One of the better episodes of this season of Creeped Out, in which a young wrestler succumbs to a spam offer of wishes come true, not knowing it’s more like a curse.
This recap of Creeped Out Season 2, Episode 8, “The Takedown”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Now, this is more like it: “The Takedown” is a much more original story than the last Creeped Out episode; a modern variation on chain letters, which seems to hark back to old legends of curses.
Alexa (Imogen Tear) is the sole girl in the school wrestling club, and keen to try out for regionals, but she’s doubting that her technique can match the boys’ size and strength. She’s just ready to give up hope when she receives an anonymous text promising to get the “gift” she asks for, but that it will come from someone else. Alexa is savvy enough to know that this is spam equivalent to a chain letter (though her friend teases her with an urban legend in which someone pays an awful price), but replies “I want more strength”, thinking what harm can it do?
What harm indeed? “The Takedown” is about consequences, selfishness, team dynamics and whether turning back the clock is ever truly the right thing to do. It’s slightly about gender roles, but I’m pleased to say that the issue was only used where it was pertinent to the plot (and that was done very well, in a surprising turn towards the end), not to make the story into one about a social issue.
Like “The Unfortunate Five”, the writer/director pairing of Emma Campbell and Bruce McDonald is a great success: the intriguing plot combined with true tension makes Creeped Out Season 2, Episode 8. My son and I watched together gripping each other’s hands, nervously wondering what was going to happen next. We could tell Alexa had made a mistake, but we couldn’t tell what the payback was going to be, how unpleasant things were going to get, or who for. And then we saw it escalating, still not knowing in what direction. Even when I was sure I knew where the story was going, I was proved wrong, and mentally applauded the writing.
As I mentioned with regard to the previous episode, the more established adult actors (especially Patrick Gallagher as the coach and Paulino Nunes as Alexa’s father) support the younger cast like a solid wall. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were mentors on set too. Imogen Tear held her own, though, a young actor with plenty of promise.
In the meantime, I wish Emma Campbell and Bruce McDonald continue to work together… almost as much as I wish for a Curious mask of my own.
Alice has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.