SYFY Channel Zero – Candle Cove Doesn’t Hold Back the Creep Factor

candle-cover-tv-series posterCandle Cove
Premier date: September 2016
Director: Jacob Boyer
Writers: Jacob Boyer (screenplay), Kris Straub
Genres: Horror
Review by Amy Romine

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All nightmares come from somewhere…

Along the lines of American Horror Story, SYFY has introduced us to Channel Zero, an anthology series telling the stories of Creepypastas, Internet short form horror stories. Season one is the story of Candle Cove.

Okay let’s start with Creepypasta, this is new term to me so I did a little research – Creepypasta is the internet definition for short stories designed to unnerve, disturb and frighten the reader. Some notable examples of Creepypasta are The Portraits, Candle Cove and The Rake.

A Creepypasta may claim to be the absolute truth, while other Creepypastas are written purely for frightening entertainment. It’s up to you to decide truth from fiction…

Now that we know where this creepiness started let’s talk about the premiere episode of Channel Zero – Candle Cove.

One man obsessively recollects a disturbing children’s TV show, which may have been the catalyst for nightmarish events during his childhood.

Mike Painter returns to his hometown 25 years after his twin brothers death. Several children went missing and were then found dead hanging in an old tree, missing all of their teeth. The murders were never solved and Painter returns home after a nervous breakdown in an attempt at closure.

While there he has dinner with a high school buddy, the current Sherriff and his wife (also Painter’s ex). He meets their daughter in a back bedroom watching a blank screen television. He asks what she is watching and she says Candle Cove. This sparks conversation at the dinner table about nightmares and childhood memories.

The shows goes on from there to twist and curl into your gut. The creepiness factor is a ten, little hints of what to maybe expect and then the opposite happens. This first episode definitely creeped me out and hooked me in to wanting to watch more.

The writing is stellar, deeply thought out and unexpected at times. Tapping into the subtle but great fears we all have. The cast is built on experience but not A or B list billing. This, to me, is a good thing the less I recognize the less interference in the dread crawling up my back.

The only comment I have in regards to casting is the lead actor, I am on the fence as to whether or not I find him likeable. There are moments when I do like him, and other moments when I find him questionable. This may be a direct result of the writing, and or directing, and not the actor so I will have to wait and see.

Writing credits go to Nick Antosca, who is known for his contributions to Believe, Hannibal, The Last Resort and The Forest. Have to give credit to the Candle Cove short story creator Kris Straub.

Overall, Channel Zero Candle Cove is by far the creepiest television show I have watched to date. This does include some of the greats, the only preface I will make is the fact this was the first episode of the series. We will see if they can sustain the chilling horror throughout.

Channel Zero – Candle Cove shows on Tuesday nights 8 PM CST on SYFY, check your local listings for exact channel in your area.

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