Jordan Peele, in addition to proving himself as a comedy mastermind, also showed the world that he has a great mind for horror as well. Having won critical acclaim (plus an Academy Award) for Get Out, Peele has also moved forward with a much-anticipated reboot of The Twilight Zone.
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Even in the age of constantly rebooted, remade, or sequelized media, a new version of Rod Serling's classic series would be more than welcome. The entire point of the original series was to shine a light on modern society through otherworldly tales, and maybe that's just what needs to be done now. Though there will be some new episodes, these originals might make for a great take on our current age.
10 TIME ENOUGH AT LAST
Considered to be one of the most classic Twilight Zone episodes ever made, "Time Enough At Last" would be a tough sell for being remade. However, there is room in the modern world to tell the story of a person whose obsession with something makes them isolated, before they are left entirely alone with that one obsession.
"Time Enough At Last" is about a man who can't connect to people, but loves to get lost in books. After the detonation of a nuclear device seemingly leaves him as the last man on Earth, he realizes that he finally has time to read without interruptions. However, a small accident changes everything.
9 EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
In the age of social media and appearances being everything, now is definitely the time to revisit the great Twilight Zone episode, "Eye of the Beholder." It is considered to be one of the most famous episodes ever made and is a wry commentary on standards of beauty in the modern world.
In "Eye of the Beholder," a woman has undergone numerous surgeries to fix her appearance, but according to the doctors and nurses, all of them have failed. When the bandages are removed, the woman is shown to be entirely normal looking, but everyone else has a distorted and inhuman visage.
8 IT'S A GOOD LIFE
What could be more frightening than a world being left to the whims of a spiteful and childlike mind? That's the question that is asked in "It's a Good Life," a Twilight Zone episode so well-known it was the basis for a segment on The Simpsons. Today, it somehow more relevant than ever.
The episode, which was also featured in the 1983 Twilight Zone film, concerns a boy with amazing mental abilities that give him god-like power. He forces everyone in the town to think good thoughts and bend to his whim. Otherwise, he punishes them. It's a scary situation made all the more frightening by the fact that e kid doesn't fully understand what he is doing due to his young age.
7 THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET
The Twilight Zone was exceptionally good at picking apart human nature and applying it to stories about the supernatural or otherworldly. It was the kind of show that could tell a spooky tale that was also a sharp critique of society. In no episode is this more prevalent than "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street."
In this venerated episode, the people who live on a street where the power has gone out are convinced that it has been done by aliens. Without any concrete proof, they begin to turn on each other, shattering their idyllic neighborhood forever. Even without the final twist, this episode would be haunting and remains an excellent lesson in why paranoia is the most dangerous weapon.
6 WALKING DISTANCE
Nostalgia has become such a huge part of our everyday lives. So much so, that entire industries have been built on the idea of letting people relive their childhoods. After all, how many times have you come across an article that talks about how great the 90s were?
"Walking Distance" is one of the few Twilight Zones not to feature an ironic and downbeat ending. Instead, after a man somehow walks into the past and confronts himself as a child, he learns a valuable lesson about moving forward and enjoying the things he has in his current age. That's a lesson that might be overdue for some people.
5 TIME OUT
While not an original Twilight Zone episode, this segment from the 1983 film is more timely than ever. While its legacy is marred by the tragedy of a fatal on-set accident, "Time Out" remains a Twilight zone story that should be retold, if only to remind people of the old adage about walking a mile in someone's shoes.
In "Time Out," a man is passed over for a job at his work in favor of another employee, which brings to light some of his many prejudices. As he walks back out into the night, he finds himself in occupied France being arrested by soldiers. He then awakens in the southern United States as a black man in the fifties, then a Vietcong soldier, before finally ending up in France again, where he is loaded onto a boxcar with other prisoners.
4 THE MASKS
"The Masks" is not one of the more famous Twilight Zone episodes, but its relevance to modern wealth culture make it a perfect fit for being remade in Jordan Peele's new series. the episode highlights the issue of familial greed, especially when inheritance is at stake.
In the episode, a wealthy elderly man is unwell. His family, a group of people with terrible personality traits, visit home, seemingly anticipating his end and the reading of the will. He asks them to take part in a Mardi Gras party where they will each wear masks reflecting their personalities. In the end, the lesson seems to be that who we are on the inside usually finds its way to the outside as well.
3 A NICE PLACE TO VISIT
Plenty of scholars have written about the concept of the afterlife, and what it means to be punished or rewarded for eternity. On The Twilight Zone, the episode "A Nice Place to Visit" took this idea and ran with it, and it might just be the right time to revisit the idea of a person's ideal world.
After he is taken out by a police officer's bullet, a small-time crook wakes up in a fancy apartment. There, a man gives him everything he needs to be happy, including a wad of cash. The crook visits a casino where he is always winning, and everything is going exactly right for him. Then, he starts to get bored, and the truth of where he really is comes out.
Despite its penchant for telling socially conscious stories, The Twilight Zone also knew how to spin a good old-fashioned horror yarn as well. The episode "Twenty-Two" is perfect proof of that, and if Jordan Peele's series wants to remake one of the frightening episodes of this classic series, they should consider this one.
"Twenty-Two" is the story of a dancer who is hospitalized for exhaustion. She has the same recurring dream wherein she follows a nurse to the basement, where she is led to the morgue and the nurse says to her "room for one more, honey." At one point the episode makes it seem like the dream was nothing, but the ending delivers a great twist, among the show's best.
1 THE INVADERS
"The Invaders" would also be less of a social commentary and more an opportunity to tell a great story and provide a stage for a great performer. Just as the original episode was told with almost no dialogue and everything was portrayed through action and reactions alone, this could be another big hit for the rebooted series.
In the original episode, a woman (played by Citizen Kane's Agnes Moorhead) lives a simple life on a farm, with no technology or modern comforts. She is soon beset upon by a small flying saucer, flown by two tiny spacemen. Though she does her best to get rid of them, the invaders put up a good fight, before they are finally run off, revealing the episode's final twist.