George A Romero’s Creepshow was released in 1982, and has remained a celebrated staple in the horror-anthology subgenre. The film featured several stories from the mind of horror master Stephen King and would go on to- who am I kidding? If you’re reading this, you probably know everything you need to know about Creepshow. I’m willing to bet you have a copy of both Creepshow and Creepshow 2 prominently displayed on your movie shelf and you probably even own one on VHS, you Creepshow-lovin’ manic, you. If that’s true, than you’re likely already aware that Shudder will be premiering a new Creepshow series Thursday September 26 that will feature some of the biggest talents in horror, including The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero.
Creepshow the series will, of course, feature a story from Stephen King but the anthology series always boasts creepy tales from Joe Hill (NOS4A2), Paul Dini (Batman: Mask of The Phantasm), Josh Malerman (Bird Box), as well as segments directed by Nicotero himself, Tom Savini (Night of The Living Dead, 1990), Roxanne Benjamin (Body at Brighton Rock) and many, many more. Each episode of the series will showcase two individual segments for a full course meal of freaky frights. The forthcoming premiere episodes of the series features “Gray Matter”, a Stephen King story adapted by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi, directed by Greg Nicotero- An understated entree with plenty to chew on. And coming in for dessert, “The House of The Head” written by Josh Malerman (Bird Box) and directed by John Harrison (Tales From The Darkside: The Movie)- A brilliantly restrained story that has no right being so creepy with so little.
Greg Nicotero’s opening segment Gray Matter, welcomes us into the grayest environment Americans know: Hurricane season. The entire city is practically underwater, but a small group of locasl reminisce about yesteryear over a card table, unaware the are already tredding water on borrowed time. When a young boy comes in giving off all kinds of “I’ve seen some sh*t” vibes while fetching supplies for his beer-swilling father, the shop owner (Adrienne Barbeau) sends the Sheriff (Tobin Bell) and his old friend (Giancarlo Esposito) off to see just what’s become of the young boy’s father. What they discover makes a state-of-emergency storm pattern look like nothing more than a silly little rainstorm.
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Gray Matter features a great reveal that is best left unspoiled, but it’s a story that felt too big for the world of Creepshow. It could be that this first short scare signals a shift that will see more no-holds-barred nightmares through the series but the best Creepshow stories have always had a campfire tale quality to them. They could easily be another of your crazy uncle’s stories but it could also be that this is one time he’s cried wolf because there really is a snarling beast standing right behind you.
” the team behind Shudder’s Creepshow are crafting a series George A. Romero would be proud of, and I can’t wait to see what other scares they have in store”
John Harrison’s The House of The Head is the more traditional scary story that I came looking for in a Creepshow series. This tiny terror is a genius example of stripped-down filmmaking that takes a perfectly normal, seemingly harmless activity and warps it just enough to give you an uneasy sense of helplessness. In The House of The Head, little Evie spends her free time playing with a family of dolls in an elaborate dollhouse. Everything is perfectly normal and pleasant until the day Evie find a small severed doll head in the living room of the dollhouse.
It’s no big deal at first, despite being horribly creepy, but there is nothing Evie can do to rid her house of this menace. It might be one of the most interesting short films I’ve seen this year, but it is also further proof that it’s just too damn to end a good story. All things considered, the team behind Shudder’s Creepshow are crafting a series George A. Romero would be proud of, and I can’t wait to see what other scares they have in store.
The Creepshow series stars David Arquette (Scream), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), Tobin Bell (Saw), Big Boi (Scream: The TV Series), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Kid Cudi (Drunk Parents), Bruce Davison (X-Men), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Dana Gould (Stan Against Evil), Tricia Helfer (Lucifer) and DJ Qualls (Supernatural).
Creepshow premieres Thursday September 26 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT both on Shudder TV live-stream and on demand with new episodes premiering live and on demand Thursday at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. If you aren’t already subscribed to Shudder, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of time to subscribe to the one streaming service your horror-obsessed brain needs during the Halloween season! If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re already excited to see the upcoming premiere. Let us know how you will be celebrating Episode 1 of Greg Nicotero’s Creepshow over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!