When two people go head to head and dire circumstances come between them, things get personal in the two segments of Creepshow’s third episode: The Right Snuff and Sibling Rivalry. The Creep is halfway through his 6-episode collection of Creepshow’s second season on Shudder and these two stories show that there’s still so much gore and content to be squeezed for the pages.
Competition and suspicion are the current grounds for a frighteningly good time in episode three’s range of terror, presenting a set of uniquely unfortunate conflicts. From a typical suburban high school to the reaches of deep space, Creepshow continues to explore entertaining plots and places with amusing spirit. There can only be one… right?
The Right Snuff
There are a lot of territories that Creepshow has explored but outer space was never one of them… until now. Taking the series to new heights, Joe Lynch (Mayhem) directs the first segment of the second season titled The Right Snuff with a script written by Paul Dini (Birds Of Prey) and Stephen Langford (Warm Blooded Killers). The intergalactic terror begins as “Two astronauts are on a history-making mission in space, but when the promise of fame and glory collides with a major misunderstanding, it ensures they’ll go down in history for an entirely different reason”.
Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and Breckin Meyer (Clueless) lead the small cast supported by Gabrielle Byndloss (The Falcon And The Winter Soldier) and Kara Kimmer (Cherry) in a great team effort that places the weight of humanity in the eye of the beholder. The Right Snuff is a pretty cool sci-fi riff that echoes the nostalgia of The Twilight Zone and Alien, breaking the barrier between the brutality of our world and beyond.
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“The Right Snuff is a pretty cool sci-fi riff that echoes the nostalgia of The Twilight Zone and Alien…”
Kwanten’s Alex Toomey is a hardheaded, proud captain living in the shadow of his famous astronaut father while Meyer’s Ted Lockwood is the calming brains of the operation. When a slight malfunction and an avoided collision grants the duo notoriety from the higher-ups back on Earth, bitter jealousy gets the best of one of them. One of the biggest highlights of The Right Snuff, next to Lynch’s inspired direction, is the entertaining performance dynamic between Kwanten and Meyers. Their acting hits the mark as viewers observe the two go from friendly co-pilots to enemies through a severe shift in attitude.
Being set in space and relying on maintaining Creepshow’s preferred application of practical effects, the visual graphics of the segment are limited but successful in purpose. Taking place in a mostly singular location, the Occula spaceship, Lynch uses movement and digital communication to expand the story’s reach. It also helps that the Occula itself has a similar industrial style to the Nostromo. Utilizing green screen magic, tremendous puppetry, and clever prosthetics, The Right Snuff not only meets expectations but also proves that with the right narrative, the right actors, and the right eyes behind the camera, special effects can come secondary in quality horror storytelling. Overall, Lynch takes viewers on an entertaining, standout journey with a meaningful outcome in an effort to prove humankind’s worth as a whole… or lack thereof.
Blood is thicker than, well, blood in this episode’s second segment, Sibling Rivalry. Running in the same vein as The Right Snuff, Rusty Cundieff (Tales From The Hood) directs a curious teenage tale that pits sister against brother in a shaky navigation through the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Author and podcaster Melanie Dale pens a modern monster narrative alongside showrunner Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) that tugs viewers in a multitude of directions, all while hiding a sharp core beneath its quirky, innocent surface.
Sibling Rivalry unfolds as “Lola is convinced her brother is trying to kill her… but the more she pieces together, the less things make sense. Turns out, she’s looking for a monster in entirely the wrong place.” Starring Maddie Nichols (Darlin’), Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast Club), Andrew Brodeur (Tall Girl), Ja’Ness Tate (Mia’s M.I.A.), and Jerri Tubbs (Stranger Things), Sibling Rivalry is a quick-witted, but subtle social commentary that speaks to young adult horror as it broadens the Creepshow universe.
“Sibling Rivalry is a quick-witted, but subtle social commentary that speaks to young adult horror as it broadens the Creepshow universe.“
Sibling Rivalry delves into Lola’s suspicion rapidly and manically as she explains most of the segment’s events to her guidance counselor, Ms. Porter. Told in a freshman teen girl’s perspective in flashback scenes, the energy of the story is fast-paced with random diversions, exaggeration, slow motion montages, quick cuts, and her distracted thoughts. Dale’s dialogue is fun and modern with humorous, cheeky flair making Sibling Rivalry more goofy and silly Creepshow piece until the real heart of the matter is revealed. It’s clear that something isn’t right from the start, but viewers will never be exactly sure what Lola’s storytelling is leading to until the real fangs come out.
Playing on Lola’s desperation to be believed and her speculations dismissed, Sibling Rivalry is a careful approach to representing progressive issues without being too on-the-nose. It’s smart in presenting its predators (I caught that clever Creepshow graphic novel placement) as well as the bond between brother and sister. Cundieff provides fluid direction complete with a pretty impressive hybrid of CGI and practical makeup transformation work that ends this dark comedy with an essential final bite. The very modern teen environment might be a little jarring to some senior viewers, but it certainly opens up the Creepshow platform to a whole new range of younger audiences, giving it a special point in the genre playbook. Sibling Rivalry also gets an extra point for Dolores Clairborne the dog.
The third episode of Creepshow’s second season anthology, “The Right Snuff/Sibling Rivalry”, is available on Shudder April 15th, 2021, with new episodes premiering live and on-demand weekly on Thursdays at 9:00 pm ET/ 6:00 pm PT. Be sure to catch the first two episodes and tune in for more because there’s no telling where The Creep will take his tales of terror next. Let us know what you thought of the season’s third episode over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!