it was my least favorite but there is a bizarre charm about the whole sale strangeness of the story and it has some truly creepy moments.



The episode starts as young William Morton (played by Christopher Reilly) sneaks into his father's lab late at night and ingests a strange powder which kills him. His parents find him as he's taking his dying breaths and they are obviously horrified and we hit the sweet HHOH opening credits with that bitchin' soundtrack. (Can someone do a remix of that, please? It would fit right in with return of the synth retro 80's craze currently.)


The parents are Laurie and Dr Terrance Morton ( Played by Barbara Kellerman, most famous for BBC version of Chronicles Of Narnia and Gary Bond of Zulu & Anne Of the Thousand Days). They get over William's death pretty quickly and adopt a replacement....I mean new son, named James. The Mortons have a sufficient knack for attracting creeptastic children. William wasn't exactly Mr Charisma, and James (played by Matthew Blakstadt of Young Sherlock Holmes fame) who has to be at least 14 is intentionally wooden and stone faced.


A series of supernatural or strange phenomena begin to occur around the arrival of James. Laurie's car inexplicably loses control, They see maggots on their steak at dinner, they find one of Terrance's rabbits disembowled, and when James takes their pet Rottweiler "Nipper" for a walk to William's grave he goes apeshit and then goes and destroys Terrance's lab. He then bits Mrs Morton and they have to put Nipper down.


It is implied that the parents' negligence was partly responsible for William's death. They find a diary entry from him that reveals he was a quite unhappy child and felt invisible to his parents who wanted to save the entire world, but ignored him.


This episode never really answers the questions as to what is going on definitively, though I drew that William was behind all of it. They see his ghost who again lays the guilt trip on them that they had no time for him. Clearly James is somehow involved as well as he's just as much of a creep, but I kind of just think William was possessing him.


William's ghost goes on to wreak more havoc, killing another rabbit and stealing one of Terrance's prized plants. Terrance chases after him but has an unfortunate fall and breaks his neck. William's apparition vanishes and we find James laying by his grave, a wreath grows on the grave "For all the unloved", and James and Laurie walk off hand in hand.


The gags all worked, it had some truly eerie moments and the kids both had a real Children Of The Damned vibe. A lot of the major plot points were left ambigous and that will drive a lot of people crazy. I definitely appreciated that they were trying something totally off the wall but overall the disjointedness left me scratching my head. Still worth a watch for where it hits.


Next week we find out what happens when 6 strangers are placed with a curse, from a central African doll. We find out what happens we people stop being polite and start getting MURDERED!!

I cannot wait to revisit "Charlie Boy", one of the true treasures of the HHOH series. Next week, right here on Re-Elations. You can follow my online exploits on Twitter and Instagram at @dragonsrejects, or