Review by Sean Boelman
Greg Nicotero’s Creepshow series has been a hit among horror fans, so it will be to the delight of Shudder subscribers that the new season is debuting in the heart of their spooky season celebration. Offering more of the same campy, morbid stories for which the property is known, viewers that know what they are getting into will certainly have a great deal of fun with this new batch of episodes.
For those unaware of what Creepshow is, it’s an anthology horror series with episodes consisting of two independent shorts. Yet even though each segment is pretty self-contained, this third season probably isn’t the best starting point for novices, as this isn’t the most accessible batch of episodes for non-fans.
The first episode features two stories which feel more like classic Creepshow tales. The first, “Mums”, features a sinister garden in a segment that recalls the original film’s “Father’s Day”. However, perhaps the most frustrating thing about this bit is that the message is lost in an attempt to emphasize thrills.
The other half of the episode, “Queen Bee”, is much more fun but even more ridiculous. Here, the message is clear and timely, and the effects work is astounding. The set piece that makes up most of this segment is one of the best in all the series, and features one shot in particular that audiences won’t soon forget.
On the other hand, the second episode of the season is much more consistent in quality. “Skeletons in the Closet”, much like season two’s “Public Television of the Dead”, is made with horror fans in mind. Cinephiles will have a smile on their face the whole time and may even shout in glee at a few of the visual references that are made.
The second story, “Familiar”, is the first one of the season that feels like it should be expanded into a longer form. A twenty-minute runtime doesn’t really give the story enough time to breathe or really dive into its world, but the implications that this segment has are truly haunting, as is the lead performance by Andrew Bachelor.
Something else that stands out about this new season is that it also feels more stylistically distinctive. Although the episodes are still made by Nicotero and his usual band of collaborators, and the horror comic influence is still obvious, there’s a bit more visual flair to each of these four bits. And this only works in the series’s favor.
Creepshow is back, and those worried that it would be experiencing a slump for its third season will be proven wrong. These new episodes are a ton of fun, and one of the many highlights of Shudder’s always impressive September/October slate.
Creepshow streams on Shudder beginning September 23, with new episodes streaming subsequent Thursdays. Two out of six episodes reviewed.