Here we are in week four of the Creepshow anthology series on Shudder. After a very impressive first three weeks, can the series keep the momentum into it’s fourth week? Creepshow Episode 4 consists of the segments The Companion and Lydia Layne’s Better Half. Let’s take a look at the first segment, The Companion.
Directed by: David Bruckner
Written by: Matt Venne
Starring: Logan Allen, Dylan Gage, and Afemo Omilami
Harold is on the run from his older brother after the two traded fisticuffs. This seems to be a regular occurrence in Harold’s household. After his brother Billy discovers where he is hiding, Harold take’s off into the woods. Their he stumbles across a makeshift scarecrow, made of hay and animal bones. Harold takes refuge in an abandoned house, only to find that not only is his brother stalking him, but the scarecrow has set his eyes on Harold as well.
The Companion is a welcome edition to the Creepshow lexicon. For me Creepshow, both the original films and the series, is a healthy balance of adolescence and adult horror. This segment balances those two very well while also making sure to scare all ages. The scarecrow design in the episode is menacing and the effects for the hay-filled man are marvelous.
This episode also contains obvious nods to previous horror iconography. For one the main character’s name is Harold, which is also the name of the scarecrow from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The Companion also includes some of my favorite visual gags in the Creepshow, the use of bright vibrant colors. The color purple is used to perfect to convey an unnerving feeling and a fantastic final shot.
Lydia Layne’s Better Half
Directed by: Roxanne Benjamin
Written by: John Harrison
Starring: Tricia Helfer and Danielle Lyn
Lydia Layne, a powerful executive in her field, has her world in the palm of her hands. She holds the power to promote the next top player in her company. Instead of choosing a young upstart Celia (and her secret lover), she instead goes with her male counterpart. Celia furiously begins a fight with Lydia. This ends with Lydia accidentally shoving Celia headfirst into a table, killing her. Lydia tries to remove the body from the scene but on the elevator the power goes out and she becomes trapped with her dead lover.
Last week I mentioned that The Man in the Suitcase was one of my least favorite segments, but it looks like we have a new contender. Like I mentioned in that review I wasn’t able to find a protagonist in the segment, same goes for Lydia Layne’s Better Half. Both Lydia and Celia are not likable and furthermore their relationship has no chemistry. This makes it hard for the audience to care about what transpires to the characters.
In terms of what actually happens in this 20 minute long segment, nothing of note really transpires besides the basic premise. It never expands upon what happens in the setup. Overall it is one of the most boring segments of the series, both from a storytelling and visual perspective. Just last week I praised the writer of this segment John Harrison for delivering two of my favorite segments (All Hallow’s Eve and The House of the Head), but his directing style was sorely missed in the end product of this segment.
Creepshow Episode 4 is available now on Shudder.