It’s not too often that Creepshow legitimately unsettles you. The show has scary moments or frightening ones but this week’s stories both do a little bit of unsettling. One half is “Time Out”, directed by Jeffrey F. January, written by Barrington Smith & Paul Seetachitt. This story follows a traditional anthology horror path with someone overusing a magical item to their own personal gain. We’ll start off with this story because the animated section following it, is truly some of the best the show has ever offered.
“Time Out” is by no means a bad episode. Of the ones that follow similar paths, this one doesn’t score very high on the supernatural element, but it’s a relatable tale. Where does all the time go? If you had something that could give you some extra time now, but you pay the price later, would you do it? Imagine the things you could accomplish with extra hours in the day. That’s the premise of “Time Out”, and it works incredibly well.
Matthew Barnes plays Tim, the lead for the story and he’s the crux of the whole story. He gives a performance that’s relatable and makes you feel for this guy. The story really runs through him and his performance takes this story up a notch from just simply being a normal “be careful what you wish for” story. This could have very easily verged into parody territory with how they did the story, but it doesn’t ever reach that point. This one ends on a super sour note that I think it could have done without though.
I won’t spoil it here, but once you see it, you’ll know. It’s a pretty damn good story for Creepshow though.
“The Things In Oakwood’s Past” Is The Best Terror The Show Has Offered
Creepshow did an animated special last year during the pandemic. It was a good way to keep some sort of schedule going through the toughest part of the pandemic for film sets. This time around we have another animated episode and it might be the best story that the show has told up to this point. It’s quite the simple tale, with a town having an old past and a locked box with the year 1821 on it. This episode was directed by Greg Nicotero & Dave Newberg and written by Nicotero and Daniel Kraus. It has a star studded cast highlighted by Mark Hamill, Danielle Harris, and Ron Livingston.
This story might only be 20 minutes or so, but it tells a tight story that really picks up in the final five minutes. There are mentions and passing images of what’s to come sprinkled throughout the episode. Once you get to the conclusion, I can safely say this is the most unsettled I’ve been watching an episode of this show. The action might be animated, but it’s just as impactful and might be more so than if it was live-action. This story wouldn’t be possible with a show like Creepshow in live-action, so it’s nice they have the animated format in their back pocket.
The voice performances are top notch considering the talent involved. Danielle Harris in particular is fantastic as Marnie Wrightson. Hamill plays the greedy and oblivious Mayor Wrightson. Ron Livingston is the everyman reporter Mac Kamen. If you haven’t seen the episode for yourself, you have to. As a horror fan, this is one of my favorite animated horror stories out there. The animation is dreamy and nightmarish, it adds to the overall feeling of the story.
Creepshow Adds Another Jewel To It’s Crown Of Horror TV
If you get one thing from this episode, it’s an appreciation for how great the people working on Creepshow are. They know their horror history and what makes us scared. This episode might have two different stories its telling, but they both land. Whether that’s horrifying animated monsters or losing the time you thought you had, episode five of Creepshow has something for every type of horror fan out there.
You can catch Creepshow every Thursday on Shudder exclusively.
For more on horror, check out the month-plus long Halloween marathon, Fright-A-Thon, or stay tuned to That Hashtag Show.