With Halloween just two weeks away, start getting in the mood by binge-watching Channel Zero, an anthology series where each season is based on a ‘creepypasta’ - a term for horror-related legends passed around the internet.
The first season follows Mike Painter’s growing obsession with the children’s television program, Candle Cove, a creepy puppet show from the 1980s with a disturbing connection to a deadly unsolved mystery from his childhood.
Executive producers Nick Antosca (Hannibal) and Max Landis (Chronicle, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) were inspired by Candle Cove, a Kris Straub creepypasta hailed by The Verge as “one of the internet’s best scary stories… a perfectly dark spin on our nostalgia for the half-remembered stories of our childhood, that realization that the things we liked as kids were much, much creepier than we thought.”
At the time of writing, the TV series has a 96% critics rating and an 89% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. i09 called it, “Essential viewing if you dig stories like Stranger Things and It… relentlessly, wonderfully terrifying,” while Bloody Disgusting hailed it as “one of the best surprises in the horror genre this year.”
As i09 wrote, the real-world imagery in Channel Zero is almost as unsettling as Mike’s fevered, Candle Cove-induced visions, from “a bully who breaks wee fingers like they are candy canes; kids who conceal knives beneath their homemade pirate costumes; sibling rivalry that suddenly escalates to disembowelment.” But it’s the hungry Tooth Child - a creature made entirely of human teeth - that’s most likely to stay on in your nightmares (and win you Best Costume this Halloween).
Earlier this year, Channel Zero: Candle Cove was nominated for both Best TV Series at Fangoria and the Saturn Award for Best Presentation on TV by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.
At Fangoria, Paul Schneider (Bright Star) was also nominated for Best TV Actor as Mike and Fiona Shaw (True Blood, Harry Potter) was up for Best Supporting Actress as his mother Marla, while Luca Villacis scooped a Young Entertainer Awards nomination for Best Leading Young Actor 14 & Under for his dual roles as the young Mike and his twin Eddie.
Binge-watch the complete six-episode series of Channel Zero: Candle Cove first and only on Showmax in Africa.
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