Amnesia stories are very difficult to do well. At worst, they’re a plot contrivance that solely exist to pad the story out. But when they’re done right, they give us a good mystery to try to solve along with the characters in the story. So, where exactly does today’s story fall on this scale? Let’s find out. This is Pleasant Screams.
Felix is a man who recently woke up in a cemetery with absolutely no memory of his life other than his name. He finds a little girl named Jenny who also has problems with their memory. Unfortunately, they have no time to unravel the mystery as they start getting chased by zombies. After a fashion, they somehow end up in Tokyo without really understanding how they got there. Can they figure out what’s going on before it’s too late? And who is the faceless man that’s following them around?
The story of this episode was really well done. There was a good mystery set up, even if the clues were a little bit obtuse. Actually, one clue was impossible to see until they revealed it, which makes the mystery relatively weak in my opinion. The good news is, while the first twist was pretty easy to see coming (sorta), the second twist caught me completely off guard. The one gripe I have is that, until the twist, we don’t get a lot of explanation for what’s going on, which really makes the story feel disjointed at times. Still, it was a decent enough story with a good enough pay off to have me enjoying it all the way through.
The characters are pretty good and work well together. They’re not completely likable, which is alright by me. Sometimes they’re a little snobbish or selfish, but they never let their bad qualities get in the way of taking action. I really liked Jenny’s sarcasm and Felix’s sometimes bumbling nature. They made the episode funny in all the right ways.
The action of this episode starts from moment one and never really stops. It does make the episode really exciting, to be sure. However, it also makes the episode a bit exhausting. The audience never really gets a moment to breath. Everything is just GO GO GO right from the start. Still, it was at least entertaining even if it was really confusing at times. It also got really suspenseful, particularly one part that found Jenny trapped and heading head first into a buzz saw. I was actually worried about what might happen. If you can get me worried about characters in a kid’s show, you know you’re doing something right.
CRYPTIE CAMEO: Cryptie’s face can be seen on the back of a box of matches at one point.
This episode, honestly, could get confusing at times. Still, despite a few pacing issues, we have a really good story here. With really good characters, decent action, and an excellent double twist, I find I have to recommend this one to all fans of horror. There’s even quite a few homages to different genres, like zombies and even the giant monsters of Japan. See if you can spot all the horror homages yourself. As for me, I think I’m going to take a bit of a nap. This episode was absolutely exhausting.