CREEPSHOW Episode #1.3 Recap: Settling For Traditional Storytelling And Cautionary Tales
If I were to describe my reaction to this week's episode of Shudder's Creepshow it would be, "Yeah, and... ?"
What could be best described as perhaps a Breather Episode, episode three offered few thrills and chills. Instead we got a traditional and very familiar spooky tale, All Hallows Eve, then a horror comedy cross of maybe Shallow Grave and Aladdin with The Man in the Suitcase.
The trouble with All Hallows Eve is that learned horror fans will have already worked it out in the first couple of minutes. If you did not know what was going to happen, congratulations, welcome to vengeful spirit horror. To its credit though the ending is sweet natured, and also bittersweet with the hint of unrequited love between two of the friends. But the narrative's familiarity is its crutch and I do not know if it was worth sticking it out through the entire story. There is a nice practical effect under the bedsheet with eyes, meant to scare, but that's about it.
It does pick up with the second tale, The Man in the Suitcase. It is a trend we have noted about the series so far is that the second half of each episode has been stronger. Preacher's Will Kindrachuk channels Jesse Eisenberg's scattered nerves, playing a dope who has lost his girl but mistakenly taken home the wrong suitcase. It's not like he's found someone else's clothes, or someone else's self-pleasure devices. There is a man, stuffed into the suitcase.
Turns out that any effort to pull him from the suitcase results in pain which in turn results in the man spitting out gold bullion. He brings his housemate and his ex in on the action, and their collective greed will condemn them all. It's not full blown Danny Boyle Shallow Ground but you're reminded of it as these friends and ex-lovers inevitably turn on each other. It's not pitch black but there is a bit of bite to the humor.
There is a better and bigger practical creature in this second part, in all its lavender and toothy glory; likely a jab at a certain blue granter of wishes from a franchise behemoth. The Man in the Suitcase is good enough to uphold the trend of strong finishes to each episode thus far.
And in closing, If we are updating a list of drinking game rules then one should be whenever the show uses the colorful, fractured backdrops during moments of terror.
“All Hallows Eve”
Even then they’re a little too old, this group of friends still want to trick-or-treat but getting candy isn’t all they are looking for.
Written by Bruce Jones and directed by John Harrison.
Cast: Connor Christie, Madison Thompson, Jasun Jabbar, Andrew Eakle, Michael May, Julia Denton, Scott Daniel Johnson, Tom Olson, Erica Frene
“The Man in the Suitcase”
A college student brings the wrong bag home from the airport only to find a pretzeled man trapped inside, afflicted by a strange condition that turns his pain into gold.
Written by Christopher Buehlman and directed by Dave Bruckner (The Ritual)
Cast: Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, Will Kindrachuk, Ravi Naidu, Madison Bailey, Ian Gregg, Nasim Bowlus, Carey Jones