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Going Camping: Sickle's take on "Creepshow Season 2"

Creepshow Season 2 is a Shudder original anthology series based off of the old film franchise of the same name. The second season is four episodes in (eight stories in total) ranging from demons to aliens, all in its trademark campy horror/comedy style.

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Creepshow Season 2 Review

"Camp" is such an unusual term. It has evolved over the years to mean various things that all align on a similar spectrum. In its modern usage, it usually refers to "ostentatious, over-the-top, perverse cinema that looks to amuse, usually at the expense of originality (due in large part to its tendency for satire) and cinematic 'quality'". It has been adopted by the horror genre for as long as the term and the genre have existed. The 50s-80s embraced the camp style, seeming to accept that it wasn't worth trying to win an award when we're just trying to have fun.

And have fun we do. Chances are you don't watch Creepshow if all you can tolerate in the horror genre are pieces from Robert Eggers and Ari Aster. Creepshow could rarely be considered quality filmmaking, but it also never attempts to be. It embraces the camp art form and chooses to utilize classic tropes and stylizations of the horror genre to make stories that are funny, over-the-top, cheesy, and usually superficial. Sure, most have a moral lesson--some deeper and more nuanced than others--but a good portion of the time, they are out to shock you into a gasp, wince, laughter, or all of the above.

But even camp can fail to succeed. Even if all you are trying to do is have some fun, you can fail to deliver on that fun if you aren't careful. Creepshow Season 2, in that regard, has been hit or miss. Episode 1 featured a charming but underwhelming story about a child who is assisted by his comic book horror friends in handling his live-in, abusive uncle, and also a story that quite literally tackles the question, "what if deadites took over the set of PBS?" Episode 2 housed two bland attempts (a failing murder house BnB, and a ghastly exterminator who gets his comeuppance). But episode 3 was quite entertaining with an astronaut with daddy issues who comes across alien life and a high school girl who is convinced that her brother is trying to kill her. Both were very unique in their storytelling, especially "Sibling Rivalry" (I'm sure you can gather which one I'm referring to).

The series hasn't hit it out of the park every time, but that is the beauty of applying the anthology format to the camp style. If one bombs, it wasn't much of a time commitment and it is followed up by another opportunity. This game of horror/comedy roulette is more than worth it when you see a Bob Ross equivalent take on the undead and an absent-minded teenager try to explain to a counselor why her brother is trying to kill her. The hilarity more than makes up for the duds, but you have to be willing to make that sacrifice.

Camp is not for everyone, though a large portion of people enjoy it in its various forms. There's a reason MST3K and its latest iterations have such a following. Even if you don't enjoy the content for what it is, you and a few buddies can get together and laugh about it. Creepshow makes that easy, even on its more bland episodes, making it an objectively low-quality, but superficially high-quality effort with a low-risk/high reward system Efrit and I hope lasts for a long time.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 5/10

Film Quality: 4/10

#mst3k #creepshow #roberteggers #ariaster #deadites #bobross #tedraimi

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