Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 3 Episode 9: The Tale of the Curious Camera

“Look at Gary’s picture, you can tell he’s gonna be very serious, and look at Kiki’s smile, you know she is gonna be trouble”- Betty Ann

Tonight we are in for a Betty Ann story. Her story is about how pictures can tell you the future. Plus this has one of my favorite openings of the entire series.

We are taken to the clearing where the gang is laughing at childhood photos of themselves (but in Tucker’s case it is like a photo from about 5 years ago).

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Kiki, Sam and Frank

Sam says “How embarrassing.” Tucker says “what a  geek”  Kiki tells Frank “I’d burn that if I were you.” Frank says to Kiki “Hey yours isn’t any better.”

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My future ex-Husband Tucker and The Gary

The photos are honestly not that bad, Frank kind of looks like a fob, but really they are not bad as far as old school photos go. Kiki says “Gary is that you? You look exactly the same.” The Gary responds with “Gee thanks.” Tucker says “look at Sam in kindergarten! What a dork.” Then Betty Ann says “And just so you guys don’t think I’m getting away with anything….this is me in first grade.”

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Betty Ann (I really wonder what year that was taken)

The Gary says “cute” (see sexual tension alert!)

The Gary looks kind of evil in the photo

Sam inquires about why they had to bring the photos, and Betty Ann has just the answer: “because photos tell the future.” Tucker questions her knowledge and says “They do?” Betty Ann replies “sure, look at Gary’s picture. You can already tell he’s going to be very serious. And look at Kiki’s smile! You know she’s gonna be trouble.” Kiki says “you got that right.” She is all proud of herself. Then Tucker takes it a step too far and says “What does that dumb look on Frank’s face mean?” Frank says “Don’t push me, you little skid mark.” Betty Ann continues “Seriously, you can learn all sorts of stuff from pictures. The question is do you really want to know to know what the future has in store, or is it better off being a surprise? (I think there might be a joke about time zones in there somewhere). You might say you want to know, but what if you discovered that the future held something incredibly evil and there was nothing you could do to change it? (As far as builds ups to a story goes, Betty Ann wins hands down, some of the best build ups are her stories). Then Betty Ann submits her story and throws the midnight dust into the fire and calls her story: The Tale of the Curious Camera.

This episode stars a young Eddie Kaye Thomas, Finch from American Pie fame and Rosenberg from Harold and Kumar fame!

Betty Ann narrates “Some kids are born to lead, others to follow. And some kids like Matt Dorney, are just born victims.” Its the school’s basketball photo day. The boys are all lined up and waiting to get their photos taken.

This is Matt Dorney a born victim

While in line the school bully Kullback, asks Matt if he has read the book in his hand, Matt replies no and turns back around. Then Kullback asks him to take a closer look and slams the book shut spraying Matt in the face with ketchup.  Also the kid who plays Kullback is the same kid who played Josh in the tale of laughing in the dark.

Kullback the bully

A couple days later the boys get their photos back. Matt looks at his and notices that he is not in the photo it is just a photo of the chair. Knowing his mother will kill him, he goes to Calhoun’s photography to ask for a redo. Calhoun tells Matt he doesn’t give refunds and asks him ” No one notices you right? You let people walk all over you? You don’t take action? In other words…you are invisible.” Matt pleads by saying “Look my mom paid for real pictures! She’d kill me if I gave her that.” Calhoun tells him “Too bad it’s a striking resemblance.” Matt asks for another photo, Calhoun refuses saying” 1 per customer and I don’t give refunds.” Calhoun think for a bit and offers Matt a camera to make up for the photo. It’s a vintage camera from the 1940’s. Matt is super excited.

The Camera

On his way out, Matt takes a photo that shows a mess on the front of his shirt. Once at home, Matt takes several photos around the house. He takes a photo of a vase, and when it develops, it shows the vase broken on the floor, moments later it falls over. Matt’s sister ask for her photo to be taken, but he says no. Also whenever he takes a photo the music has a weird gremlin like noise in the background.

Maybe Betty Ann had watched Gremlins a couple nights before she was up and got the idea from the movie. I used to have a Gizmo toy as a kid, he was awesome!

In the locker room, Matt takes a photo of Kullback. It shows Kullback laying on the floor with the lockers on top of him. After practice while putting on his shoes, two lockers fall on Kullback. The coach tells one of the players to not move him and to go to the office and ask the to call an ambulance.

When Matt is back home, he goes through class photos and marks who he will take photos of next. I think they are of people who made fun of him. Matt tells his sister “I am just trying to decide who in my class deserves to have their picture taken.” This of coarse does not make sense to her since she doesn’t know about the camera’s ability to hurt people. Matt tells his sister about the camera and what happens when he takes photos.

Matt’s sister notices something in the picture, and then they notice its on all of them. Matt says “I think we got company.” It’s a little Gremlin! Matt goes back to Calhoun photography, and he is now suddenly successful.

Successful Calhoun

Matt goes back home and accidentally takes a photo of his father. This make Matt freak out. Matt tells Amy “I just took a picture of Mom and Dad.” Amy tells Matt “Don’t look at it, if we don’t look at it maybe it won’t happen.” (sound logic, but that is not how life works). Matt tells Amy “We have to.” He looks at the picture and then hands it to Amy. The picture shows their parents in a car accident.

They decide that they must destroy the camera. They shoot the camera into a mirror and then the phone rings. It’s their dad, he tells them that they were in a car accident, but are OK. Matt is relieved. But all of a sudden they realize that the Gremlin is now in the camcorder. Eventually the TV blows up and they think they are safe. But the Gremlin is now in the computer. (So I guess the gremlin is now a computer virus).

Gremlin in the computer

We are then taken back to the clearing, where Sam asks “So can I have my picture back?” Betty Ann says “Sure. But first I want to get a group shot.”

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“First I want to get a group shot”- Betty Ann

She then pulls out a camera from her bag that is identical to the one in her story, which makes the others run off screaming (because I guess they thought Betty Ann was going to use the camera for evil). The Gary turns to Betty Ann and says “It’s only a prop from dad’s store. What are they so scared of?” Betty Ann says “Gee I don’t know.”

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“AAAAHHHH”- Everyone but The Gary and Betty Ann

Then the camera flashes in Betty Ann and The Gary’s face. They  both look a little nervous and decide to burn the evidence (because that is totally how photos work).

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They are either worried or are debating about making out, you decide.

I guess Betty Ann still doesn’t understand the art of photography oh well she went on to work behind the scenes at CBC in real life so she has that going for her. Also Betty Ann never said the end and The Gary never declared the meeting over or put out the fire. I assume this was because The Gary and Betty Ann stayed behind to talk and catch up on life stuff.

“Gee I don’t know why.”- Betty Ann


Moira’s Thoughts:

I have said this before, but I really liked the opening to this episode, with the Midnight Society looking at old photos from grade school. I think that was a nice touch that they used their actual photos for the episode (or got really good fakes, I don’t know but I am assuming they are real). I also liked the way the story ended.

  1. I would like to see a story without actors sometime, just to see what the meetings are actually like. I think it would be interesting to see the reactions on the faces of the members.
  2. I liked the way Betty Ann ended the story, with the Gremlin still being a live but inside the computer. This was made during a time when home computers were not that common.
  3. Once again Betty Ann comes in as the undefeated prank queen of the Midnight Society.
  4. I wish we could have seen the photo of Betty Ann and The Gary as I bet it was a nice photo of the two of them. I think this episode really showcases the depth of their friendship and I wish we got to know more about how they met and what their background story was.

What an interesting episode! Let’s give it up for Betty Ann and her story: The Tale of the Curious Camera. This is Betty Ann’s last story of season 3, but not to worry she comes in strong next season. Up next is Sam with her second story: The Tale of the Dream Girl.

Until next time…Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The Tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) Blog number 9 of Season 3.

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Photo Credits: camera  Matt  Kullback  Gremlin  Title Card  Midnight Society Calhoun Screen Shots


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