We’re only three episodes into Shudder’s Creepshow series and it is already a rollercoaster ride, week-to-week. Episode three brought us out first Halloween themed segment (yaaass!) but it also brought two more segments that don’t have the Creep Factor I’m looking for in a Creepshow series. Last week’s Bad Wolf Down and The Finger gave us a taste of the heights this series could reach, and I remain optimistic that this show will continue to serve us some truly creepy tales in the weeks to come, but it is a real roll of the dice. The worst part (and I’m going to blame myself for this one) is that the shorts that I find less enjoyable would play better in a non-Creepshow anthology series/film. Maybe my expectations are too high, but we’re flying a flag that horror fans have been saluting for over 30 years and there’s a patriotism I hold for this property that will have to pull from my cold dead hands.
All is not lost though. Episode 3 also gave us the best interstitial bit (IMO), showcasing The Creeper carving up pumpkins and pesky intruders. The previous wraparounds have been surprisingly devoid of dialogue, and although this week’s really only has a line or two off-camera, it’s a small addition that made the opening feel less like a spooky screensaver and more like a proper intro. It might also be a personal preference-peev, but the comic book panel transitions (essential for all things Creepshow) are really starting to feel like an excess of white space. I’m sure, if not this season then the next, the team will have the resources to really utilize this classic flourish in a creep-tastic way.
“Last week’s [Creepshow] gave us a taste of the heights this series could reach, and I remain optimistic that this show will continue to serve us some truly creepy tales in the weeks to come […]”
Episode 3 opens with All Hallows Eve, a Halloween set tale that follows a group of friends meeting for what will soon be their last night of trick or treating. Most of the group seems much too old to be going around asking for candy, but there is a sense that they are duty-bound to walk the streets of their hometown this one night of the year. House-to-house the families that answer their Trick or Treat call are terrified to see them, but why? All Hallows Eve is a perfectly fine Halloween horror short and (as Creepshow is want to do) a tale of decisions poorly made that will in time be dearly paid. I wasn’t blown away by it, sadly, but any Halloween content this time of year is better than anything else I could have been watching.
The Man in The Suitcase is another classic tale of poorly laid plans. A college student who’s life doesn’t seem to going as planned rushes home from the airport with someone else’s bag *gasp!*. Not usually a huge deal- you call the airport, get the whole mess sorted out and a day later you’ve got your own dirty laundry back in your hands. But when he opens the suitcase he finds a man folded up and stuffed inside….and he’s still alive. What ensues is a fun but familiar story of ill-gotten gains. You see, this mystery man spits out coins when he experiences pain and suddenly helping him get out of the suitcase has taken a backseat to he and his friends finally getting ahead in life. It’s a story you’ve heard before, but it does manage to pull a few punches that are worth the wait. Did I mention that Big Boi has a cameo??
I felt a little let down by Episode 3 of Creepshow but likely only for how much I loved the previous week’s segments. I’m a big fan of anthology horror so I really do feel I have to take some responsibility for getting my own expectations up so high, but I find it hard not to base my expectations on the strength of the segments I watched previously. ‘Compare And Despair,’ they tell me, which I try to keep in mind but it’s haaaaard *pouty face*. More than anything, I want to see this show succeed, but I also want to enjoy it with all my horror-loving heart. I’m sure once every episode is released we can look at it all like a creepy-quilt of tiny terror, stitching together every segment equally into a glorious montage of bite-sized scares.
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 Episode 3, “All Hallows Eve / The Man in The Suitcase” is available now on Shudder, with new episodes premiering live and on demand every Thursday at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. If you aren’t already subscribed to Shudder, take it from me, it is the one streaming platform your horror-obsessed brain needs during the Halloween season! Click HERE to read reviews for every episode of Creepshow currently available and let us know what you thought of this week’s episode over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!