TV Review: Creepshow

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

TV Review, Shudder, Creepshow, Greg Nicotero, Horror, Anthology, George Romero, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Giancarlo Esposito, Tobin Bell, Adrienne Barbeau

Synopsis: Based on the iconic 1982 horror film from Stephen King and George A. Romero, Creepshow is an anthology horror series featuring famous faces and filmmakers from the genre and beyond. Led by Greg Nicotero, this series brings the scariest stories to life in an homage to the classic horror comic books of yesteryear.

TV Review, Shudder, Creepshow, Greg Nicotero, Horror, Anthology, George Romero, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Giancarlo Esposito, Tobin Bell, Adrienne Barbeau

Review: Growing up, I became a die-hard fan of both Stephen King and George Romero. When I discovered CREEPSHOW, I was immediately hooked and it sent me on a path towards HBO's Tales from the Crypt as well as TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE. Many have attempted to replicate the combination of pulpy humor and horror that CREEPSHOW and it's sequel brought to screens (including an awful unofficial third film), but it was not until FX legend Greg Nicotero developed this series for Shudder that a worthy successor has stepped up to the plate. Consisting of six hour long episodes, each comprised of two stories, this new Creepshow is a fun follow-up to the original movie with numerous easter eggs for fans of both King and Romero.

While Shudder has only made the first episode available for review, I can say with certainty that Nicotero and his talented crew have replicated what made the original CREEPSHOW so much fun. Taking inspiration from EC Comics, Stephen King and George Romero adapted five short stories into an anthology that was made to look just like a comic book come to life. This new take uses the same effects as on screen text bubbles and transitions that look like panes in a comic to give that same feel as the film. And while these stories are fairly gory and violent, the material is firmly tongue in cheek and never takes itself too seriously. Of the two stories provided, one is a pulpy body horror tale based on Stephen King's short story "Gray Matter" while the other is a Twilight Zone-esque tale of a haunted dollhouse called "The House of the Head".

"Gray Matter" has a stellar cast that includes original CREEPSHOW actress Adrienne Barbeau alongside Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and SAW's Tobin Bell as three small town friends who look in on a neighbor during a massive storm. Fans of the source material have long waited to see this story adapted for the screen and while it zooms by in a brisk twenty minutes, it hits all of the main moments from the written page with some updates that work well. Adapted by Byron Willinger and Philip di Blasi, this story showcases Greg Nicotero's ability to direct scenes with heavy practical effects work, something he has honed during his tenure on The Walking Dead. There are also multiple easter eggs hidden that reference not only the original CREEPSHOW but several Stephen King works including PET SEMATARY, IT, and CUJO.

"The House of the Head" comes from a story by Josh Malerman, author of the novel BIRD BOX, and is directed by John Harrison (TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE). Harrison, who was an assistant director on George Romero's original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as well as CREEPSHOW, has experience working in anthology horror and gives us a story that is violent and gory in a very unexpected way. Following a young girl whose dollhouse takes on a life of it's own thanks to a horrible thing living in it, "The House of the Head" has a very fun easter egg from CREEPSHOW that die hard fans will easily spot. While none of the actors are quite as marquee as in "Gray Matter", they do a solid job. While it remains to be seen if there are overt reasons for pairing these stories, it does give a nice balance of types of horror that you would find in an old comic book.

TV Review, Shudder, Creepshow, Greg Nicotero, Horror, Anthology, George Romero, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Giancarlo Esposito, Tobin Bell, Adrienne Barbeau

For a six episode season, there is still a lot more to come featuring a cast that includes David Arquette, Big BoiJeffrey Combs, Kid Cudi, Bruce Davison, Dana Gould, Tricia Helfer and DJ Qualls and stories by Joe R. Landsdale, Joe Hill, Rob Schrab, Paul Dini, Bruce Jones and more. Directors this season include Roxanne Benjamin, Dave Bruckner, and the great Tom Savini which means everyone involved her are doing this show for a love of the original film as well as George Romero and Stephen King. Thankfully Shudder embraced the nostalgia here and allowed the creative team to deliver something fun and pulpy. This Creepshow is fun and fills a void on the small screen that will make horror fans very happy.

The version provided for review was marked as having incomplete special effects and titles, but everything looked final to me. The opening credits are nicely animated and the intro and ending featuring the newest version of The Creep looks really well done. There was no voice-over, which may have been intentional, but I just kept expecting Crypt-keeper style double entendres. Each of these stories feels like a short film and the wraparound is done so well that you would never think this was done on such a tight budget. From these first two stories, I would hesitate to say that this show is all that scary, but it definitely evokes the same fun that the original CREEPSHOW brought and that makes this a winner to me. I am excited to see what the rest of the season holds and, hopefully, we get a lot more episodes in the future.

Creepshow premieres September 26th on Shudder.

Creepshow

GREAT

8
-

Viewer Ratings (0 reviews)

Add your rating

Source: JoBlo.com

About the Author

5925 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.