I’m not much of a sports fan. I don’t really hate sports, I just don’t go out of my way to watch any. Still, I understand why some people go nuts over them. Getting caught up in the crowd and cheering for your favorite team is a great thrill sometimes.
Nathan is a basketball player who doesn’t care about anything but the game. His dream is to play for the pros. However, he wants to get into the big games the easy way. So, his friend sets up a game with a man who can make anything happen. However, the stakes for this game are life or death.
This is actually the first story I’ve seen that Cryptie doesn’t outright tell. Instead, the Old Witch gets the drop on both him and the Vaultkeeper to tell her own sports-filled tale. The horror host segments of this one are particularly good with some great comedic timing. But that’s only a small part of the episode. What about the story?
For some reason, this episode really reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode “A Game of Pool.” Maybe it’s because both episodes involved a high-stakes game and someone really wanting to be a pro. Honestly, this episode was really well done. The pacing was alright and the characters were likable enough. The hustler friend got a little bit obnoxious sometimes, but he was still at least a good friend in the end. The stakes for the basketball game were suitably high and well built. All in all, the writing was really solid. And, honestly, so was the animation.
Let me start off this section by saying the monster of the episode is really cool. Endlessly intimidating without ever saying a word. All he does is give an evil laugh and it sent a deathly chill up my spine every time. The action of the episode, taken up by the game of basketball, was also pretty well done. I found myself really getting into the game and wanting Nathan to succeed.
In short, this episde was really good. It had a good story, a good sense of pacing, and really good animation. If you’re a horror fan that happens to be a sports nut, I think you could get into this episode. It had a decent lesson about never taking the easy way out, too. All in all, this episode really hit nothing but net.