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Welcome to Haunted MTL’s ongoing coverage of Shudder’s original series, Creepshow


“All Hallow’s Eve”

Directed by John Harrison, and written by Bruce Jones, “All Hallow’s Eve” is a nice, classic slice of anthology storytelling. While nothing revolutionary, it delivers a creepy, moralistic revenge story with some interesting flourishes. The cast includes several young actors to play vengeful trick-or-treaters. These actors include Connor Christie, Madison Thompson, Jasun Jabbar, Andrew Eakle, and Michael May.

John Harrison’s attachment to the project is interesting. He was a frequent collaborator with George A. Romero. Alongside Romero, Harrison worked on Knightriders, the original Creepshow, and Day of the Dead. Bruce Jones has a comic-book background having written for Warren Publishing’s Creepy and Eerie. Additionally, Jones also wrote for the USA anthology series The Hitchhiker.

The segment was, for lack of a better word, fine. It’s by no means a bad segment, quite the opposite; the story is creepy and it is an overall effective little slice of horror. The issue lies in how predictable the tale was. The second story of the evening also had a lot of forecasting, but something about “All Hallow’s Eve” delivered no real shocks, or even stakes, for that matter. Once the central conceit is figured out rather early on you know exactly how the story will play out. Visually, the episode was solid, but it felt a lot like a PG13 take on something you’d see on Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Creepshow is a low-budget show, and it is really felt in this segment. Right down to the fire effects during the treehouse scene.

Bottom Line

“All Hallow’s Eve” is standard anthology fare. It’s not the most exciting segment in the season thus far, but it’s not like it is terrible. Anthology series live or die by their weakest segments, and judging by the quality of “All Hallow’s Eve,” Creepshow has nothing to worry about so far. It’s good. It’s not just living up to the highs of previous installments.

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3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

“The Man in the Suitcase”

Directed by David Bruckner, and written by Christopher Buehlman, “The Man in the Suitcase” is a grimy, one-room play about the power of greed. The segment stars Will Kindrachuk, Madison Bailey, Ravi Naidu, Ian Gregg, and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton.

Bruckner has a few directorial credits including the Netflix original The Ritual. He also directed the “Amateur Night” segment from V/H/S which was later spun off into the film Siren, though Bruckner only produced the latter. Buehlman is a playwright poet, and novelist, known for The Suicide Motor Club and The Lesser Dead.

“The Man in the Suitcase” lays itself out very clearly right away with little glimpses of Djinns and genies. Whereas the hints in “All Hallow’s Eve” felt detrimental to the stakes, being aware of what is to come in “The Man in the Suitcase” amplified the tension. Djinns are capricious spirits and being aware of the presence of a Djinn in the story means you are waiting to see exactly how the story will play out. The whim of a Djinn creates a certain uncertainty and it’s that uncertainty that makes the second tale work compared to the first one.

It helps that there is a certain mean-spiritedness within the segment that lines up with just how I, personally, like my Creepshow. The best stories in the franchise are the most fucked up. “Something to Tide You Over” from the first film, or “The House of the Dead” in the first episode of the series are mean, mean little stories. “The Man in the Suitcase” is one of those sorts of stories. It also has some kickass puppet work, which might be one of my favorite aspects of this first season: the embracing of practical effects.

Bottom Line

“The Man in the Suitcase” is lean, mean, dirty, and right up there with the series high of “The House of the Head.” It is most definitely a Creepshow highlight and is my current second-favorite segment so far.

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4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

The Creep Factor

The comic-book effects were a little toned down this week, we’ll see if it represents a one-off situation, or a course correction compared to previous episodes. The comic transitions are fun, but eat up a lot of screentime in previous episodes. As someone who also tends to like to read everything on the screen, I am a bit annoyed that I am missing some valuable text as the camera moves from panel to panel.

The opening with the Creep hard at work on his pumpkin, before being rudely interrupted has definitely been the best bit by far. That pumpkin made with human bits is a work of art.


We hope that you enjoyed our coverage of the first installment of Shudder’s CreepshowCreepshow will air on Thursdays around 9 PM EST on Shudder. Haunted MTL will be covering the whole 6 episodes of the first season.

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Suburban Screams, Cursed Neighborhood

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Episode five of John Carpenter’s Suburban Screams was one of the best kind of horror stories. It is a dark, eerie tale of a mean house that is determined to destroy anyone who dares reside within it.

The story

Our story begins in 1682. A group of colonists are attempting to take over land that is very much not theirs. When the colonists are killed, they vow to curse the land.

Fast forward to modern times, and the land in question is a little suburban neighborhood. Carlette Norwood moves in with her husband, mother, and daughters. The house seems like a dream come true. Until, of course, their beautiful dream home becomes a nightmare. The curse of the colonists wrapped itself around the neck of each family member, turning them into people that they didn’t recognize. People who don’t exactly like each other.

What worked

While I wouldn’t say that the acting in this episode is flawless, it was several steps above what we’ve seen so far. Every actor seemed to understand their role and reacted in realistic ways. I was especially impressed by the young woman playing Angelique. She had the good sense to not overplay the role, giving each scene exactly the right amount of energy.

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Of course, there was one actress who way overplayed every scene. But rather than being terrible, it was terrific. And that was Chloe Zeitounian, who played the neighbor Stacy. Stacy the neighbor was creepy as shit. After an unnamed neighbor dies by suicide, Stacy shows up at Carlette’s house with a bottle of champagne, sipping coffee with a big old smile. Well, okay it probably wasn’t coffee.

Stacy was a fantastic character, and I hope there was a crazy neighbor just like her. I bet her house was haunted as hell, but she just decided that her ghost was like a stray dog that everyone else thinks is dangerous. She probably put a bejeweled collar on the colonist ghost and renamed him Kori spelled with an I on purpose.

Finally, I want to talk about the theme of ancestral curse and ancestral protections that this episode discussed.

Charles County was cursed by the colonists who took the land that rightfully belonged to the indigenous tribes. They took what their ancestors had given them, and left a curse in their wake.

At the end of the episode, Carlette talks about being protected by her ancestors. Ancestors that survived horrible things most of us can’t imagine. I am sure that their strength blessed Carlette, and helped her to save Angelique.

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What didn’t work

While this episode was certainly better than most of the season, it wasn’t perfect. The thing that most stood out to me as being frankly unneeded was the inclusion of maggots attacking Brian.

Paul A Maynard in Suburban Screams.

In multiple scenes, during which Carlette is narrating, Brian has maggots coming out of open wounds. Never once does Carlette mention a maggot issue.

It feels like there is a clear reason why the creators did this. This story doesn’t have a lot of blood, gore, or jump scares. And a core goal of horror content is to cause a reaction.

Stephen King has a great quote about this goal. “I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

The inclusion of maggots in this story admits that someone involved didn’t think the story was terrorizing or horrifying enough. But it was. The story was freaky all on its own without the inclusion of our wriggling friends.

Is it true?

This might be an unpopular opinion, but aside from the completely unnecessary maggots infesting Brian, I think this episode is the most honest and accurate one so far.

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The thing about hauntings is that they’re seldom what we see in the movies. Haunted houses don’t have glass vases flying off shelves and wallpaper peeling to reveal 666 painted in blood over arcane symbols. Haunted houses dig into the minds of those who live there, causing bad luck and bad vibes. And that’s exactly what happened here. There are no massive explosions. No spirits throwing people downstairs or demonic dogs chasing children from the attic. This house dug into the hearts and minds of a loving family, ripping them apart.

So yes, I do think this episode is likely true.

The further we get into Suburban Screams, the more I enjoy it. This episode was eerie, upsetting, and riveting. I hope that Carlette and her daughters are healing from this horrific journey. And I’m thankful to them for sharing their story. 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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Happy Father’s Day Herman Munster!

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Herman Munster would be so proud, collage by Jennifer Weigel
Herman Munster would be so proud, collage by Jennifer Weigel

Today for Father’s Day I want to celebrate one the best dads in horror ever: Herman Munster! Herman Munster of television celebrity is a perfect example of a good father in a genre awash in epically horrible parents. He is fun to be around, cares deeply about family, and has a huge heart. He is essentially the naive and loving Frankenstein’s monster despite his horrific appearance, and is aptly employed at a funeral home.

Herman is lovable, hardworking, and always ready with the physical humor dad jokes, even if he is too naive to catch on to his role in the punchlines all the time. He is devoted to his wife Lily Dracula and son Eddie and will do whatever he can to protect them. His generosity extends beyond just his own, with the family taking in his niece Marilyn (who is painfully normal by comparison to the Munsters), and father-in-law Grandpa.

Portrayed by Fred Gwynne, Herman Munster is kind of the epitome of the good father in horror. Sure, he’s a brute, and can be a little dim sometimes, but he’s really just a big teddy bear at heart, and always ready for a good laugh. And apparently Herman Munster was even nominated by his son Eddie for Father of the Year in Season 2, Episode 25, so it all comes around full circle. If the show highlight doesn’t load, you can find it here.

And to celebrate more great Hollywood celebrities, here’s a poem for Ed Wood and an homage to Theda Bara

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Suburban Screams, The Bunny Man

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Someone is stalking the children of Fairfax, Virginia. He comes bearing an axe. He comes from the forest. He comes in the night.

He comes dressed as a bunny.

The story

In the 1970s, the sleepy town of Fairfax Virginia was menaced by a man dressed as a rabbit. He stalked kids and teens with an axe while they were playing in the woods, or ‘parking’. Children were cautioned to not play outside after dark. Parents were terrified. The whole community was rocked by the horrific killer who, well, didn’t kill anybody. And who might have been a whole bunch of people inspired by a truly sad tale?

Still from Suburban Screams The Bunny Man.

The story begins a hundred years earlier. A man whose name is lost to time is accused of stealing a cow. For this crime, he’s sentenced to death because things were a lot tougher back then. The man escaped but swore vengeance on the town. A few days later several children were found hanging from a bridge underpass, butchered and hung as though they were slaughtered rabbits.

What worked

The biggest thing to love about this episode, the one thing that sets it apart from the rest of the season, was the presence of Historian Cindy Burke. Finally, we have an actual professional talking about one of these stories. Yes, there are still first-hand accounts. But that is how these sorts of stories work best. We have the emotional retelling of evocative survivors. But we also have a professional who is emotionally separated from the situation backing up these stories with historical knowledge.

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This wouldn’t have mattered as much in any other setting. But Suburban Screams has been clear from the start that it wants to be seen as a documentary. This is supposed to be real. And if you’re going to claim that your ghost story is real, bring receipts. As many as you can.

If we’d seen more historians, detectives, and police reports through this series, it probably wouldn’t have the bad rating it does on IMDB.

What didn’t work

Well, it might still have had a bad rating. Because the acting in this episode was, for lack of a stronger word, terrible.

I don’t know if it was the directing, the casting, or just a weak talent budget. But not a single person except for the man playing the Bunny Man could act in any of these dramatic reenactment scenes.

The worst offender was probably the child playing Ed’s childhood friend. This character was way overacted. It’s as though the child had seen a parody of how little boys behave, and was told to act like that. As this was a little boy, he was likely a bit embarrassed.

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And I know, I’m trash-talking a child actor. I’m trash-talking all of the children actors in this episode. But children can act. There are lots of examples of kids doing great acting jobs. Stranger Things is an obvious example. Violent Night is another. The kid can act. These kids couldn’t act.

Is it true?

Unlike most of the other episodes in this series, The Bunny Man is a story I’ve heard before. It is a legitimate urban legend that blossomed from a few firsthand accounts of madmen doing scary things dressed as rabbits in Fairfax County, West Virginia. These events probably inspired others to do stupid things like dress up like a rabbit and run around with an ax. Much like the people who decided to dress up like clowns and scare the hell out of people across the country in 2016.

So, yes, the Bunny Man is very much real. He’s real in the hearts and minds of pranksters and West Virginia frat boys. And he is based on some very real, very upsetting, actual events.

I honestly wish the whole season of Suburban Screams had been exactly like this. Filled with facts, first-hand accounts, and proof of scary events. This was everything I wanted in a supernatural/true crime story. So if you’re giving the rest of the season a pass, I would suggest watching this episode.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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