“Creepshow” season two aired on April 1, 2021 on Shudder and released episodes every Thursday until April 29, ending the season at the halfway point in the countdown to Halloween.
With the successful revival of “Creepshow” by Greg Nicotero in September 2019, expectations for the new season were high. Although season two doesn’t reach the standards of season one, Nicotero did not disappoint with his nine haunting tales.
One of the best things this series has going for it is Stephen King’s branding. “Creepshow” originally started out as a comic book written by King and was later adapted into two movies. The first season, as well as the animated special, uses some of King’s stories such as “Gray Matter” and “Survivor Type” to pump in some creative juices.
Season two is comprised of original stories independent of King’s works. This works well in times where writers drew on the horror fan’s nostalgia, as well as with select original tales. However, some of the nostalgia fails to capture the essence of the actual work it is playing with and some of the original pieces fall flat.
The best episodes of season two are “Public Television of the Dead” and “Night of the Living Late Show.” Both of these pieces comment on beloved horror pieces, like “The Evil Dead,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “Horror Express” as well as rope in other classics like “The Joy of Painting” and “Reading Rainbow.”
“Public Television of the Dead” is the best episode of the season. The cross between “The Evil Dead,” “The Joy of Painting” and “Reading Rainbow” is something I never knew I needed, but is incredibly fun. Ted Raimi, brother of Sam Raimi, director of “The Evil Dead” series, even makes an appearance. This story pits army veteran Norm Roberts (who I refuse to call anything but Bob Ross), played by Mark Ashworth, against the Deadites in an effort to save his public broadcasting station.
“Night of the Living Late Show” deals with older horror movies such as “Night of the Living Dead” and “Horror Express.” Simon Sherman, played by Justin Long, invents a virtual reality movie pod. When Simon becomes more entranced with his invention than his wife, Renee, she needs to find a way to break his obsession or lose him forever.
The previous examples are done masterfully, but there is one nostalgic episode that is upsetting. “Within the Walls of Madness” is an homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.” In this episode, an Antarctic researcher is accused of murder after discovering an ancient horror that could doom humanity.
Lovecraft’s stories don’t often lend themselves to the screen, as what he is describing is supposed to be incomprehensible. The danger of showing Lovecraftian beings is ruining the illusion that these beings should not be seen. Season two of “Creepshow” handles this aspect well, until the very end of the episode, where they blow it.
The original ideas of season two are generally good, but predictable. They don’t broach the levels season one of “Creepshow” was able to reach. With that being said, the episodes are still all fun to watch as they are well-made, even if they are predictable and corny.
This is my ranking from best to worst episodes: “Public Television of the Dead,” “Night of the Living Late Show,” “The Right Snuff,” “Model Kid,” “Within the Walls of Madness,” “Pipe Screams,” “Dead & Breakfast” and “Pesticide.”
Although it does not fully live up to its predecessor, I would highly recommend season two of “Creepshow” to anyone with a Shudder account for some fun scares as the year gets closer and closer to Halloween.