To get into the halloween spirit I needed to watch some spooky programing and saw Netflix promoting the BBC horror anthology series Creeped Out. Are any of the episodes worth checking out and if so which ones here’s my personal rank of each episode so if you want to check this fun, spooky series you know what episodes are best for you and best quality overall.
#12 The Call
This is a tough call (oh no I’m sorry I didn’t mean to pun there) because the next episode is down right obnoxious, but this one is so boring. I actually had to go back and watch the ending because I completely checked and could not remember anything that happened in this episode. I want to know who did the casting for this episode because this is probably the least convincing family I have ever seen. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that two dark skinned parents have a genetic improbability of having children that look like teen Daisy Ridley and a ginger kid. I do respect the effort to display a diverse and unique family structure, but this is downright comical that seems like a parody of what you’re trying to achieve. I guess they wanted to make it blatantly apparent that teen Daisy Ridley is adopted because she’s a mermaid or whatever but why not just make it like two moms or something the whole point of diversity is to give representation but who are we representing with this family like come off it. So something about a birthday party, something about a swimming pool, and then the crappiest scream echoing effect ever put on screen later and we get to see teen Daisy Ridley get a pool bed? Just skip it.
Why was this the first episode, holy crap I can imagine how many people got turned off by just how abysmally bad this episode is. Everyone calls Creeped Out, Black Mirror for kids but for the most part this is the only “technology bad” episode there is, and it does nothing new with that concept. Marti seems like a script, a really awful script from back in like 2010 that really references David after dentist, and overuses graphic emojis hovering over the phone on screen. I’m having vicious flashbacks to Bedeviled in that the interface design of the app and the “spooky” advanced AI voice is obviously just an actor reading lines in a monotone fashion with no filter or effect on it rendering their to have to be an incredible suspension of disbelief that really makes you wonder how familiar they are with smartphones. This episode is frustrating as hell because of two reasons. Number one – everyone in the school is an incredibly dumb, she doesn’t even have the phone in her hands and the phone is saying that it’s getting revenge on her and everyone at the dance is like “OMG I can’t believe you uploaded those pictures, I hate you”. You’ve literally be with her the past hour or so do you really think she uploaded all of these to the cloud and then set up a projector to start automatically… How? Number two – the blackmail pictures and the embarrassing pictures she uploads of all the students make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Unless this smartphone app can hack into a bathroom mirror how are these pictures even possible? Are they picking their noise and then think this is a great time to take a selfie… without using their hands? Why, When, and how was the phone able to capture these embarrassing moments… I feel lead to believe that Marti hacked everyone else’s phone but doesn’t that then imply that everyone keeps their phone at a 90 degree angle at face level, and does anyone find that to be a convincing reality. For mature audiences looking for the idea of being blackmailed by hackers the Black Mirror episode, Shut Up and Dance is fantastic execution of that concept. If you are interested in Creeped Out, I highly recommend you skip Marti as I’m baffled they led with the shows arguably worst episode to start off on.
If Marti was ripped right out of early 2010’s than Spaceman is the same thing but for the late 90’s. An average/cool kid is unamused about having to hang out with this nerdy kid which is pretty much Kyle’s cousin Kyle from South Park. To the episodes credit, some of the night shots of the alien’s purple emitting light and his menacing reveal is the house is well done, after this you might as well turn it off because it’s all downhill from here. Everyone who’s ever seen the spaceman episode of any anthology horror series knows exactly how this one is going to end and fail to give this one any reason to stand out of exist in the first place. Typically, there’s some fish out of water element of teaching the alien some aspect of humanity, but in this one they just dick around the woods while this poor kid has to wear a cheap Halloween costume on top of a salmon pink prom suite. Also, usually with the character troupes set up you’d think the nerdy kid who have some sort of skill that would end up saving the day… but no they literally have what I can only describe as a “Loser says what” ending which is just dumbfounding.
# 9 Bravery Badge
This is the first big discrepancy I have with the current IMDb episode ratings lists as Bravery Badge is considered the sixth ranked episode according to user reviews but I’m right and they’re wrong. There’s really not much to say about this one except for me to describe it in the worst way possible. So, to summarize, the 2018 Boy Scouts of America go on a camping trip and all get Smurf ringworm which are thwarted by the “yo pass the aux cord. You better not play trash” meme which turns them into ear gushers. Also Spotify apparently works great on squirrel wifi.
#8 Shed No Fear
I personally believe in theory this episode seems like it should be ranked higher but it’s just a meh episode. This episode takes place in the past… no real reason behind that decision. I do like the costuming and how they recreate the 70s, it kind of gives me the vibe of a junior high boys bromance version of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”. The visual effects and the contraption they build is well-crafted. The theme of friendship is a good base, but nothing done in this is worth keeping your attention. Maybe the production is arguably one of the highest in the series this episode but watching it play out is as enjoyable as eating the cardboard the characters and script are made of. This episode probably would be top five if it just wasn’t just unapologetically forgettable.
This one kind of feels the most like a classic Goosebumps episode to me, unfortunately they kind of have the dummy as their mascot while Slapstick is giving the misfortune of being pretty bland. The good is the puppet looks like the “after” picture taken of a meth PSA and could actually be frightening to small children. There’s no real fun with concept and while the dower ending is certainly unexpected I couldn’t help but feel that this just made the episode feel incomplete. Also the first five minutes is insufferable, establishes the parents as obnoxious and our protagonist as an unlikable brat. So with no fun, no characters to root for, no real spooky aspect, no real conclusion all that’s really left is the morale which has the same entertainment value as a fortune cookie.
# 6 The Traveller
I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa. This episode is just the Nickelodeon movie Clockstoppers. The traveller is honestly kind of unnerving, one of the truly off-putting designs the show offers. I do like the cameo from permit Patty, call me permit Patty! Best character in the show no nonsense gonna happen on her watch. I understand the message of “time is a valuable thing, watch it goes by as the pendulum swings” but the execution is a little awkward. I thought the traveller would end up being a police for the forces of nature, one can not stop time without giving up time but I guess we wouldn’t be able to shoehorn a terrible message of how children are terrible burdens on their parents and should feel guilty about every mistake they make because they are responsible for being emotionally taxing on their parents well-being. Kind of creepy, kind of interesting, but also kind of feels that it missteps in other aspects.
# 5 Trolled
While in my top five, I’m only recommending the top four episodes of actually being worth watching for what they are. Trust me I am rating these episodes with what they are in mind as a cheap tv horror anthology series for children like Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, and Tales from the Crypt which I don’t hold in high esteem but feel there is more charm and charisma put into those series than most episodes found here. As for “Trolled” I liked the internet troll aspect, the mystery aspect, the catholic boarding school was an interesting setting and I think there was some good creature makeup effects used. Please don’t ask me what happened in the episode because I honestly couldn’t tell you.
DOES THE JANITOR REALLY ONLY HOLD THE DOOR IN ONE RANDOM SCENE, AND THEN GET A DRAMATIC REVEAL THAT HE WAS BEHIND IT????? WHAT A LAME MYSTERY.
# 4 Sideshow
Sideshow is the big two-part season finale that is in total one of the better episodes of the series. IMDb seems mixed as part two is the 3rd rated episode, while the 1st part is the 4th worst but all in all it’s a good episode despite the flaws. Does it merit the extra episode runtime… not really but it probably is the most deserving concept to stretch out into two episodes, I mean thank God they didn’t extend Marti into two episodes. I found the color correcting in this to be noticeably terrible, things were highly saturated so that the color pops, but I don’t know it looks like the Justice League in that two people weren’t one the same page and the color isn’t consistent either and just ends up with a really muddy picture. It was nice to see actress Katie Douglas again, I had watched her other appearance in a dorky cancelled show Spooksville which was a fun but somewhat disappointing show that she did a good job in some glad she’s still around getting work. How to explain this terrible: Count Olaf runs a circus that probably breaks a ton of child labor laws and we follow the amazing smell boy as with the help of the aforementioned Katie Douglas must find out what the heck is really going on here.
OMG Those green-screen animals look like an abomination! This is probably the 2nd best twist ending, it hints at it a lot but nothing really adds up until the end. I wish the missing dog poster could have been something we saw before hand and maybe just didn’t concentrate on so that connect could be a great ah ha moment. This one left me with a moral quandary in that obviously not as a carnie’s slave but would animals want to turn back into animals rather than be human children? I mean Katie Douglas turned into a hummingbird and I was like well that sucks! Good luck scratching your nose now. I like the surprising twist that puts everything into perspective overall good stuff.
# 3 Kindlesticks
Who’s the girl next story living in the haunted mansion? Umm… actually Ashley is a boy… I know this is Gone with the Wind all over again. Kindlesticks probably is the best working morale that the character’s arc coincides the best with that message and the learn their lesson in a spooky way. Something if not everything about the ending is blatantly obvious, the twist was necessary because I was going to be bothered by some of the logic that would have been kind of a plot hole. Kindlesticks is goofy fun, it’s a good concept for children’s horror is shot and written well to a degree that it was one of the stand-outs of the bunch.
Since this post is just me making a ton of references that no one is going to understand what the hell I’m talking about… why does the last shot of this episode remind me of the ending of the Rugrats all Grown-Up Halloween Special. Remember that ghost kids who ominously goes “Don’t ever got no brain or nothing” and it’s scary because it’s grammatically incorrect. Also she makes them go to bed at 6pm haha that’s pretty funny.
# 2 A Boy Named Red
I feel like this one is hard to explain why I think this one stands out, but understand that it just works. I don’t think this episode tried to be anything in particular, wasn’t overtly spooky, or trying to bamboozle the audience or be too ham-fisted with the morale aspect. It genuinely comes across as heart-felt examination into a boy learning about his father’s past and setting things right in both the past and present. Yes, that means we have some time travel going on and while there’s certainly things to question it does an interesting thing with it and I appreciate that a lot is left unexplained… which is better. A Boy Named Red is probably the most original episode from the show and how it uses misdirect and foreshadowing combines for a impressive effort and in my humble opinion the 2nd best the show has to offer.
#1 Cat Food
IMDb ratings agree, this is the best episode and it is the one where it would be a good episode compared to the other anthology horror series. Why is it so great? #1 the protagonist has the most charisma out of every episode, watching little kid Ferris Bueller take his day off and having it put his life in danger is a fun ride. What makes it the best is the script is so tight, that there is an incredible amount of misdirects going on that not only is it hard to guess where exactly point B may be, but they make sure to plant a couple red herrings (The morale is even played with a degree of misdirect) to make the chekhov’s guns less obvious. This one has maybe the best horror tale, the old lady gives me the heebie-jeebies, there is something actually sinister at play, and the cat food just seems odd enough to spark your intrigue. I enjoyed the tension of what I can only describes as a scene that gave me flashbacks of the enjoyable time when I watched that high tension gambling anime Kakegurui. The twist is delightfully grime, the content isn’t scarring per say but I think given the right paranoid kid, this could give some kid nightmares. I’m just gonna wrap with a small spoiler section but this is the one with enough thoughtful writing that I sincerely recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of series, it truly is the cream of the crop.
OMG Someone actually got punished for cheating against a supernatural entity. How f-ed is it that you have to leave the rest of your life knowing your sister is dead and you have to pretend this urban legend horrific creature is her that’s just damn. I really like the combination of having the antagonist come out on top for something different but also have the protagonist suffer a sort of second hand or psychological punishment it is unmentionably cruel fate to imagine and that’s why this one is rightfully frightening.
Quick shoutout for anyone interested in the series but wish I had maybe a more positive or a more formal outlook on the series another WordPress blog FNORD by Thomas Evans and Daniel Skentelbery which has I believe a decent sized post for every episode of the series and has a drastically different opinion than mine but I respect the reasoning and arguments they made so by all means look them up see what they have to say then watch the episode to see who you agree with. Okay, cool have a good one y’all.
IMAGES USED ARE FROM THE SERIES CREEPED OUT CREDIT BBC.