CREEPSHOW Season 1 Episodes 5-8 (2019)
SHUDDER’s new CREEPSHOW series is a fun and welcome addition to their ever growing lineup of quality original programming. While not all of the episodes are winners, there is a wide variety of scares and great effects on display in each. This collection of the first season was recently released on Blu-ray & DVD. I’m going to go through a handful of episodes at a time. Here goes.
Episode Five: All Hallow’s Eve
Directed by John Harrison
Written by Bruce Jones
Starring Connor Christie, Madison Thompson, Jasun Jabbar Wardlaw Jr., Andrew Eakle, Michael May, Julia Denton, Scott Johnson, Tom Olson, Erica Frene, Aodhan Lane
I’m not a fan of this episode as I feel the story prolongs the secret for way too long, yet gives hints that will give that secret away in the first few minutes. This one is about a group of creepy kids getting together to go trick or treating. Most of them look too old to be taking part in the night, yet that fact is never really addressed in the story. As the kids go from house to house, meeting the occupants who are obviously terrified of them, we find out the kids’ dark secret. The final moments are not going to come as a surprise to anyone who’s seen any kind of horror film before. The effects, which there really is only one, is decent, but all in all, I found this one easily the blandest installment of the bunch I’ve seen so far. If you’re looking to skip an episode, this one is it as it fails to scare, surprise, or give off the saccharine-y bittersweet ending it reaches for.
Episode Six: Man in the Suitcase
Directed by David Bruckner
Written by Christopher Buehlman
Starring Will Kindrachuk, Madison Bailey, Ravi Naidu, Big Boi, Ian Gregg, Nasim, Carey Jones
“Man in the Suitcase” is a sharp and imaginative take on an old concept that only gets revealed in the final moments. The payoff is a big one so I won’t reveal it, but the story centers on a man who accidentally picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport and doesn’t realize it until he gets home. When he does finally open it, he discovers that there is a Man (played by Ravi Naidu) folded into sections and squeezed into the suitcase. While trying to get the Man out, the kid finds that hurting the folded man causes him to spit out gold coins. When his opportunistic friends catch wind of this, they start hurting the man more and more to get all the gold they desire. Everything leads up to a awesomely wicked twist. The effects of the folded man is creepy and iconic and the methods with which the kids use to pump the suitcase man for gold is bound to make you wince. All in all, this was a wonderfully and darkly comedic little yarn that delivers laughs, gasps, and winces.
Episode Seven: The Companion
Directed by David Bruckner
Written by Joe R. Lansdale, Kasey Lansdale, Keith Lansdale (story), Matt Venne (screenwplay)
Starring Logan Allen, Dylan Gage, Voltaire Colin Council, Carey Jones, Afemo Omilami, Addison Hershey
David Bruckner helms this story by Joe Lansdale and his two kids. I always have a soft spot for scarecrow stories and “The Companion” offers up an iconic and creepy looking one, for sure with all kinds of weird bones and odd parts making up the creeping raggedy man. I also really liked the back and forth conversation at the beginning between a kid named Harold (Logan Allan) and his good buddy Smitty (Dylan Gage). Their conversation is charming, heartfelt, and fun and serves as a great way to pass along information about Harold’s relationship with his bully brother who chases him into the field that the scarecrow occupies. This one feels like pure CREEPSHOW with nicely neon lit lighting to signify scares as if they were occurring in panel. This one is simply fun from beginning to end and is good to make it in a CREEPSHOW movie.
Episode Eight: Lydia Lane’s Better Half
Directed by Roxanne Benjamin
Written by Greg Nicotero & John Harrison
Starring Tricia Helfer, Michael Scialabba, Danielle Lyn, Jordan Patrick, Dennis Bouldin, David Wise
Roxanne Benjamin (BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK) delivers a topical story about a woman overlooked for a promotion but the twist is that her boss (the titular Lydia Lane played by BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s Tricia Helfer) is a woman. When a tragic accident endangers Lydia’s career, she goes to great lengths to cover it up. While set in a completely different place and time, this one reminded me a lot of THE CRATE in the way the whole story and cover-up was structured. There are some chilling moments and nicely choreographed scares later in the episode when it is clear that the cover-up is not going to go off as smoothly as the overconfident Lydia thinks. This one is a solid episode with a quick pace and subtle, but effective scares that work well, along with the usual CREEPSHOW sense of irony and humor.
I’ll cover the last handful of episodes from Season One next time. But now, even if you don’t have SHUDDER (and shame on you if you don’t), you can enjoy CREEPSHOW Season One on DVD & Blu-ray.