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At the same time, it efficiently unites various aspects of horror and suspense serials you've seen before, and some of its scares are joltingly effective, which makes up for the fact that originality is not its strong suit.
In a lengthy flashback sequence at the beginning of the play - somewhat joltingly introduced, in the sense that it took some time to realise it WAS a flashback - we are shown the events preceding the death of Alex's fiancee and leading lady Monica Welles (Robbins), who apparently commits suicide by throwing herself from a 10th-floor balcony after the opening night of her stage debut and on the eve of their wedding.
The intuition that the story is set in our own contemporary world--Saunders' brand of realism--is joltingly suspended when the mechanism of the Semplica Girls' acquiescence is revealed.
A blistering ball of restlessness, he proclaims, 'I'm going for a run,' and the camera joltingly follows as he circles around, shirtless, accelerating when he exclaims, 'Someone's chasing me!
It is not a systematic survey that exhaustively or evenly proceeds through the ages, but rather a thematic overview that relies on "case studies" and jumps, sometimes joltingly, forward in time.
Asked what he thought of the increasing amount of column inches he is attracting, his first reaction was to quip: "My grandmother loves it!" Then he became more circumspect, joltingly so in fact for someone of his tender years.