Friday, October 3, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "The Furnished Floor"

Horror and science fiction were two of the genres which first attracted me to the old-time radio medium. However, although there were a few shows dedicated to horror, they seldom committed to horror. To pick on Inner Sanctum Mysteries (to take a frequently-cited example), the supposed supernatural goings-on in that program are (invariably) a deception. In fact, even the non-supernatural episodes of that show tend to involve someone being tricked, whether it's believing in ghosts or thinking they're a murderer, Inner Sanctum was averse to "playing fair" with the audience.

This, then, is part of what sets the scripts on Suspense apart; on those rare occasions when they delved into the supernatural, they committed. Not only would otherworldly events transpire, they were almost always unidentified and unexplained.

Take today's episode for instance: "The Furnished Floor," written by Lucille Fletcher (best known as the author of "Sorry, Wrong Number") from September 13, 1945. Mildred Natwick portrays a busy-bodied housekeeper who welcomes a former tenant back to his rented flat. Mr. Jennings originally left after the death of his wife; now he's found another love and he wants everything the way it used to be. Everything.

It's a very slow burn, leading to a moment of... ambiguous horror. Let your imagination decide what happens in the climax - it's more effective that way. You may download the episode here.

Tomorrow: "Anyway... I outlived those three..."

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