Now here’s a curious development. When the full six-episode slate of Creepshow the series was announced, I immediately noticed that episode 4 included a short called All Hallows Eve, and naturally, got pretty excited. It was originally announced to be paired with one called Times is Tough in Musky Hollow, but as it turns out, we got All Hallows Eve in episode 3, along The Man in the Suitcase – initially meant to air in the season finale.
I’m not sure what behind the scenes machinations resulted in this rejiggering of the segment order, but I’m glad these particular two were put together because it makes for my favorite episode of Creepshow yet.
It goes without saying that any movie or TV show which features a Halloween night montage including Jack O Lanterns, yard decorations, hooting owls, rustling leaves and trick or treaters instantly elevates itself to AT LEAST a 5/10 in my eyes. All Hallows Eve delivers that, and then some. In fact, the first thought that struck me was that it felt quite a bit like a bite-sized version of Trick R Treat. This would have fit right in as a segment in that movie.
Sure, it’s a little tropey – if indeed it can be said that “teenagers meeting up for their last trick or treat” counts as a trope now. They’ve got their generic Halloween costumes (seriously, in fiction, kids always pick the devil and the ghost and the hobo costume over your Minecrafts and Batmans), their shit talking, their comments about being “too old for this Halloween stuff”, and the palpable romantic tension between one pair. Once the actual trick or treating begins, the interactions between kid and neighbor are most peculiar…
All Hallows Eve tells a classic Halloween story about revenge for a nasty prank gone wrong. I’ve seen and read stories just like this dozens of times, but as a Creepshow short, it has the perfect venue and comes along at just the right timing – here in the dead center of spooky season. It’s everything that makes up Halloween spirit: Scares, mischief, youth & innocence, and a heartfelt, somber ending.
The Man in the Suitcase on the other hand, is quintessential EC Comics “bad people get comeuppance” material like you might have seen on Tales From the Crypt in the 90’s. But unlike the repetitive crime dramas that cluttered up that series, this one has a supernatural twist and a deviously macabre sense of humor to go with it.
A burnout college student mistakenly takes home the wrong suitcase and discovers a living man impossibly crammed inside. While attempting to free him from the suitcase, he discovers that the mysterious figure spontaneously vomits gold coins as a response to pain. You can imagine where it goes from there, especially once a morally corrupt roommate and bitchy ex-girlfriend enter the picture. It’s a “goose that lays golden eggs” dilemma that you pretty much ought to know the ending to as soon as it starts, but it’s still great fun getting there.
Creepshow is continuing to prove its worth at the halfway point to its first – and hopefully not last – season. The Halloween-focused short obviously panders to people like me, but nobody is phoning it in here. This feels more like Creepshow than anything that’s come after the original 1982 movie, and let’s just say that M. Night Shayamalan’s Tales From the Crypt is going to have some hearty competition, if and when it ever comes out.