Now in it’s third week, Shudder’s Creepshow has become one of my favorite anthology series. Here in episode three we have a segment that has become my favorite so far in the series. This far into the series I am overall impressed with the new take on the Creepshow name. There are plenty of homages to the original film, but more importantly it creates it’s own voice. The series new voice is ever present in Creepshow Episode 3 with the segments All Hallow’s Eve and The Man in the Suitcase.
All Hallow’s Eve
Directed by: John Harrison
Written by: Bruce Jones
Starring: Connor Christie, Madison Thompson, Jasun Jabbar
Set on Halloween night, a group adolescence meet up for a night of tricks and treats. Only this night will be filled with a lot more tricks than treats. The adolescence terrorize their small town, demanding fresh treats and the best of the best candy. Their night of terrorizing will not end until they complete their samhain quest.
All Hallow’s Eve is my favorite segment so far in the Creepshow series. Harrison expertly crafts a moody and atmospheric tale of redemption and resolution. The backdrop of Halloween sets the tone of the segment right from the first frame. The direction of the episode builds mystery and suspense in every scene. The final payoff is expertly presented, and creates a truly heartfelt resolution.
This segment will draw a lot of comparisons to Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat, which is by no means a bad thing. Much like how Trick ‘r Treat was an homage to EC Comics and the original Creepshow, this segment feels like it was plucked directly from the Dougherty Halloween classic. The blending of comic book style storytelling and the Halloween holiday are always a perfect combination in my eyes.
Finally, John Harrison is no stranger to the anthology horror format having previously directed the Tales from the Darkside film. This veteran experience lends marvelously to Creepshow. The two segments that stick out most in my mind from the series are directed by Harrison. All Hallow’s Eve and The House of the Head are perfect entries to the series and show the true power the Creepshow series has.
The Man in the Suitcase
Directed by: Dave Bruckner
Written by: Christopher Buehlman
Starring: Will Kindrachuk, Ravi Naidu
A traveler, Justin, picks up the wrong back from the airport. Upon arriving at his lackluster apartment he discovers a man trapped in the suitcase. Justin tries to help the pretzel-fied man escape but only hurts him. But, he finds that the man has coughed out a coin. Justin soon discovers that when the man experiences pain he coughs out solid gold coins. In this morality tale Justin must decide if one mans pain is worth his own financial benefit.
Compared to my enjoyment of All Hallow’s Eve, The Man in the Suitcase on the other hand is one of the weakest segments in the series. None of the characters presented are likeable, especially the protagonist Justin. He is a slacker with seemingly no redeemable traits. Even worse are his roommate Alex and ex-girlfriend Carla. Who by the way are hooking up behind his back. None of these three are a gateway for the audience to enter the story.
Aside from this, none of the characters experience growth. In morality tale our main character should either learn a lesson or suffer the consequences of his actions. Justin does neither.
The Man in the Suitcase is a rather dull entry to the series, and relies to heavy on the nostalgia of the original Creepshow to remind audiences why it is a segment in Creepshow. A positive I will have with this segment is that the “villain” is one we do not see very often in horror. This was a welcome addition and allowed for the segment to at least standout in the series.
Overall Creepshow Episode 3 shows the power of anthology horror. Within the same hour we had my favorite segment and possibly my least favorite. All in all Episode 3 is a solid entry in the series, and I must also mention has great wraparound segments involving The Creep.
Creepshow Episode 3 is available now on Shudder.