(Second Viewing, In French, On TV, April 2019) There’s no use soft-pedalling it: The Twilight Zone: The Movie is an uneven anthology of stories inspired by the classic TV show, but it remains far more noteworthy for an on-set accident that killed Vic Morrow and two child actors, an accident that required changing much of the film’s first segment and considerably soured the films’ production—not to mention its critical reception. The behind-the-scenes drama is fascinating (there’s an entire book about it) but what’s on-screen is not quite as interesting. The opening sequence is cute but overlong. John Landis’ first segment, the one that led to the shooting deaths, is left as a trite morality tale—and while I think that unrepentant racists getting a taste of their own bigotry is wholesome entertainment, the segment feels like obviousness piled upon obviousness. The second segment, directed by Steven Spielberg, is far too cute and unsurprising to be interesting. Things do get quite a bit better with Joe Dante’s take on the omnipotent kid trope, with stylish directing (making the most out of the visual effects of the time) and an overall feeling of dread that makes the segment work even if we know about the twist well beforehand. But the best is kept for the end: the well-known (and much-parodied) remake of “Nightmare at 20,000 feet,” a typically intense George Miller production featuring John Lithgow as a terrified airplane passenger who glimpses something frightening on the airplane wing. That segment is a little marvel of tight editing, impressionistic direction (including bulging eyeballs in a split-second moment), Lithgow’s great acting and good execution rather than a striking premise. Those last two segments do much to erase the bland impression left by the first two stories, but the overall feeling left by The Twilight Zone: The Movie is very uneven, and a waste of solid premises made even worse by its cost in human lives. I actually remembered a few things from seeing this film when I was a teen, but my current disappointment with the film is newly renewed.