Channel Zero Season 2 Review
Creepypasta, the campfire stories of the internet age. Slenderman, The Rake, The Russian Sleep Experiment, Jeff the Killer, all of these originated in the Creepypasta forums, and all of them have become favorites of the internet scare-seeker. Well, Syfy decided back in 2016 to finally utilize this resource and created Channel Zero, a horror anthology show that dedicated six episodes per season to fully exploring one select creepypasta. I reviewed their first attempt, “Candle Cove”, on my old blog, and I found it to be…acceptable. Its great atmosphere and excellent camerawork were marred by bland characters and pretty mediocre dialogue. However, I’m pleased to report that the second season has improved on the first in pretty much every single way, and is a contender for one of my favorite pieces of horror media in a long time.
Season two takes the creepypasta “The No-End House” as its inspiration. I think this was a very solid choice. The original creepypasta is very open-ended, and hints at all kinds of potential horrors without going into enough detail to eliminate any story possibilities in its universe. Thus, Channel Zero’s interpretation was given a lot of freedom to explore, and it definitely paid off.
The plot follows Margot, whose father died in an apparent suicide the previous year, and Julie, her former best friend who ran off to college around the same time, essentially to escape having to deal with the tragedy. The two of them meet back up during the summer and everything seems the same as before, until they meet some guys at a club who tell legends of the No-End House, a kind of travelling art instillation fused with a haunted house. Luckily, the No-End House happens to be opening up in their town that very night, and they go to pay it a visit. Unfortunately, it ends up being more than they anticipated, and eventually they find that, no matter where they go, they’re still inside the house.
Unlike the first season, the dialogue isn’t stiff or pretentious at all. The characters actually feel like characters, perhaps in part due to the really cool conceit that Margot’s Father, although dead from suicide in the real world, is alive and well inside the house. The House Father, as he shall be known, is far and away the highlight of the season for me, and the main reason why I this score is going to be so high. The house is objectively evil, and there is a villain, but House Father himself seems to be an actual good person and, in some ways, Margot’s actual father, complete with his memories and his desire to see Margot safe. The journey he takes throughout the show is something I’ve not seen before, and is worth the price of admission alone. The writers did an excellent job this season.
After something of a rocky start, Channel Zero seems set to become a staple in the horror anthology world, in the vein of American Horror Story and The Twilight Zone.