When you see The Creep for the first time since 1987 (lets ignore that third film from 2006) I can imagine any newcomers to this world of Stephen King will be laughing at the screen.
Awful and cheap productions will no doubt bring a few sniggers and there will be many wondering what they are watching. But for the old-timers, those who remember the daftness of the two films and when anthology horror was delightful fun, will no doubt rejoice at what series creator Greg Nicotero has done to a franchise that has laid domain for the past 32 years.
Once the daft looking bargain sale puppet of the Creep opens up the Creepshow magazine and we are back into the world of comic book panels which leads us into the story, you feel a bit of happiness, like an inner child has awoke in you. All fans know the original two films weren’t amazing or even scary, but there is a wondrous joy about them and from the off, Nicotero seems to have brilliantly captured the spirit!
But like all the anthology tales out there, the film is only as good as the stories its tells and thankfully Creepshow 2019 kicks off with two very good entries.
“Gray Matter” is based on a typical Stephen King story and is directed by Nicotero himself. With Jigsaw’s Tobin Bell alongside Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring – Breaking Bad), leading the way, the story offers all the familiar beats.
A huge storm is battering a small town in the middle of the night, a young boy telling a tale to Adrienne Barbeau of how his father has changed since the loss of his wife, while the characters of Bell and Esposito head off to see if the Dad is OK!
What follows is love letter to 80’s horror gore that fans will lap up while all around there is enough King Easter Eggs to keep you amused, from twin girls to Cujo, to even “George saw something scary in a sewer”. Its such a delight that we even get that “Crate!” from the original film. Its wonderful!
The second story- The House of the Head” is written by Bird Box‘s Josh Malerman and is directed by John Harrison and you know something? I loved this!
The Walking Dead’s Cailey Fleming has a lavish old fashioned doll house that houses a family of three with a dog – oh and also a severed head that haunts every room and terrorizes the plastic family. Sounds daft? Its not! honestly, its fantastic and creepy, with lingering shots of the young girl shining her torch in each room looking for the unwanted quest.
The fantastic touch of seeing the plastic family froze to the spot in terror every time the young girl takes a look is wonderfully done and there is something so simple about the tale that I was engrossed right from the off even though the ending does not get the pay off the story deserves.
Overall Episode 1 shows that Creepshow deserves to be back! Its not at all scary or does it invent the wheel for the horror genre.
All the Creep wants is for the viewer to sit back and have some much needed fun and in this day in age, surely the genre and most importantly us the horror fan, needs it!
Roll on next week!