anthologies

[TV Review] Channel Zero Season 1: Candle Cove (2016) ★★★★★

Eddie and Mike watching Candle Cove in Channel Zero season 1 Candle Cove

Channel Zero: Candle Cove is a surreal nightmare come to life in a unique and brilliant way.


Channel Zero is a supernatural horror anthology series that is based on creepypastas. These horror stories and creepy legends are copy-pasted and circulate on the internet, and sometimes it has gotten a life of its own. And sometimes these stories are picked up by creative and imaginative filmmakers and turned into a tv series. 

Candle Cove is a very creepy story indeed. Highly imaginative, creative and with beautiful well-crafted practical effects and a true weird story that is very original. This series is a gift from and for horror fans. It’s an intimate, internal story that is told in an impressionistic and surreal way creating an experience that has its own unique tone and voice. 

This first season consists of 6 episodes with each a duration of 44 minutes. It’s a continuous story arc that slowly unravels the mysteries of a creepy kids tv show from the eighties. 


Plot

After 30 years Mike Painter returns to his hometown Iron Hill. He has some bad memories concerning his missing twin brother Eddie when they both were 12 years old. But his brother wasn’t the only child that went missing in 1988, more kids went missing and were later found dead, except for Eddie. 

Now that he has come back, some memories are also coming back and are seeping into reality. It somehow has everything to do with a kids tv show called ‘Candle Cove’ and it seems the children are watching it again. The past seems to repeat itself and Mike might be the only one who can unravel the mystery and put a stop to it. 


Why you should watch it

If you like weird and bizarre, highly imaginative and original stories, that are quite creepy and elusive, then this is definitely one to watch. It’s a slow paced story that is beautifully told with regard to the characters and the weird events that are unfolding. It’s part mystery, part horror and full on weird dark fairytale-like fantasy. The story unfolds itself in a way that becomes weirder and weirder. 

Read more about Candle Cove, Tooth Child and Eddie in this explanation.

But it’s also a very emotionally charged and intimate story. It’s about Mike and his relationship with his twin brother Eddie and his mother Marla. It’s a very introvert story that has a unique tone and atmosphere that is well-crafted. The cinematography is beautiful as are the practical effects to create a surreal but very creepy feel. Although it contains just 6 episodes the story feels very rich. Many characters and smaller storylines all come together to create an enthralling story. 

The creepy tv show ‘Candle Cove’ is a big element of the story and it has a very mysterious vibe surrounding it that has everything to do with what happened then and what is happening now. The monsters that are coming straight out of ‘Candle Cove’ are very dreamlike and nightmarishly real. A dreamlike atmosphere surrounds them, making them highly surreal and scary. 

The pirate puppets are creepy and not at all suitable for a kids show. These puppets used in that tv show are coming to life in different ways, creating a mysterious vibe. The Skin Taker or Jawbone, the villain of the pirate show is really creepy but the Tooth Child monster is the most scary and elusive of all. It’s a unique monster and perfectly made. It’s like nothing you have ever seen before.


My favorite part

I truly loved this series. It’s so imaginatively made, the whole vibe and atmosphere, the original story and the practical effects are a joy to watch. Especially the Tooth Child and the puppets are really well-made and pretty terrifying. The story unfolds in an original way and the ending made the weird story even more surreal. 

These kind of stories are absolutely my cup of tea and it was so well executed that I longed for more. You might think that six episodes is too few to tell such a complex story, but it was just the right amount. This way the focus was clear and the story stayed intense and intimate. It focused just on the right things at the right time and they were shown exactly in a way so it created a unique story. 

I can’t say much more, while it is also a mystery that you will have to uncover and see for yourself and that has some twits and turns that make it even more frightful.


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★★★☆

Surreal factor: ★★★★★

Originality factor: ★★★★★


Read more about Channel Zero:


Cast and crew

Channel Zero: Candle Cove is based on the story by Kris Straub. The series is created by Nick Antosca. It stars Paul Schneider (Mike), Fiona Shaw (Marla), Luisa D’Oliveira (Amy), Natalie Brown (Jessica), Shaun Benson (Gary), Luca Villacis (young Eddie and Mike), Abigail Pniowsky (Lily) and Marina Stephenson Kerr (France Booth).

Music: Jeff Russo. Cinematography: Noah Greenberg. Production companies:  Eat the Cate, UTMK Limited, Universal Cable Productions. Original network: Syfy. 


Check the trailer below


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