Creepshow TV Series Episode 1 Grey Matter/House of the Head Review

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Finally, it’s here! The show I’ve been waiting for since I stumbled onto it during my weekly browse of Shudder is finally here.

Creepshow is a 2019 Anthology series that premiered on Horror Streaming service Shudder on September 26 2019! For those of you who aren’t aware of it. It is a series based on the 1982 movie of the same name. Now, there is a TV series how awesome is that?! First the revival of the Twilight Zone series, now this? What’s next The Tales from the …wait wasn’t there meant to be a Tales From The Crypt Remake? What happened to that?

Oh…Oh boy. Yeah, let’s not talk about that.
Moving on….

I am going to talk about it because two segments in and I’ve already fallen in love with this series. Since Shudder is releasing the series on a weekly basis I am going to, at least try, and do a little review of each episode as they become available. I’ll share what I like and don’t like about them. Hopefully, I only have good things to say as I do with episode one, particularly with House of the Head. I will try to not spoil anything, and give a little of my own thoughts. If I like a segment, I will talk about it a little more and give my own little interpretation.

Grey Matter
During a hurricane, a young boy goes to the local store to buy his father a case of beer. Worried about the young man, the storekeeper sends the local sheriff and his friend to find out what is happening between the boy and his father. While they are away, the boy, Timmy fills the shopkeeper in on what happened between him and his dad.

This segment felt so much like watching the Creepshow movies, they nailed the feel and tone of the films. Grey Matter begins with the radio filling in the audience about what is going down, but the radio can only tell you so much, everything else shown to you. Everything you see and hear whether from the radio or characters is important. Even mould on a box of beer is important. You don’t feel like anything is wasted in this segment, everything introduced is put to use, it contributes to the overall story. An off-handed comment about the shopkeeper previously being Timmy’s math tutor even comes back at the end of the segment. The ending was very much in the vein of Creepshow. Something happened, you see how horrible it is and you’re left wondering how much worse could it get. Grey Matter tells you the answer. The main characters declare something devastating, and then it just…ends. Giving us a sense that the world before us is doomed, leaving us with the fresh scent of pine or mould whichever you prefer.

This segment was a fantastic way to start the series, I liked the little back and forth going on between the shopkeeper and young Timmy. It sets up what is happening, and the rest of the story is told via flashbacks. Tension builds up through Timmy’s explanation about what happened to his father and the terror that we feel is mirrored by the shopkeeper. Like many horror stories, this has a surprise ending. Watching this, you already know that something is wrong, you just aren’t sure what or how bad. There’s a hurricane, so we know whatever it is the characters are stuck with it, there is probably no way to escape what is coming.
There is so much good about this segment that I don’t want to spoil it, you have to go watch it get its full impact.

The Creep
Before I move on to the next Segment, can I say how much I love the Creep?

Yeah, this guy, you see him at the beginning, opening a crate filled with Creepshow comics and between segments. Not only do I love his design (props to the designer) but he manages to pull off the humour of the Crypt Keeper without saying a single word. He has that eeriness about him, but also a little playful too.

Times for a little history lesson. For those of you who aren’t aware Creepshow is based off the old EC horror comics from the 40s and 50s. Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horrors, and I think Tales from the Darkside were horror comics from back then.

A Page from Black Cat Mystery Issue 38 – HE published in 1952

How do I explain this…way back in the early to mid-90s, people (most of them older people) would complain about how gory and violent video games were, and through that, the ESRB – regulatory rating boards for video games – came to be. Would you believe this happened in the 40s and 50s too, but with comic books instead? Even back then, there was a ‘Think of the Children’ mentality. Creepshow was made to honour the comics that Stephen King and George Romero grew up with. It even poked fun at the way the older generation thought about comic books back then. Creepshow the series captured the feel of those old comics, complete with prizes and advertising. Anyway on to the next Segment…

House of The Head
Little Evie returns home from school to find that the dolls in her dollhouse have been moved and there is a visitor—a severed head.

I love the heck out of this segment, the suspense and tension were great throughout it. The young actress was amazing, playing this little girl who wants nothing more than to protect her dolls from an intruder. How am I going to write about this segment without spoiling anything?

I just love Evie, she is the most aware little girl that I have ever seen. She is a legend. A severed head is found in her dollhouse, and she doesn’t panic, she touches it once and finds that there is blood on it and doesn’t touch it again. She buys objects that will try and protect the Smith Smiths, which is the cutest names for a doll family ever!

Any other kid would tell their parents, and they would come and take the head out of the dollhouse. Holy crap, it was a good thing that she didn’t if what happens near the end is anything to go by. I like the character because children are portrayed as needing their parents for protection when an outside force comes in and threatens them. It is rare that you see, in horror a setting, a child protecting theιr family, and in this segment, Evie is the one protecting them and trying to defend her dolls. She is portrayed as intelligent, immediately knowing something is wrong and is unfazed by it until it becomes dangerous.
She tries her best to support her dolls, and I know I said I wasn’t going to spoil anything, but it’s really difficult not to!

You have to go and watch this segment!

My interpretation (DISCLAIMER! A few tiny Spoilers, these are my own opinions and thoughts)
I really liked House of the Head, so here is my little interpretation of what is happening. Grey Matter was very straight forward and told you what happened if you were paying attention. House of Head is a little subtler. I believe that the head was moving the dolls around, either to frighten Evie into taking it out herself, or get her to tell her parents and have them take it out of the house. She tried before, but since there was blood on it, she didn’t. It had to continue to try and push her into removing it. Ultimately, it did push her far enough, but Evie was too smart for it. Before it could move again, she found it and after the encounter realised what would happen to her and her family.

Overall, I really enjoyed Creepshow, I can’t wait to see the rest of the Series. If you are interested in watching itself, check out Shudder on any stream devices!

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