To celebrate horror on television, I’m looking back at 31 tales from various anthology series. They’re the ones I vividly remember or respond to the most. No matter what, though, they are proof that horror and suspense aren’t limited to the big screen.
Babysitters, housekeepers, and nannies rarely have it easy in horror; they are often compensated very little considering their obligations. Not only do they clean up after their entitled employers and raise their children, they are discarded with in grisly fashion. The hero in Two Sentence Horror Stories‘ “Hide” defies expectations, however, and she refuses to become another genre cliché.
“Knock, knock, I heard
But the monsters had already found their way inside.”
Two Sentence Horror Stories began as a series of web shorts before it was adapted by The CW. As the title suggests, every story is based on a two-sentence prompt. “Hide” finds an Hispanic mother, Araceli (Greta Quispe), protecting her affluent clients’ daughter when two masked killers break into the home and murder the girl’s sick grandfather. With no other choice, the caregiver fights back — unfortunately, her act of bravery does not save her from the world’s other harsh realities.
“Hide” recycles ideas from the past. The masked invaders are two white adolescents looking to gain notoriety by bringing terror to a “bland” and “monotonous” community; that very idea was popularized by Scream. Meanwhile, the story also overstates the now too common method of seeking fame through negative behavior rather than positive. The homicidal trespassing is nothing unheard of in movies or television, either.
Two Sentence Horror Stories notably features a diverse cast and crew. To a great degree, the tales reflect reality’s injustices more than other past anthologies. Cultural and political turmoil is frequently highlighted, then resolved in ghastly ways. “Hide” is no exception, but the episode isn’t all talk either. Some marginal suspense is conjured up before things take a turn.
Horror has always tried to acknowledge and contextualize the plights of the real world. These days, those messages sometimes become the centerpiece, or they are too blatantly told for some people’s taste. “Hide” doesn’t necessarily wear its lesson on its sleeve, nor does it lecture the audience. The actual story of a woman protecting herself from criminals takes precedence . That is, until a very topical issue is brought up in the wake of Araceli’s victory.
In addition to being a bitter reminder of society’s unfair practices, “Hide” bears in mind that no good deed goes unpunished.