Creepshow season 2, episode 2 (TV Review)

Creepshow season 2, episode 2 (TV Review)
7 10

PLOT: The Creep flips through the pages of a Creepshow comic book to bring us two horrifying stories: Dead and Breakfast and Pesticide.

REVIEW: Of the four segments that make up the first two episodes of Creepshow's second season, three of them were directed by the show's "creative supervisor" Greg Nicotero. The only one not directed by Nicotero marks the series debut of Axelle Carolyn, whose previous credits include an episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor and a segment of the anthology Tales of Halloween. Scripted by Michael Rousselet and Erik Sandoval, Carolyn's Creepshow segment Dead and Breakfast feels like a classic horror anthology story. The presence of modern technology aside, this would have been a perfect fit for the anthologies that were on TV when I was a kid back in the day, so I was glad to see it here in Creepshow.

Creepshow Shudder

The set-up goes back 80 years, to a time when the proprietor of the Spinster Family House Bed and Breakfast terrorized her guests in much the same way H.H. Holmes terrorized people in Chicago a few decades earlier. The Spinster house has secret passageways and a confusing layout of rooms, and when people broke the place's strict rules (no smoking, no feet on the furniture, no noise after dark), Old Lady Spinster took them out. That's the rumor, anyway. Spinster said she killed people, but it can't be proven because the bodies of her victims were never found. That doesn't make any difference to Spinster's grandchildren Pam (Ali Larter) and Sam (C. Thomas Howell); they have turned grandma's place into the Spinster Murder House Bed and Breakfast and are hoping to lure in some "dark tourists". Unfortunately, they're not having much luck with that so far, so they invite an influencer known as Morgue (Iman Benson), who recently stayed in Jeffrey Dahmer's old apartment, to spend a night in the Spinster house.

From there, of course, everything falls apart, but the story is well told and has a perfect anthology show ending, plus the cast did a great job with the material. Larter is especially entertaining with the way she portrays her character's twisted fandom of her homicidal grandmother. If there's ever any doubt expressed about the validity of grandma Spinster's claims, she will defend grandma's honor... by saying stuff like, "She was a homicidal genius!"

Carolyn did such a good job with Dead and Breakfast, I'm hoping there are more Carolyn-directed Creepshow segments ahead of us.

Creepshow Greg Nicotero Keith David

Nicotero returns to the helm for the second half of season 2 episode 2, a story called Pesticide that was written by Frank Dietz. Nicotero is a major contributor to The Walking Dead, and for this one he brought in The Walking Dead cast member Josh McDermitt to play Harlan King of King Pest Control - a character who can be a real dickweed, much like McDermitt's Walking Dead character Eugene can be from time to time. For example, when an interaction with client / family therapist Brenda (Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser) goes poorly because King thinks nothing of barging into one of Brenda's therapy sessions, he sets some roaches loose in her office.

Then King meets a man named Murdoch (the great Keith David), a land developer who wants the exterminator to deal with an "infestation" the likes of which King has never handled before... but might be willing to, in exchange for a suitcase full of cash. It's an interesting idea, but after a point Pesticide just devolves into a montage of King tripping out and hallucinating all sorts of creepy, scary things. If you're unnerved by the sight of creatures like spiders, flies, roaches, and mosquitos, this segment might really get to you, and these things are brought to the screen with some nice effects. Nicotero even freaked himself out with the giant spider in this. But it didn't work that well for me, I don't tend to like stories that just turn into a series of nightmares and hallucinations.

Pesticide is a weaker Creepshow story, but I enjoyed Dead and Breakfast so much that the overall episode is still a win in my book. The quality of season 2 remains high, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where it's going to go from here.

The second episode of Creepshow season 2 will be available to watch on the Shudder streaming service as of April 8th.

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