Holiday Horror Guide #11–Monsters, “Glim-Glim”

The syndicated anthology show MONSTERS doesn’t seem to get the same love as its more popular companion TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, but it put out at least as many memorable episodes. One of them is the Christmas-themed “Glim-Glim,” written by renowned author F. Paul Wilson.

Survivors of an undetermined plague seek refuge in an abandoned library while upstairs an alien observer–which, thanks to MONSTERS’ limited budget, resembles a slightly-upgraded version of IT CONQUERED THE WORLD’s cucumber-creature–takes notes on the human race. It seems the otherworldly visitor may hold the key to saving humanity, if he can just get through to one of the survivors’ young daughter (Jenna von Oy, just a few years removed from her DARKSIDE Christmas episode “Seasons of Belief”).

Once it unburdens itself from its cumbersome exposition, Wilson’s teleplay delivers an intelligent and somber drama, eschewing the cheesy thrills MONSTERS usually offers. (Yet it doesn’t shy away from the visceral, featuring a surprisingly gruesome severed head.) The story’s downbeat resolution often gets it dubbed “the saddest episode ever,” and it is a poignant one, using its holiday theme to make its impact that much greater.

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