The Monsters Are on Maple Street
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|"The Monsters Are on Maple Street"|
|The Twilight Zone (2nd revival) episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Debbie Allen|
|Teleplay by||Kay Reindl
|Story by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||February 19, 2003|
"The Monsters Are on Maple Street" is episode #32 of the science fiction television series 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone. The episode, a remake of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" from the original series, was first broadcast on February 19, 2003, on UPN.
|“||Maple Street, U.S.A. A suburban community on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. But in a few moments everything will change for the residents of Maple Street as they discover that the monsters they fear may already be among them.||”|
The neighborhood community group for Maple St. is meeting at Tyrone's home. Some of the parents are absent to attend their children's soccer game. The group is just finishing its meetings when Phyllis, whose husband is in the Army, notes that the new family that just moved in has put up an unsightly chain fence. Dylan, a jock-type parent, thinks the family is weird because they did not put up an American flag on Veterans' Day. The intellectual Will Marshall seems amused by the pettiness of the whole thing. They are interrupted when all of their cell phones go off simultaneously. The Game Boy belonging to Dylan's son Jason goes dead. A few seconds later there is a piercing noise, the ground shakes, and every window in the house shatters.
The community meets on the streets to try to figure out what is going on. Phyllis mentions that her husband said there was increased terrorist activity overseas, and Dylan thinks they are under attack. Tyrone and another neighbor, Simon, try to go to the soccer field to find the other parents. However, their car does not start. People wonder if the community was hit with an electromagnetic pulse.
Dylan decides to go confront the new family and Will insists on going with him. The family does not answer the door and everyone goes home. Will is still smug about the whole thing and his wife Holly gives him a hard time, accusing him of being a snob. He admits that he did not want to move here and does not think much of any of their neighbors.
Night falls and Dylan starts riling up the neighbors against the new family, insisting they are terrorists. Will tries to calm everyone down but Dylan is sick of his condescending attitude and comes at him with a broken bottle. Will manages to fend him off but they are interrupted when someone drives a SUV past the group and to the new family's house. The lights in the house come on as the SUV pulls into the garage.
Dylan thinks that proves they are terrorists but Will notes that there is no reason they would draw attention to themselves by having electricity. Dylan pulls out his gun but Will convinces him to stay there while he talks to the new family. After a few minutes, he emerges and tells everyone that the father works the night shift at an electrical firm and has told his family not to open the door to anyone when he is not there. When Will informs his neighbors he told the family to stay inside because of the hostile atmosphere, Dylan accuses him of being a terrorist and prepares to shoot him. Will points out they all have something that makes them look guilty, and challenges Dylan to shoot him. Dylan gets hold of himself… but then his son notices a spy camera on their house. The neighbors search their houses and find other cameras. Connecting the new father's job at an electrical firm with the cameras, the mob attacks the house. Dylan and Jason throw torches through the window and shove Will to the ground when he tries to stop them. The entire neighborhood bursts into the property of the house as the new family cowers in fear from within.
In a nearby van, two government soldiers are watching the situation on a hidden camera and studying the outcome. Apparently, the American government cut off the electricity, water and such (presumably causing the shock with an electric magnetic explosion device). It's all part of some experiment to see how people behave in times of crisis—even over something as trivial as a rolling blackout during war-time. They note how long it took for the neighborhood to descend into chaos and worry about the civilians panicking so easily. They note that they've been doing research on this and all the neighborhoods they've tested have reacted the same way. This time, it only took five hours. And America itself may be in jeopardy if the United States divide against one another so quickly. The final scene shows the monitor as the angry neighbors continue to throw flares at the new family's house.
|“||It isn't enough for a sole voice of reason to exist. In this time of uncertainty we're so sure that villains lurk around every corner that we will create them ourselves if we can't find them. For while fear may keep us vigilant, it's also fear that tears us apart. A fear that sadly exists only too often outside the Twilight Zone.||”|
Whereas the original episode centered around an alien invasion, the remake is more about the fear of terrorism in America and how it drives people apart. When the power surge happens in the remake, it is not caused by aliens but by the government, specifically the army, experimenting on how small towns react to the fear of terrorism. In the end, the neighborhood takes out its anger and frustration on a family who never left their house after the power surge occurred, thinking that they caused it since they still have power.
- "The Monsters Are on Maple Street" at TV.com
- "The Monsters Are on Maple Street" at the Internet Movie Database