The Creep was confident that you liked what you saw and would come back for more! The horror anthology series Creepshow continues its second season run on Shudder with episode two’s individually disturbing consumer segments: Dead & Breakfast and Pesticide. Both segments maintain the old school creep factor of entries past and put the KNB EFX Group on full display, whether axes are falling or bugs are crawling.
Following up the strong start of Model Kid and Public Television Of The Dead in the premiere episode, these two morbid tales of terror keep up the collection’s twisted spin on morality and prove that the customer is always right even if it’s all sorts of wrong.
Dead & Breakfast
Siblings Sam and Pam Spinster are aware that there’s a market for horror and plan to maximize their profits “when a true-crime vlogger documents her stay at a hokey haunted Bed and Breakfast, she gets a much scarier experience than she was expecting.” Starring Ali Larter (Final Destination), C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher), and Iman Benson (BlackAF), Dead & Breakfast sees an older brother and sister looking to preserve their family estate, uphold the legend of their homicidal grandmother, and find a way to attract the right clientele to their property, which arrives in spooky influencer Morgan aka “Morgue”.
Director Axelle Carolyn (The Haunting Of Bly Manor) and writers Michael Rousselet and Erik Sandoval (Dude Bro Party Massacre III) come together in an enjoyable piece of storytelling that expands on the affinity of true crime amongst the masses as well as the individual desperation to produce appealing content in a fun, tongue-in-cheek, bite-sized narrative. Dead & Breakfast is a fiendish slice of homemade terror that somehow plays the narrative close to the vest while expounding on some really interesting bits of subtle social commentary.
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“…a fiendish slice of homemade terror that […expounds] on some really interesting bits of subtle social commentary.”
Grasping the modern era obsessed with ratings, debunking, influencer commentary, and consumer relevance, Dead & Breakfast checks in on all the kinds of social media effects there are when it comes to running a business in this small satire. Us fellow morbid viewers are treated to a mysterious story that combines brutal true crime, a spooky ghost story, a contemporary feed, and even questionable motives when Morgue pays a visit to Sam and Pam’s establishment.
The old gothic Victorian set pieces staged against Morgue’s livestream filled with digital emojis and ongoing comments give the segment the right amount of clash as both Ali Larter and Iman Benson eat up their roles in a battle of wills. Rousselet and Sandoval pen witty dialogue filled with clever banter and humor while Carolyn makes tremendous use of all visual resources to tell this story effectively. Intensifying efforts to display and debunk gradually build as the surprising end culminates in everyone getting what they want… one way or another. Dead & Breakfast aims to please with step-by-step intrigue, kooky players, and
For viewers that are repulsed by insects and vermin, the second story of this episode is the worst perfect scare for you. Showrunner Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) directs Pesticide, a creepy crawly tale of terror that begins when “an exterminator is tasked with a big job, and it’s more than he bargained for. The payout is huge, but is it worth what it’s costing him?”
Josh McDermitt (The Walking Dead), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser), and Keith David (The Thing) star in the segment written by Frank Dietz (I Hate Kids) that sees an obnoxious, rude exterminator named Harlan King face an overwhelming affliction of guilt and consequence when he agrees to eliminate a stranger’s infestation problem. The only issue is that his services are rendered to treat “human waste”. Pesticide is one of those classic kinds of Creepshow stories, one where the bad guy is outsmarted by the villain and what goes around comes back around like a pesky fly you can never quite swat away. The payoff is not exactly proportional to the payout…
“…Pesticide keeps the anthology tradition alive and, naturally, keeps us wanting more.”
Before King can administer the right drug for the right bug, he momentarily loses his nerve in what snowballs into a nasty hallucinatory setup that gets more repellant with each final scene. His internal moral battle becomes poisoned with attacks by rats and bugs, making for quite a showcase in Creepshow’s signature display of practical effects. The animatronic work and practical gore is effortlessly grand, getting bigger and bigger as King’s impending doom draws near.
Dietz’ narrative plays a little fast and loose with the motive behind the offer King can’t refuse, but with the purposeful limitation of timing and amusing characterization makes up for any small segment holes. Once Pesticide comes full circle and the viewer knows what’s about to happen, it is still such a huge payoff in terms of visuals and satisfaction come the final scene. Between the wacky characters, outrageous special effects, and lessons to be learned, Pesticide keeps the anthology tradition alive and, naturally, keeps us wanting more.
The second episode of Creepshow’s second season anthology, “Dead & Breakfast/Pesticide”, is available on Shudder April 8th, 2021, with new episodes premiering live and on demand weekly on Thursdays at 9:00 pm ET/ 6:00 pm PT. Be sure to tune in because this season has already proved to be a worthy continuation of The Creep’s memorable tales of horror. Let us know what you thought of the season’s premiere episode over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!