The Monsters Are on Maple Street - Recap

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On Maple Street, U.S.A., the neighborhood committee is discussing holiday decorations. Will Marshall is somewhat amused at the whole thing, while Dylan is somewhat confrontational about any disagreements. One woman brings up the newest family, which built a chain fence. Dylan thinks they’re weird because they didn’t put up a flag on Veterans’ Day and they didn’t come to the meeting. Suddenly everyone’s cell phones go off, the power fluctuates, the Game Boy belonging to Dylan’s son goes dead, and the windows shatter as the ground shakes.

Everyone runs outside but nobody has answers. Some of them try to leave to get their kids from a soccer game, but their cars don’t start. The neighborhood committee goes inside and wonders if an electromagnetic pulse is responsible. Dylan suspects the new neighbors, noting they haven’t come outside to see what’s going on.

Will and Dylan go to meet the new neighbors while everyone else gathers on the street. No one answers when they knock and everyone goes home for the moment. Even Will’s wife Holly is wondering about the new neighbors. When he becomes sarcastic, Holly snaps at him and he admits he didn’t want to move there. Outside, Dylan is rabble-rousing, noting that no one has come to help them. Will tries to calm him down and Dylan takes a swing at him. Dylan comes at him with a broken bottle and Will gets him to the ground. Suddenly one SUV drives by and pulls into the new neighbors’ driveway. The lights are on at the house, further affirming the neighborhood’s suspicions that they’re terrorists.

Dylan pulls out a gun but Will insists on going himself. He knocks on the door and is let inside. After a few minutes, Will comes out and explains he works the night shift at an electronics firm and his family doesn’t open the door to strangers. Will told them to stay inside and an angry Dylan points his gun at him. In response, Will snaps at all of them, noting they all have something suspicious. He then points out that the terrorists haven’t even arrived yet and they’re already winning. Will dares Dylan to shoot and he backs down, but Dylan’s son notices a spy camera on his house. Dylan believes that proves his case against the new neighbors. The community finds more cameras and even Holly joins the mob. They go to the new neighbor’s house and call for them to come out. Dylan and his son smash at the house and throw a torch inside, shoving Will aside when he tries to interfere. The people inside cower in fear as their neighbors storm the house.

At a van nearby, two soldiers are monitoring the situation and timing how long it took them to panic. The entire thing is a test of civilian reactions to a perceived terrorist attack.