anthologies

[TV Review] Creepshow Season 1 (2019) ★★★★☆

Night of the Paw Creepshow season 1

Creepshow brings old school horror anthology back to life with glee and campy fun.


Creepshow is an anthology horror series that is a sequel to the films Creepshow (1982) and Creepshow 2 (1987). Centered around a comic book full with ghostly ghastly tales of the supernatural and monsters, this series tells 12 different horror stories in 6 episodes. While it doesn’t completely manage to recreate that specific eighties horror vibe, it does come really close and the stories, some better than others, bring back a nostalgic feel and the love for horror stories. With monsters, curses, a haunted doll house, werewolves, ghosts, murder and all kinds of terrifying tales of the macabre there is something for everyone. 

This first season consists of 6 episodes with each a duration of 44 minutes. Each episode consists of 2 horror stories, so they are short but sweet and terrifying. 


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Plot

Gray Matter ★★★★☆

(directed by Greg Nicotero & written by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, Stephen King) 

A drinking problem turns an alcoholic into something even worse. This story really recreates the old nostalgic vibe of the films and is old school practical effects gory fun with a monstrous surprise.


The House of the Head ★★★★★ 

(directed by John Harrison & written by Josh Malerman)

A girl gets a haunted doll house. Centered around a little girl and her doll house, a chopped off head ruins her fun but creates some creepy horror with great storytelling and a great little actress.


Bad Wolf Down ★★★☆☆

(directed and written by Rob Schrab)

American soldiers are cornered by the nazi’s. A werewolf tale with a nineties vibe and a new spin with great practical effects and with great coloring reminding of comic book fun.


The Finger ★★★★★ 

(directed by Greg Nicotero & written by David J. Schow)

A lonely man finds a finger that grows into a new friendly monster. This is a brilliantly told story, it’s fun, tongue-in-cheek humor and a very special friendship and a wonderfully made monster and the terrific DJ Qualls.


All Hallow’s Eve ★★★★☆

(directed by John Harrison & written by Bruce Jones)

Trick or Treaters are terrorizing a town. A ghostly story with a tragic twist, like most ghosts tories tend to have, and a revenge tale to boot.


The Man in the Suitcase ★★★★★ 

(directed by David Bruckner & written by Christopher Buehlman)

A Genie that spits out golden coins has severe consequences. A highly surprising and original tale that brings out some laughs with brilliant acting from the man in the suitcase. This is a fresh new story.


The Companion ★★★☆☆

(directed by David Bruckner & written by Joe R. Lansdale, Keith Lansdale, Matt Venne)

A scarecrow comes to life. Not the best story. While the scarecrow is scary and well-made, the ending could have been better.


Lydia Layne’s Better Half ★★★★☆

(directed by Roxanne Benjamin & written by  Greg Nicotero, John Harrison)

How to get rid of a dead body. How to get away with murder, during an earthquake in an elevator, conjures up some ironic consequences. 


Night of the Paw ★★★★☆

(directed by John Harrison & written by John Esposito)

A monkey’s paw grants three wishes. A sad and wonderful story with a true eighties vibe. Bit cheesy and campy but with good storytelling, especially the scenes at the cemetery.


Times is Tough in Musky Holler ★★☆☆☆

(directed by John Harrison & written by John Skipp, Dori Miller)

Zombie trials. I didn’t care for this one. The twist is obvious and the idea is not my cup of tea.


Skincrawlers  ★★★★★

(directed by Roxanne Benjamin & written by Paul Dini, Stephen Langford)

A radical weight loss treatment has severe consequences. Very funny story with wonderful practical effects and a well-crafted monster and great fun with a lot of gore. With Dana Gould as the anti-hero of the story. 


By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain ★★☆☆☆

(directed by Tom Savini & written by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella)

There’s a monster in the lake. A story that addresses abuse but isn’t excited in the best way. The message doesn’t come across as it should and the monster of the lake is really a too sad of a story. 


Why you should watch it

Creepshow tells 12 tales of the macabre and there’s a story for everyone. Monsters, killers, curses, werewolves, ghosts, all the horror tropes show up, but each story has a little twist. And each horror trope is turned into something fresh and new, some stories succeed better to create new stories from old tropes than others and some twists are more surprising than others. But what certainly stands out with every story is that the fun jumps off the screen. It’s a series that is made by horror lovers for horror lovers who don’t take themselves too seriously and that shows. The dark macabre humor, the tragic undertone and the social issues all shine through and add to the story instead of lessening the horror. 

The practical and special effects look great and is a strong reminder of the original films. Even more so with the comic books that start off each story and with primary colors and frames it imitates that comic book vibe. It sometimes looks campy and cheesy enough to revive that good old eighties horror vibe. But the stories are very fresh and modern, although with big nods to old tropes. Yet, some stories are completely new and very original, like The House of the Head and The Man in the Suitcase and The Finger. While some recreate that old vibe like, Night of the Paw, Gray Matter and All Hallow’s Eve.

Because each story is rather short, it’s no big deal if you don’t like one particular story, there are so many left. You can also pick out some stories you want to see first, because there’s no right order in which you should watch them. Each story is totally separate from the others. But just because they’re that short, it’s also highly addictive and before you know it, you have watched them all. The storytelling of each story is fast paced, with a twist, a mystery and you just want to see it through and know what is going to happen next. 


My favorite part

I loved four stories the most. The House of the Head is a great story with great storytelling and a wonderful girl that carries the whole episode. The Finger is a brilliant episode with DJ Qualls who is amazing in this one, especially when he is also his own narrator and talks to us in the camera, and not to mention the odd friendship with an absolutely originally made monster. The way the story unfolds is also greatly done and very original. The Man in the Suitcase is so imaginative and weird, and when it starts out you don’t know what to think of it, but the dark humor is spot on. And finally Skincrawlers with Dana Gould is such fun. You already know what’s coming but that doesn’t matter. The whole trip that takes you there and to finally see the big well-crafted monster, it’s just a reminder of great eighties monsters. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Fun factor: ★★★★☆

Gore factor: ★★★☆☆

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Popcorn factor: ★★★★☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Read more about Creepshow:


Cast and crew

Creepshow is based on Creepshow by Stephen King and George A. Romero. I stars Adrienne Barbeau, Carey Jones, Bruce Davison, Giancarlo Esposito, Dana Gould, DJ Qualls, Cailey Fleming, Tricia Helfer, Ravi Naidu.

Music: Christopher Drake, Tyler Bates, Tim Williams. Cinematography: Robert Draper. Production companies: Shudder, The Cartel, AMC Studios, Castle Pictures, Striker Entertainment. Original network: Shudder. 


Check the trailer below


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