The season finale of True Terror with Robert Englund approaches three tales that harbor “Bad Omens” for all involved. Here’s what fans can expect.
True Terror is an interesting anthology series, in which Robert Englund‘s host nibbles away at hammy voice-over narration and imbues his host segments with more than a little theatrical relish. (In other words, what you’ve grown to expect from the man who’s essayed many an iconic character under layers of heavy latex.)
The approach to the show is appealing, boiling the anthology format down to its very bones. Instead of a single contained story over the course of an hour, the viewer gets three.
And, moreover, the stories it chooses to tell are, per the title, based on documented events.
Each vignette is given roughly 15 minutes of screen time, with commentary from various scholars, historians, and artists interwoven within reenactments and Englund’s own moral and thematic voice-over asides.
The theme of the season finale is “Bad Omens,” with the titular terror derived from things on the horizon.
In “Blood Samaritans,” Taylor Jones (Scott Wichman) is a simple man who’s suffered devastating loss, moving from Pennsylvania to Kansas in search of fulfillment and meaning. Once there, he meets Rose Cooper (Nicole Zavska), who introduces him to the local religious group, The Samaritans, headed by fire-and-brimstone Reverend Silas Wilcox (Shawn Hambright). This tale offers a succinct assessment of religious doctrine in an era when many Biblical passages were taken not as analogous life lessons, but literal instruction for God’s followers on earth.
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The second story, “Your Turn Next,” follows Julia Cook (Lisa Edmunson), a Philadelphia young professional haunted by the same persistent nightmare. A menacing, grinning man (Shaun Irving) keeps repeating the titular mantra in a variety of dreamscapes, including a mist-shrouded cemetery.
In an effort to thwart the apparition taunting her, Julia attempts to take matters into her own hands. Considering the 1893 setting, its approach to perception, “lucid dreaming,” contemporary psychology, and notions of independent women raises a certain level of Freudian subtext regarding the central visual motif of a woman terrorized by a threatening man.
The final tale, “Hex Murders,” retells a bit of legend rooted in the place I grew up: York, Pennsylvania. John Blymer (John Mayo), not unlike Taylor Jones in “Blood Samaritans,” is a man who lost his job, and had children claimed by typhoid. His escalating paranoia over an alleged witch’s curse prompts him to enlist the services of a psychic, who leaves him convinced that local alchemist Nelson Rehmeyer (Joel King) is responsible.
This tale of fear, suspicion, desperation, and the occult was given the Hollywood treatment in 1988 (the Donald Sutherland-starring Apprentice to Murder), and was fleshed out as an empathetic documentary in 2015’s Hex Hollow. This brief overview of the main points of the story serves as a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the tale.
True Terror with Robert Englund: “Bad Omens” airs Apr. 22 on the Travel Channel (10pm EST).
What is your favorite episode from True Terror with Robert Englund? Let us know in the comments.