September 18, 2019 Creepshow – Gray Matter and The House of the Head (Episode 101 Review)
Fall is here and with that comes a slew of fresh content to hit television and streaming networks worldwide. With a good deal to digest, perhaps the most intriguing to true fan of the Horror cinema is the introduction of Shudder’s new Horror anthology series Creepshow. Based on the classic 1982 Creepshow film, written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero, confirmation came down this past May that the series was official. Calling on established and respected Horror Filmmaker Greg Nicotero (Day of The Dead 1985, The Walking Dead series) to act as the showrunner/executive producer, after a mass of anticipation, Creepshow finally launches Thursday, September 26th at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.
In tradition of the original Creepshow feature, the new series consists of twelve segments that make up a six-episode season. Broken into two segments per episode, the debut includes Gray Matter and The House of the Head. Coming together as a 45 minute episode, each segment is a short film that is just the right length to strike your interest with an intriguing story of macabre. The only question remaining is, are you ready to have fun being scared… again?
Referencing the tagline from the original film, ‘again’ is the keyword here because, while Horror entertainment quality has been at an all-time high, some of us are looking for a little more old school approach. Sure, ’80s style Horror is in vogue with the massive popular Netflix series Stranger Things, but we are talking offering fans a classic frighting style with a modern twist. This in mind, Shudder opts to take no chances in striking your interest and hit you between the eyes right from the start with Gray Matter.
A story from Stephen King, adapted by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi, it is also directed by Greg Nicotero, while featuring an amazing cast that including returning 1982’s Creepshow star Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog 1980, Swamp Thing 1982), along with Tobin Bell (The Firm 1993, Saw 2004) and Giancarlo Esposito (Do The Right Thing 1989, Breaking Bad series). Coming together for Gray Matter, the story begins during a terrible storm where a boy, played by Christopher Nathan (The Last of Robin Hood 2013, Barely Lethal 2015), enters a local establishment to seek his father a case of beer. Strangely, only one of a few people remaining in town ordered for evacuation, why is this boy still present? Moreover, what terror stalks the boy that he rather brave a nasty storm then find shelter?
Flipping to the next page in the latest issue of Creepshow, next up is The House of the Head from Writer Josh Malerman (Bird Box 2014, Black Mad Wheel 2017) and Director John Harrison (Tales from the Darkside series, Dune series). A story about a little girl named Evie, played marvelously by Cailey Fleming (The Walking Dead series, Peppermint series), it is soon revealed there is something seriously evil lurking in her doll house. Anxious to protect her beloved dolls, Evie does everything she can, but is the evil too strong to cease? Worse yet, can she contain it within the doll house walls before it breaks through into the real world?
Both equally fun little tales, you can’t help but feel as if you have been transported back in time with a vibe that resembles great Horror anthology that of course included the original Creepshow, Tales From The Darkside, and HBO’s Tales From The Crypt. The best part of it all is the new Creepshow is retro storytelling, but set in modern times, so it does not just feel like a nostalgic trip. Additionally, deciding to keep the comic book feel going from the original Creepshow film provides a nice touch, assuring that you get lost in the story as you witness terror unfold from scene to scene. This, along with an updated version of The Creep in between segments, solidifies Creepshow is back where it belongs.
Just what real Horror fans need, Cryptic Rock gives the launch of the Creepshow series 4.5 out of 5 stars.