First look UK review: Creepshow Season 2
James R | On 02, Apr 2021
Creepshow returns this week for its second season, and Shudder’s horror anthology returns a more confident and entertaining beast. The series, which is a revival of the 1982 classic Creepshow, had a fun, knowingly old-fashioned vibe to its first season, which was enjoyably creepy without being an all-timer. Season 2’s opening episode, though, knocks its format out of the park with a nostalgic double-bill that finds new spins on old tricks.
The first part – Model Kid – is a love letter to monster movies of old, as we meet Joe (Brock Duncan) a kid who loves model kits almost as much as he loves his mum. When she passes away, he’s instead looked after by his Uncle Kevin (Kevin Dillon), a brutish fellow who has no interest in what Joe likes and has no qualms in throwing out his collection. What emerges is a tale of revenge in the face of toxic masculinity, and a study in the reassuring comfort that films can provide, particularly those that you’ve grown up with.
If John Esposito’s script doesn’t necessarily deliver surprises to go with its endearing sentiment, the second half deliberately leaves your jaw hanging open. Written by Rob Schrab, it whisks us away to a public TV station in Pittsburg, where everyone is beholden to the whims of Mrs Bookberry (Coley Campany), the ratings topper who demands everything the way she wants it.
But the diva’s about to have her limelight stolen by The Appraiser’s Road Trip, an Antiques Roadshow-style segment that wheels out a recognisable guest to share a book that’s been in their family for decades. What ensues is deliriously entertaining, all the more so because the case deliver it with the straightest of faces, from Peter Leake’s deadpan antiques host and Marissa Hampton’s determined producer Claudia to Mark Ashworth’s adorably calm Bob Ross-a-like, who barely conceals his PTSD beneath his chilled persona.
Greg Nicotero directs both instalments, lacing the first with charming slices of silent cinema and the second with the kind of kinetic energy you’d expect from Sam Raimi in his heyday. He choreographs set pieces with unhinged glee, making for a ride through familiar genre flourishes that feels original and modern – and is an absolute hoot. If the rest of Season 2 can live up to this opener, Creepshow just want from creepily fun to scarily brilliant.
Creepshow is available to stream online on Shudder UK, as part of a £4.99 monthly subscription, or £49.99 yearly membership.