EPISODE 3a: “All Hallow’s Eve”
Teleplay by Bruce Jones
Directed by John Harrison
Cast: Connor Christie, Madison Thompson, Jasun Jabbar, Andrew Eakle, Michael May, Julia Denton, Scott Daniel Johnson, Tom Olson, Erica Frene
EPISODE 3b: “The Man in the Suitcase”
Written by Christopher Buehlman
Directed by David Bruckner
Cast: Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, Will Kindrachuk, Ravi Naidu, Madison Bailey, Ian Gregg, Nasim Bowlus, Carey Jones
Air date: October 10, 2019
Shudder’s new take on George A. Romero and Stephen King’s comic-inspired anthology, Creepshow, revs into its third episode tonight. Executive produced by Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) and featuring writing and directing from some of the most impressive names in horror, Creepshow is one of the many reasons a horror enthusiast should not be living without Shudder, especially this time of the year. Introduced by The Creeper and featuring the always cool looking Creepshow comic artwork, the stories in Episode 1.3 deliver a twisted tale of trick or treating along with a moral fable of the power of greed.
The first story in tonight’s anthology is “All Hallow’s Eve,” directed by Creepshow veteran John Harrison and written by Bruce Jones. A young group of trick or treaters meet up on Halloween, discussing their route to getting the best treats. Four of the five seem perhaps a bit too old, but these are the Golden Dragons, a club of misfit friends. It becomes apparent quickly that something is different about these kids. Adults seem scared of them and they don’t seem to stop at the door, sometimes walking straight in to intimidate the locals. The Golden Dragons are looking not so much for treats, but revenge. The tone of this story was dark and while there wasn’t much in terms of scares, there was an overarching sense of dread surrounding it.
Three episodes in and it seems that story two in the anthology is where we pick things up. “The Man in the Suitcase” was directed by David Bruckner (V.H.S./The Ritual) and written by Christopher Buehlman. For those with Netflix, check out Bruckner’s 2017 horror film The Ritual. It blends monsters, mythology, cults, and man against nature-style horror in a really original and effective way. As a fan of Bruckner’s filmography I was excited for this story and it did not disappoint. Justin (Will Kindrachuk) is a stoner loser who looks like a clone of Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland. Leaving the airport he takes the wrong suitcase and is horrified to find there is a man, somehow still living, contortion-ed into the bag. When he tries to help the man, his scream of pain emits a gold coin from his mouth. Justin is able to sell the coin for nearly $300 and is told by the titular man in the suitcase that pain causes him to spit out gold pieces from the old Ottoman Empire. Justin tries to free him, but after his friend Alex (Ian Gregg) and ex-girlfriend Carla (Madison Bailey) see this, the dollar signs are rolling in their eyes like Scrooge McDuck in cartoons. Playing out like an old Tales From the Crypt parable, “The Man in the Suitcase” is a simple but effective way to show the horror of greed and features tremendous special effects in the end. With a supporting part by hip hop icon, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, “The Man in the Suitcase” will be the segment of this week’s Creepshow that stays with you.
Another week, another successful Creepshow episode from Shudder. While I didn’t love “All Hallow’s Eve,” I did like its old school vibe and Halloween setting. “The Man in the Suitcase” continues the trend of strong second stories. Creepshow is halfway home, with new episodes debuting on Shudder every Thursday at 9pm in October before its finale on Halloween night.
AMC’s Shudder is the best horror and genre streaming service available and October is the perfect time to get in on the scary fun. You get a 7-day free trial at www.shudder.com and it’s only $4.99 a month after that.
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