REVIEW: Creepshow (2019) Episode 1
The first episode in the new season of Creepshow has recently been added to the Shudder line-up, and I was quite excited to find out if this Stephen King series was going to live up to all the buzz and hype. With a fine pedigree of writers and the occasional familiar face dropping in to grace an episode there is huge potential for this to fast become a favourite of mine.
The first story ’Gray Matter’ is from Stephen King himself and adapted for the small screen by Bryon Willinger and Philip de Blasi and directed by Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead-2012-19). It stars Giancarlo Esposito (Maze Runner: The Death Cure-2018), Tobin Bell (Jigsaw-2017) and Adrienne Barbeau (Escape from New York-1981) amongst its small cast and is a fine little starter to this series. It introduces the viewer to the format of the show if they haven’t before seen Creepshow and gives a taste of things to come. It starts with a storm ripping across the country, people are sheltering away, and the local convenience store has all but run dry of supplies. An anxious boy turns up on a supply run for his alcoholic father, and when he reveals that he doesn’t want to go home, Bell and Esposito offer to investigate. As they make their way to the boy’s house and then search the building, the boy is explaining to Barbeau how his father has changed and needs help. The final twist and reveal has a classic Creepshow feel and wraps up the story all too soon. I guess my main grumble with this episode, as with any story that is trying to create atmosphere and give actors a platform to stretch their skills, is that these little stories are just so short they are pretty much over before they begin. Regardless, Gray Matter gets a 5/10 from me.
The second story is ‘The House of the Head’. This is where things get interesting and this is by far the better of the two stories. Cailey Fleming (The Walking Dead – 2018-19) gets to lead this episode and she does a fine job. Whilst innocently playing with her antique dolls house, she notices that the family of dolls have started moving around the house of their own accord. More terrifying still is the appearance of a severed head which seems to be unsettling them. Imagine a scary version of ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ (1995) and you’ve got this one. Its all played out extremely well and it holds the suspense for its duration. A really well-done story. 7/10.
All in all, a nice starter to this new series. If you have access to Shudder, it’s well worth checking out.