REVIEW: ‘Creepshow,’ Episode 3 – All Hallows Eve / The Man in the Suitcase

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'Creepshow,' Episode 3 - All Hallows Eve / The Man in the Suitcase

Creepshow, Shudder’s original revival of the classic Stephen King and George A. Romero ‘s anthology film, has been stellar so far under Greg Nicotero’s showrunning power. With each episode bringing the audience two unique tales of terror, the show has flexed its practical effects muscles. Creepshow also tells imaginative and camp-adjacent stories, ultimately embodying the dark charisma of the original. For episode three, we get “All Hallows Eve” and “The Man in the Suitcase,” both of which are perfect for the spooky Halloween season.

Written by Bruce Jones and directed by John Harrison, “All Hallows Eve” follows a group of friends who are just a little too old to be trick-or-treating as they embark on the Halloween staple. But, it isn’t just candy that the group is looking for. As they collect one of their younger friends, they have to convince the young ghost to come with them, explaining that he is just tired but they need one more Halloween before he can rest. Calling themselves “The Golden Dragons,” when they go to the first house, the homeowner is scared of them and you can tell nothing is right.

'Creepshow,' Episode 3 - All Hallows Eve / The Man in the Suitcase

“All Hallows Eve” works extremely well subverting what we expect from a trick-or-treat narrative. Often, we’re scared for the kids, whether it’s from poisoned candies or creepy neighbors, but here, the kids are awful and you’re more afraid for the adults opening their doors. As the story unfolds, getting darker with each house, you keep getting pulled in, waiting to see the terror that the adults allude to.

The premise of the story is simple enough but the unraveling is extremely well-done. It’s spooky, it’s different, and it feels at-home within the genre of anthological stories of terror. Sadly though, the tone of the episode may be dark, but it is more a fit for those in a younger age-range. “All Hallows Eve” feels more a fit for Creeped Out or maybe even the reboot of Are You Afraid of the Dark?,  but not Shudder’s Creepshow. While this is a knock against it as an entry in Creepshow, it isn’t a bad short. The reveal of the kids’ motives is one that shows the consequences for bad behavior. Low budget and simple, this story is perfect for the season.

The second-half of Creepshow, “The Man in the Suitcase” is definitely more at home in the Creepshow legacy and balances the line of dark comedy and creepy in the best way. Written by Christopher Buehlman and directed by Dave Bruckner, “The Man in the Suitcase” follows the question – do you do the right thing or the thing that works best for you?

In “The Man in the Suitcase”, a college student brings the wrong bag home from the airport only to find a pretzeled-up man trapped inside, afflicted by a strange condition that turns his pain into gold. What follows the discovery is a moral quandary that is honestly cut and dry as to what a good person would do. We know the answer is to save the man that is trapped, but when personal gain enters the equation, the poor college student needs to make a decision that puts him on a spiral.

 

“The Man in the Suitcase” is dark. In fact, it’s the darkest of the three episodes so far by a mile. It’s bloody, it’s awful, and that, like many of the best horror anthologies, makes it so good. Where the first short of episode three didn’t explore large themes, this one does, making you think about what your response would be if you, well, found a gold-making man trapped in a suitcase. The greedy lesson taught is one that lives up to Creepshow in every way possible.

Episode three makes me finally question the target audience for this Creepshow revival. “The House of the Head” and “All Hallows Eve” are all-ages stories, while the rest in the first three episodes seem to target an older age group. While this isn’t a knock against the new series just yet, the tonal disparity, if continued, will pull me out of the show. That said, both of the all-ages are well-done stories, narratively and visually, so if Creepshow keeps up quality, I’ll withstand my one small issue to keep watching more of these stories.

New episodes of Creepshow are available every Wednesday exclusively on Shudder.

'Creepshow,' Episode 3 - All Hallows Eve / The Man in the Suitcase
8/10

TL;DR

Episode three makes me finally question the target audience for this Creepshow revival. “The House of the Head” and “All Hallows Eve” are all-ages stories, while the rest in the first three episodes seem to target an older age group. While this isn’t a knock against the new series just yet, the tonal disparity, if continued, will pull me out of the show. That said, both of the all-ages are well-done stories, narratively and visually, so if Creepshow keeps up quality, I’ll withstand my one small issue to keep watching more of these stories.