Don't Open Till Doomsday

The Outer Limits (1963)

Don't Open Till Doomsday, directed by Gerd Oswald.

In the little town is an old house. In the old house is a shut up room with a table of dusty wedding presents. One of the boxes emits an unearthly droning sound. Behind the lens in the box is a little one-eyed alien waiting for anyone to look in, after which they are never seen again.

Well, that's different!

Part of the eerieness of this is because both time frames -- 1929 and 1963 -- involve wedding nights, a time of privacy and intimacy between two people. Interference from a malevolent outside force is unsettling.

Other creepy elements:

Miriam Hopkins is the 1929 bride who -- like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations -- has "lost" her husband on the wedding day. Time stops, the presents are never opened, the bridal suite and house fall into decay. Like Havisham, our bride has a generous exterior but hidden malevolent intent. Thirty-four years later, she has plans for getting her groom back.

When I first started writing reviews I don't know Golden Age star Hopkins, but since I have seen:

Familiar faces: John Hoyt (always the hatchet-faced intimidating man) and Russell Collins ("nervous old man with guilty secrets").

Photographed by Conrad Hall.

The Blu-ray commentary is the third in a row by Reba Wissner giving insight into the score.

She also fills in useful background on the plot, presumably from the written screenplay: the little alien is an extra-dimensional being whose reality is colliding with our universe of time and space. He and his fellows have come to destroy us. In 1929 the Professor captures the alien in its magic box but is ridiculed and his life ruined by rich man Kry. As a malicious prank the Prof delivers the box as a present at the wedding of Kry's son, and our story begins.

She also finds much sexual symbolism in the story but won't spell out the details.