Creepshow: “The Right Snuff/Sibling Rivalry” Review

Shudder’s Creepshow continued this week with another pair of awesomely campy horror stories; this time involving deep space and a very dysfunctional family.  From the talents of Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem, Holliston) and Rusty Cundieff (Tales from the Hood trilogy, Chappelle’s Show) comes fear, laughter, and some genuine shock!

“The Right Snuff”
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Directed by Joe Lynch, Written by Paul Dini, Stephen Langford, and Greg Nicotero

Set in the not too distant future, this story features two astronauts, Alex (Ryan Kwanten) and Ted (Breckin Meyer).  They’re aboard a space station orbiting the Earth.  Their mission involves a breakthrough in gravitational technology that Ted has invented, which Alex is increasingly jealous of.

Being the son of the first man on Mars, Alex feels like he’ll never live up to this father’s legacy, especially when Ted keeps getting the praise and credit.  When an astonishing discovery involving extra-terrestrial life is made, once again Ted over Alex is chosen to be the representative.

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Alex is clearly tortured and probably shouldn’t have passed the psych evaluation to go on this mission. Either that or extended time in space drove him mad…

His jealousy manifests in the voice of his father, reminding them that he’ll never be good enough, and never measure up.  Ultimately it drives him to something unspeakable with a twist that only Creepshow can deliver.

While both actors give great performances, the standout star here is the production design. In an interview on the Dead Meat Podcast, director Joe Lynch stated that he was going for a 2001: A Space Odyssey feel, and specifically chose the same shade of bright orange that was popular in the 60’s to give this a retro feel.

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The alien design is also really cool, like something directly from one of the comics.

That, along with the alien design make “The Right Snuff” one of the most visually unique stories we’ve seen on the series thus far.

Of course it wouldn’t be complete without Creepshow’s signature practical gore, which it does deliver on with a particularly brutal kill, involving a body being pressed to death, in a sci-fi Giles Corey manner (fans of The Crucible will get that one).

This is the first of two stories that Lynch has directed this season, so it’s set the bar quite high for the next one, not unlike Alex’s father’s legacy did to him…

“Sibling Rivalry”
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Directed by Rusty Cundieff, Written by Melanie Dale

Starting as a manically told story from a high school freshman Lola (Maddie Nichols) to her Guidance Counselor Mrs. Porter (Molly Ringwald), “Sibling Rivalry” weaves an energetic story about vampires and family drama.

Lola tells Mrs. Porter that her brother Andrew (Andrew Brodeur) is trying to kill her.  Her story is pretty farfetched, but we come to learn that there’s more to it than we realize, involving a seemingly random twist into vampire mythos.

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Mrs. Porter has a very “I don’t paid enough for this nonsense” demeanor. And given how they pay teachers, it’s accurate!

The two siblings have their tense confrontation that ends in laughter, and a genuinely heartwarming moment as they move forward together (albeit with a dastardly plan).

It’s definitely one of the more “out there” stories in the series, but it’s anchored by a great comedic style and fun performances by everyone.  Being a veteran of teen comedies, Molly Ringwald seems to be having a lot of fun, while Maddie Nichols gives a pretty accurate depiction of a teenage girl who’s all over the place and talks a mile a minute.

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Maddie Nichols has some great comedic timing.

The story itself is a bit all over the place, much like Lola’s character, but at its core “Sibling Rivalry” does adequately capture the phenomenon that its title describes.  As someone who grew up with many siblings, they really got it right with how you can go from wanting to kill each other, to laughing and remembering you love each other minutes later.

What did you think of this week’s episode?  What do you hope to see next week?  Let us know in the comments!

Creepshow is streaming exclusively on Shudder

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