This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Uh oh, this time around we’ve got an anthology film. While it’s possible to have a good movie using this format it’s definitely not very likely. Creepshow proves this to be true as it ultimately flounders. The first story was easily the best one and then things began to dip from there. Most of these stories definitely end up being quite mean spirited and by the end of it you can see why parents wouldn’t have wanted their kids reading this stuff. It could certainly get intense that’s for sure.
First the film starts with a kid trying to read a copy of Creepshow but his father shows up and snatches the comic book away. He’s quite adamant about this comic being terrible and throws it in the trash outside. The kid resents this and prepares a method of revenge. This plot shows up here and there around the rest of the stories that are from the book until it returns as the closing piece of the movie. They definitely portray the Dad to be over the top mean towards the kid so he serves as the antagonist. Still, the kid’s quick method of revenge basically proves his theory correct about the comics being a bad influence as the kid heads straight to violence. It’s basically a negative cycle there with both characters making things worse.
Now as for the actual stories, the first one is about Father’s Day. There was this rich guy who was quite mean to the rest of his family so nobody liked him. Still, he was rich though so they’re all happy to at least get some money. Legends say that Bedelia murdered him but aside from the newest member of the family none of the others are too concerned. After all, it benefited them. Their immediate problem will be the fact that the father seems to have returned from the grave as a ghost to finish them all off. Personally I found this to be the most engaging story. The zombie father made for a solid antagonist. It could be a little hard to make out what he was saying at times with all of the audio mixing but he was definitely a figure to be feared. It also plays out a lot like a typical horror film as he goes around bumping off the cast one by one. It just felt like the most well developed segment in the film and also had a pretty sizable cast of memorable characters. You couldn’t really forget them even if they would meet violent ends.
Next up is more of a lowkey story. Jordy was wandering around outside when a meteor hits the area. He figures maybe he can get rich off of it but touching the meteor causes him to be infected with the plague. He is now slowly turning into a plant and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Should he go to the doctor or will they try drastic measures on him now? This story’s a lot weaker than the first. Jordy doesn’t make for the most interesting of leads. He’s quite overdramatized in terms of being shocked at everything and not too bright. He really messed up in not going to the doctor right away. It may not have done anything but it would have been better than just staying at home and slowly dying out. It’s a pretty gruesome way to die too when you think about it as turning into a plant seems pretty tough. The story may have been pretty light and cartoony compared to the rest but the ending is still pretty dark.
The third story is about a guy named Harry who is cheating with Becky on her husband Richard. Richard definitely isn’t going to have any of this so he heads over to Harry’s place and threatens him by saying that he has Becky. Harry follows Richard and promptly buries himself in the sand. Now Harry can only watch as the tide rolls in. Richard intends to watch the two of them drown from his hotel suite thanks to a lot of cameras he has set up in the area. It should be impossible for them to escape their fates right? Well, the film definitely isn’t trying to have us like Harry or Becky much here since they were cheating on Richard from the start. Of course two wrongs don’t make a right and Richard is far more sinister than either of those two.
Harry played the situation terribly though. Even if someone’s got you at gunpoint you can’t just bury yourself in what will be a slow death. I’ve said it many times but your best bet is to make a run for the gun. If you fail then you’ll likely be shot dead but that’s far better than continuing to live in whatever torment the villain has prepared for you right? Death by drowning for example is a pretty terrible way to go. Once you’ve buried yourself there aren’t any escape options yet. You’re just doomed at that point. The story of course has a twist including more zombies. As with the first one they use some audio effects so it’s a little trickier to hear what they’re saying but the movie’s going for a watery sound as if they still are in a drowned state. It’s a pretty intense climax with an ending that has a bit of a humor feel to it.
After that we have a story about a mysterious crate that shows up. A janitor discovers this and calls the local professor Dexter to check into this. Unfortunately while Dexter suspected something normal like rocks or something would be in the crate it turns out that a monster is and it starts slaying people in the school. Dexter runs back to Henry’s to try and explain this but Henry figures he can use this to trick his wife into being murdered. He heads back into the school and prepares this trap. Will he be able to stay one step ahead of the monster or will he ultimately be ensnared as well?
This is probably the most violent story. The monster definitely doesn’t take prisoners and chomps all who oppose him. Some of the characters at least try to play it safe but others are just crazy. There’s a college student for example who shows up and handles the situation rather terribly. What did he think was going to happen here? The monster itself certainly gives the main characters a lot of space though. The whole time Henry is cleaning up around the lab the monster doesn’t make a move. Perhaps he was already full by that time and didn’t see a need to really do anything. It’s certainly convenient for Henry that this was the case. His wife Wilma was definitely something as she constantly complained about everything. Even to the end she nearly made a comeback.
Finally we had a rich guy named Mr. Pratt who takes delight in getting richer and richer. He doesn’t care how many people he has to take down so long as he can continue to rise up the ranks of society. He makes it a point to make fun of the others beneath him even if they just died. Naturally that means something’s about to happen and sure enough it does as some roaches start to appear. Their numbers begin to quickly escalate and Pratt doesn’t seem to have a way to stop them. Will the exterminators make it in time or he is doomed to be overwhelmed? You hopefully won’t mind roaches here or you’re going to be in for a very tough time. If not for the roaches basically being supernatural I have to say that Pratt was definitely well prepared. He had every anti roach item that you could think of at his disposal. He even had a lot of people on speed dial but at the end of the day they couldn’t save him. There was also the custodian who was acting pretty shady at times. I suppose the film was hinting he had something to do with this or just through Pratt’s paranoid vision that’s how it appeared to be. The ending shot was surprisingly violent with the roaches going straight for the win.
The movie has some pretty interesting scenes where it turns things into a comic book. I’d say that this was handled pretty well. The visuals were on point and the soundtrack was solid as well. Ultimately what holds this film back is what you would expect. The film can be pretty violent and also fairly mean spirited. Most of the stories are really about revenge here as the victim fulfills his fantasy of getting revenge on those who oppressed him. Most of the stories fall into that revenge fantasy category. None of the stories have happy endings although you could make the case that while they’re sad endings for the main characters most of them will have a lot of people who benefited from it.
Overall, Creepshow is about what you’d expect from an anthology. I’ll give the movie props for keeping all of the stories pretty different. You’ve definitely got horror in a lot of different ways here from zombies to supernatural insects. That said, it definitely still doesn’t work for me. It’s hard to root for some of these main characters because they become as evil as the villains they’re trying to fight. The kid from the intro/ending as well as Henry from the monster story both ultimately become villains in their quest to get revenge. At the end of the day they traded their moral high ground for a quick win. If you want to watch a classic horror title then this isn’t the one you’ll want to check out.