TWILIGHT ZONE The Movie | "It's A Good Life"... When You Do What You're Told


The Twilight zone anthology tells 4 tales of ironic horror that could only take place in the Twilight Zone...this post is about one of those stories.


Roughly based on the 1961 Season 3, episode of the Twilight zone TV show with the same name - "It's a Good Life" from the 1983 Twilight Zone anthology, tells the twisted story of a boy that uses wishes to terrorize his family when he doesn't get what he wants. a terrible dream in cartoon land.


 

At the beginning of this story, like the rest of the film, we're greeted by a narrator who tells us a tale about Helen Foley, a school teacher, played by Kathleen Quinlan, that has lived the life of unrelenting saneness.


In her search for a spark or something new, she comes in contact with a young man named Anthony, played by Jeremy Licht, who appears to be neglected and unwanted based on the conversation they had in the car on the way to taking Anthony home. As Helen gets to know the boy and the family, she learns the horrible truth about the family's circumstances, and especially the little boy.


Helen's wearing a red striped shirt, army green or dark taupe skirt and an off- white sweater and a necklace with a crystal on it.





Red - love, passion or war danger or blood

Green - natural, earthy/taupe or shade of brown could be stability or reliability - both go with the idea of her being a teacher and living a boring life

White - purity, innocence, plain or boring

her clear quartz necklace - means master healer - it's said to amplify energy by absorbing, storing, releasing and regulating it.


Early on, we're given clues that these two will have some sort of connection. it's not clear to what extent, but the similarities in colors shows us that something will happen involving the two before the end of the episode.


Once we get to the house, we meet the family...a mother, a father, an uncle and two sisters...



 

MOTHER AND FATHER

Mother, played by Patricia Barry and father, played by William Schallert, are wearing patterned outfits - the father's outfit looks like a pattern collage of tans, and browns and other dull colors that blend into the atmosphere - he looks discombobulated and neat at the same time, while the mother's patterned dress is as wild as her styling gets, only adorning an apron to complete her ensemble - her pattern includes purple, green and white on a navy or black canvas.



The odd combinations worn by the parents, gives the impression of disorganized minds - there's no apparent rhyme or reason as to why these outfits are put together, alluding to the idea that they are part of the constructed environment without thoughts of their own - and as if they were dressed by a child or forced to wear clothing they didn't pick out for themselves.



THE REAL SISTER

The real sister's outfit is not seen on screen when the teacher visits her in the bedroom - as the teacher attempts to speak to the sister, played by Cherie Currie, she realizes that she's unresponsive and leaves - as the camera pans to the sister's face, we see that she's been silenced - and with no outfit to analyze the her colors - we get the visual representation of out of sight, out of mind, this is confirmed with the closure of her mouth



UNCLE WALT

Uncle Walt, played by Kevin McCarthy, wears colors that would allow him to blend into the background - khaki pants, tan striped suspenders, a white striped shirt and a tan blazer - but, unlike the other adult members of the family, he wears a red scarf giving us a small clue about his fate



THE PRETEND SISTER

Anthony's make-believe sister Ethel, played by Nancy Cartwright, is wearing a school girl outfit with a gray blazer and tie, white shirt, black socks and a red and black flannel patterned skirt

giving us another connection between the characters - unlike the boy, the teacher and the uncle, the red she wears is on the bottom half of her body. it shows that her character will play a pivotal role in the story, but we aren't initially clear to what extent.



TERRIFYING EVENTS

As we proceed in the story - we are faced with a series of events, showing us the terror that the family have to endure by being around this little boy and we see scenes play out where we finally get to see the connection between the characters wearing red.


His uncle Walt, is forced to perform a hat trick and encounters a cute furry rabbit that turns into a carnivorous monster - he faces death by participating, but he was spared.


Unfortunately, Ethel on the other hand didn't get off quite so easy. She meets her demise when she's thrown into a televised cartoon nightmare and is eaten by the drawn menace.



THE BOY & THE TEACHER

The boy and the teacher in their red - prominently shows us that they're in the middle of the action and whatever happens will be at the hands of these two. By the end of the story, this is confirmed when the boy and the teacher form an alliance and resolve to work together to use the boys' powers for good.



The format of this film, doesn't allow a lot of space for color symbolism, but it's there. Red - represents passion and love but also means danger, war or blood. Black can represent power, but also represents death or darkness.


The boy has the power, the teacher has access to that power, on a surface level, this is the story about a troubled boy who felt alone, neglected and took his anger out on his family until he found someone he could trust and confide in.



THE MORAL

You could say that this ties into the real world by touching on the point that when a person has power, they can get what they want from people - and they have 'yes' men around them that will not tell them the truth for fear of losing out on what the person can give them or what they could take away. A person with this level of power, that has not dealt with their childhood demons is dangerous, especially when they don't understand or don't care about the implications of their actions.


Or it could mean that the boy represents power itself that the teacher doesn't realize she has - she's been going in circles for years, looking for something new in life. As she finds her power, it's scary for her at first, but she learns how to harness and control it - an idea that's echoed by the crystal necklace that she's wearing.



But what do you think?...


On that note, have an awesome day - be good to yourself and good to others...peace.