A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder) review – monster slasher fun Happy Horror-Days!

December 14, 2020
Alix Turner 0
Shudder, TV Reviews
4

Summary

A full action/drama/horror/Christmas film in less than an hour, from Creepshow, for Shudder. Might become an annual treat.

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4

Summary

A full action/drama/horror/Christmas film in less than an hour, from Creepshow, for Shudder. Might become an annual treat.

This review of A Creepshow Holiday Special is spoiler-free.


In “Shapeshifters Anonymous”, the latest Creepshow special, Robert Weston (Adam Pally) is worried that he might have a condition that his doctor doesn’t recognize. His anxiety leads him to lots of Googling (as it does) and from there he finds a hotline that directs him to a support group at Saint Argento’s: hopefully they’ll help him work things out. They’re a bit wary of strangers, but he does indeed find his tribe there; and just in time, before their nemesis arrives. Cue fur, claws, and weapons.

I loved this TV special; indeed it felt more like a juicy action film than an episode of anything. Sure, there was the usual Creepshow seediness and mischief, with the grinning Creep and his comic book, but it felt somehow bigger. When I tell you this was written, directed, and produced by Greg Nicotero, and adapted from a short story by J.A. Konrath, you won’t be surprised to hear that this one really works.

The people Robert meets in the Shapeshifters Anonymous are everyday folk with a not widely understood condition: Irena (Anna Camp), Scott (Pete Burris), Andy (Frank Nicotero) and Ryan (Derek Russo); Phillis (Candy McLellan) is there too, but she is one of them only in spirit. Between them, they all demonstrate the way looks can be deceiving, the way people can be judged because of a physiological trait, and – encouragingly – that people with something in common can form a strong bond.

A Creepshow Holiday Special may seem a little daft at first but swiftly becomes both intriguing and endearing; and then both funny and exciting too (I don’t recall seeing any other film with “Stunt Turtle” in the credits). Special effects are impressive without overturning the familiar slight cheesiness that’s always been a part of Creepshow. The Creepshow Animated Special, which was released to time with Halloween this year, may not have been particularly Halloweeny, but A Creepshow Holiday Special is most definitely Christmassy. I’m not going to tell you how, though: a big part of what made this show work was the ludicrous surprises, along with their thorough explanations. It definitely belongs alongside Krampus for Christmas entertainment fun.

Oh and I learned a new word: “therianthrope”.


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