Friday, December 18, 2020

A Creepshow Holiday Special Review: A Rare Combination of Horror, Holidays, and Humor

Release date: December 18, 2020
Running time: 45 minutes
Starring: Anna Camp and Adam Pally

A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.  In the holiday themed, hour-long episode, “Shapeshifters Anonymous,” written and directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero (based on a short story by J.A. Konrath), fearing he is a murderer, an anxious man searches for answers for his "unique condition" from an unusual support group.

Creepshow Holiday Special definitely evokes an old style, penny tale horror movie feel.  It has a wonderful comic style at the start that sets the stage perfectly and lets you know what type of a film this will be.  This comic style comes back multiple times throughout the episode and is a nice anchor to keep coming back to.  Sure it's probably for budget too as it allows some of the stranger scenes to be drawn rather than fully depicted, but it still sets the perfect tone and looks very nice.  The film is set in the "Shapeshifters Anonymous" support group, and most of the interactions are with this group.  And thankfully the group is a lot of fun.  The holiday special is led by the big draws of Anna Camp and Adam Pally.  Both play shapeshifters and both are very funny.  Camp is surprisingly good as the de facto head of the group and Pally is entertaining as always.  They are joined by a few other shapeshifters and shapeshifter adjacent individuals who add some nice variety to the cast.  And the animals that they shift into are quirky and add a lot of humor especially later on.

The show is definitely meant to evoke low budget horror specials and it succeeds there.  Effects are good looking but definitely have a cheap flavor to them.  It perfectly captures some early horror and will make you smile when you see it.  However, the story of the film is pretty self contained and goes out of its way to draw a holiday connection for this show.  There is a connection to Christmas, but it is so out there as to be ridiculous.  It is still silly and leads to some climactic holiday scenes towards the end and an epic final showdown, but I wish there was more of a holiday connection throughout.  I think that all of this was intentional as the film definitely tries to evoke some B horror throughout, but the story did feel like a stretch.  And I also wish that the story left this room outside of the animated sequences, but again I think that was intentional.  That being said, this is still a fun holiday horror story.    

A Creepshow Holiday Special has the rare combination of horror, holidays, and humor that will get your Christmas cheer flowing like the blood in the epic final showdown.

Rent it.

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A Creepshow Holiday Special is available to stream on Shudder starting December 18, 2020. 

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