Four stories by four directors, Spielberg, Landis, Dante and Miller, a great collection of directors and a neat selection of spooky tales. This is actually a great movie adaptation of the series which doesn't loose what it should be about and go overboard, the stories are remakes from the series including one original story.
First tale about a racist bigot who is somehow transported back and forth through time from Nazi Germany to Vietnam experiencing racism against himself has an obvious strong message of justice or revenge against prejudice in a very simple way. Landis does a reasonable job with the simple tale but its alittle uninspired and would of liked a more horror based tale from the master of comedic terror.
Tale two from Spielberg is again rather uninspired but you can tell miles off its by Spielberg with its warm glow and gentle heart, a tale of old folk who dream of becoming young again and with the help of a mysterious old man in their retirement home they do overnight. Easily the tear jerker of the four and the nicest with strong similarities to the film 'Cocoon' which probably pinched the idea hehe.
Tale three is clearly made by Dante, like tale two you can see the directors style clearly and by the way the short film looks design wise, trademark Dante finger prints all over with his fav actor Dick Miller used again. A fun and very eerie tale of a boy who can make anything he wishes come true and holds a group of people captive in his bizarre home, pretending to be his family the small group of people are merely scared of the boy and can never leave fearing the young boy may wish something terrible upon them. Its a spooky tale if you think about it and works very well, parodied by 'The Simpson's' in a 'Treehouse of Terror' episode surely means it deserves respect :)
The final tale by Miller is a remake of the classic Twilight Zone episode which featured a young William Shatner 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet', again parodied by 'The Simpson's' earning it even more respect and fame. A terrified airline passenger is driven insane by a combination of the fear of flying and the fact he can see a monster on the wing of the plane ripping apart the engine. Probably the best of the tales with a great concept and cool creature to boot, Lithgow does well as the passenger going insane from nerves and anxiety with a performance equal to the original whilst the gremlin looks perfectly kooky and unnerving.
Mixed bag of tales, the two from Dante and Miller being the best, Spielberg's is reasonable but boring and Landis I think picked the wrong type of story to best suit his abilities. Love the intro/end sequences with Dan Aykroyd and add to that a full list of top names in the cast all equal a decent film, could of been better but it still wins.