The Twilight Zone takes a familiar starting point and develops a story that actually makes good use of its longer running time. The ending, however, may leave some viewers cold….

Title: “Not All Men”

Cast and Crew

Director: Christina Choe
Writers: Heather Anne Campbell

Taissa Farmiga as Annie
Rhea Seehorn as Martha
Ike Barinholtz as Mike
Luke Kirby as Dylan
Cooper Bibaud as Zealot
Emily Delaney as Main Street Cop #2
Shalyn Ferdinand as Monica Jones
Jeff Gladstone as Perry
Duncan Minett as Larry
Agape Mngomezulu as Steve
Jill Morrison as Robyn
Alex Pepin as National Guard
Paul Piaskowski as Zeke
Steph Song as Olivia
Sarah Ziolkowski, Andres Collantes as Medical Technicians
Jordan Peele as our host

Premise

After meteorites shower a community, a woman begins noticing that the men—though perhaps, you know, not all men—have started behaving strangely.

High Point

The acting, from Taissa Farmiga (best-known for American Horror Story), Rhea Seehorn (excellent on Better Call Saul), and the direction, by Christina Choe (known for such indie hits as I am John Wayne and Nancy) takes the premise from familiar though unnerving real-life drama to thriller to full-blown disaster-based horror with devastating effectiveness. For once, the new Twilight Zone makes use of its longer running time.

Low Point

The conclusion takes one reading of the story—one which surely most viewers were seriously considering, despite how over-the-top the violence becomes—and confirms it with slightly more subtlety than, say, the meteor that whacked the dinosaurs. Rod Serling’s epilogues in the original, at their most didactic, were rarely as explicit as this episode’s pre-epilogue scene. It’s not that the interpretation necessarily presents any more problems than any other, but it limits the episode and our ability to engage it.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 The meteors bring death and the men are due on Maple Street. The story also recalls “The Screwfly Solution.” Yet another viewer noted its similarity to a certain episode of Torchwood.

Effects: 5/6 This film had some effects, which have been well-used.

Acting: 6/6 This episode features strong acting from its main cast.

Story: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Not All Men” receives 32/42