In Kevin Tran’s feature debut, The Dark End of the Street, he ostensibly tells the story of a pet killer wreaking havoc in a suburb. Really though, the plot of the film almost doesn’t matter because Tran’s focus is much more human. Rather than building toward a climactic moment, Tran’s story floods out sideways, showing the different ways the characters in his ensemble cast—all of whom live on the titular street—react to the pet murders over the course of a single night.
That ensemble cast is one of many similarities between The Dark End of the Street and the series defining Twilight Zone episode, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.” Both highlight the disconnection of neighbors as well. Despite having lived across the street for years, Ian (Anthony Chisholm) and Marney (Brooke Bloom) have rarely spoken before he comes over to comfort her after her cat is murdered. Other neighbors barely know one another, and also like in “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” this lack of familiarity quickly transforms into paranoia when the news gets around.