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Best of ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’: The Tale of the Dream Girl (Season 3 Episode 10)

I’m realizing that the more distance you place between yourself and sobriety, the cooler and creepier this show becomes. The distance between myself and sobriety also has me reviewing random requests via Dreadit. So, we know I’m not sober. Let’s see if the lack of sobriety helps to creep me out to epic new levels.

Johnny’s a pretty little guy who finds a girl’s high school ring. Before he knows it he’s getting visits in his sleep by a cute young lady. He’s also having a weird trip when conscious. His boss doesn’t even seem to notice that he’s keeping the bowling alley in tip top shape. And the girl Johnny’s been seeing in his sleep? Well, he spots her and attempts to put some moves down, but this cold broad stares right through him. Bummer for Johnny.

Before he knows it Johnny’ stuck in a game of cat and mouse with Donna, his dream girl. The problem is he’s having trouble catching her… she’s mighty elusive. And there’s something strange going on with Johnny, who only seems to turn up on his sister’s radar.

That probably sounded wrong. Ah, to hell with it.

Johnny heads for the bowling alley around midnight to meet with Donna. He’s clearly stepped into some other alternate universe, the past, or, maybe a destination with a bit more finality to it. Regardless, the vintage appeal is actually gorgeous.

So, Donna and Johnny finally meet face to face, and Johnny learns of the strange connection they have, or at least the origin of that strange relationship. That ring Johnny found earlier in the episode? That was Donna’s. We soon learn that she also had that ring when she was killed by a train after her car stalled on the tracks. But here’s the kicker, she was with her boyfriend at the time…

You thinking what I’m thinking?

Everyone ignores Johnny, sans his sister and the ghost of Donna. For the record, Donna keeps popping up, and she’s creeping me out on a serious level. This young lady is a bit too clingy for… well, anyone’s taste.

But why is she so obsessed with Johnny and that damn ring? And if he returns to her place of death, or at least her place of resting, and gives her the ring back, will she leave him alone, or will the narrative take a depressing turn?

Johnny and his sister set out for the cemetery and it doesn’t take long before they find Donna’s grave. In one seriously depressing twist, we see that Donna wasn’t the only one to die that night on the tracks over a goofy school ring. No, Donna had company, and to the credit of one awesome Dreaditor, I admit we get a full blown Sixth Sense moment.

Just how inventive is that Shyamalan fellow, anyway?

Strong episode. This one isn’t frightening in the least bit, but it’s well shot by the well-traveled David Winning (who’s helmed episodes of everything from Power Rangers to Goosebumps to Stargate Atlantis. He does a good job with this particular tale, setting up subtle hints before finally giving us the big reveal in the perfect moment.

The kids in the show are actually limited to a fewer number than most episodes, but Fab Filippo is a strong young lead, and it’s interesting to know that he’s still around keeping busy on a number of productions.

All in all, The Tale of the Dream Girl doesn’t stand out as a top 10 effort for me, but it is an interesting watch, and the similarities between this story and the aforementioned Shyamalan pic, The Sixth Sense are absolutely undeniable. If you get the chance to binge Are You Afraid of the Dark, don’t skip this one – if nothing else, it’s kind of cool to see where a little bit of M. Night Shyamalan’s inspiration may have originated.

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About The Overseer (1780 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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