Variety - 06/15/1983
"...[A] tantalizing teaser opening followed by three sketches of increasing quality..."
Based on the popular television series, this film is a collection of four frightening tales of the supernatural, each by a different director--Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, and George Miller. The film opens with Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks as two hapless road-trippers who tell scary stories to pass the time. The four segments that follow include some updated re-creations of classic Twilight Zone episodes.
In this film adaptation of Rod Serling's classic sci-fi TV show, four eerie stories are presented, paying homage to the master. In the spine-chilling prologue, Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks are driving down a dark and winding road listening to "Midnight Special" at top volume when the tape suddenly cuts short and they are forced to find a new form of road-trip entertainment: scary stories. Suddenly the road trip isn't as fun anymore as the driver and the passenger try to outscare one another. In the first segment (directed by John Landis), a bitter and cynical racist receives a major dose of his own medicine. Steven Spielberg's segment is a retelling of the "Kick the Can" episode, in which a group of elderly people try to recapture their childhood. Joe Dante updates the classic episode that starred Billy Mumy as a monster who controls a small town. Finally, George Miller takes on the fabulous episode "Terror at 40,000 Feet," in which John Lithgow has a flight to remember. (The part was originally played to perfection by William Shatner on the television show.)