Anthology series are all the rage these days and SyFy has jumped on the bandwagon with their new series, Channel Zero. It is going to be adapting various creepypasta stories with each new season focusing on a completely new story.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of a ‘creepypasta,’ they are basically just creepy, often short horror stories told and ‘copy-and-pasted’ around the the Internet. Ever heard of Slenderman? That story began as a fictional urban legend on the Internet and it eventually took on a life of it’s own.
The stories that Channel Zero will be adapting have similar origins.
Right now, there are two seasons of Channel Zero planned. The first is Candle Cove and, at the moment, it’s just about half way through it’s six-episode run. It began as a creepypasta designed as if it had been written out on a message board. A group of people share memories of a strange, horrific children’s show they all watched when they were younger only to discover that the show was never actually real.
Channel Zero‘s adaptation expands upon that basic concept.
But instead of revolving around a group of people on a message board it follows Mike Painter, a child psychologist whose twin brother Eddie went missing years ago following a string of child murders. While the bodies of the other children were found, Eddie’s body never was.
When Mike comes back home following a psychotic break and a cryptic message driving him back to his childhood home, he finds that strange things are happening again. It all seems to tie back to a show called Candle Cove – a disturbing show that only aired once before back during the murders. But while Mike and his old classmates remember the show, there are no recordings of it or even any evidence to prove it was ever real.
The show doesn’t beat around the bush and it starts revealing it’s mysteries pretty early on. By the second episode we know what really happened to Mike’s brother, Eddie. We also learn what happened to the other children who were killed and we’re shown how they died. We very quickly start to learn more about how the show influences people and what happens when it does.
But there’s other mysteries to be solved, too.
There’s weirdly something going on with missing teeth and some weird monster who may or may not be made of teeth. And while we know what the show did years ago, we don’t necessarily know what it has planned now. We just know that it’s starting to pull children in the same way it did before. We don’t know how the show and the weird teeth monster are connected. We don’t know exactly what certain characters know about any of it.
That creepy sense of not-knowing pairs well with how quickly the story moves along. It’s very well paced and the show likely owes that to it’s limited episode count. With just six episodes to work with, Channel Zero has to thrill and scare in quick order while also moving the plot along.
Candle Cove isn’t just about Mike and Eddie. It’s about their mother and the family members of many of the other murdered children as well. It’s about their old friends and about the town’s children – including theirs. Mike left shortly after the murders stopped and he comes back to a town that’s moved on without him. His return coincides with strange new occurrences and disappearances. It’s suspicious to say the least and Mike’s own revelations only make things worse.
There’s a lot we learn from the character interactions and there’s probably a lot more we could learn if we had more time to spend with these characters one-on-one. Unfortunately, the limited number of episodes works against us there. But the show manages to make the most of what interactions we do get to see.
I’ve really enjoyed the series so far. I think that it’s a really creepy show and the writers have done a great job with this Candle Cove adaptation. The puppets they designed for the actual show are super creepy and the way they shoot the show makes it almost feel real. Every new episode pushes the story forward and it reveals more while still leaving more of the story to be discovered. It’s well-paced, scary, and enthralling.
We’re about halfway through the series at this point like I said earlier. All of the episodes should still be available on demand for those of you with cable subscriptions. If you’re looking for a great way to spend a creepy, cool fall evening, you could do way worse than catching up on Channel Zero: Candle Cove. Episode 4 will air tonight – and it looks like it could be the scariest yet!