Channel Zero: Candle Cove 2016
Children's TV is usually wholesome entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family, but child psychologist Mike Painter thinks there's one show in particular -- "Candle Cove" -- that might not have been so innocent. No one seems to remember the 1980s show except for Mike, and he has ever-growing suspicions that it might have played a role in a series of nightmarish events from his childhood, including the disappearance of his twin brother in the summer of 1988. When he returns home to investigate what happened all those years ago, Mike finds out that it -- whatever it was -- may be happening again.
October 11, 2016
Kris Straub and Nick Antosca
Paul Schneider, Fiona Shaw, and Luisa D'Oliveira
Channel Zero: Candle Cove will be available on DVD September 26, 2017.
Regular readers of Horror Freak News know that I was completely enamored with Channel Zero: Candle Cove, which premiered on Syfy last October. Perhaps in response to shows like American Horror Story and Black Mirror, the network’s foray into anthologized terror was a rip-roaring success. Channel Zero: Candle Cove is based on a creepypasta, a flash-fiction piece, by author-artist Kris Straub. As is common with this type of storytelling, the legend of Candle Cove was presented as an exchange between users in a paranormal-themed forum. An article recently published on Blumhouse.com claims Straub was “inspired by a satirical piece in The Onion about a man suffering nightmare flashbacks from the surreal children’s show LIDSVILLE.”
As horror fans were shaking their heads and American Horror Story: Roanoke and abandoning the ultra-gloomy Walking Dead Season 7, Channel Zero: Candle Cove rose to prominence with its unique blending of surrealist nightmare logic and subversions of childhood nostalgia. Creepypasta represents a new age in horror storytelling, and Syfy was wise to identify this arena as a wellspring for chilling content. Chanel Zero has already been renewed through Season 4, meaning the studio has faith in the concept, and the creative team working hard to turn this genre anomaly into a certifiable ratings juggernaut.
Official Synopsis: Children’s TV is usually wholesome entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family, but child psychologist Mike Painter thinks there’s one show in particular — “Candle Cove” — that might not have been so innocent. No one seems to remember the 1980s show except for Mike, and he has ever-growing suspicions that it might have played a role in a series of nightmarish events from his childhood, including the disappearance of his twin brother in the summer of 1988. When he returns home to investigate what happened all those years ago, Mike finds out that it — whatever it was — may be happening again.
As someone who came of age in the late 1970s and 1980s, I feel especially connected to Candle Cove’s inspirations. I remember being both enamored and terrified by the works of Sid and Marty Krofft. While Land of the Lost was overtly harrowing to a 7-year-old, shows like the previously mentioned Lidsville, along with H.R. Pufnstuf, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters were nightmare fuel in their own rights. While it would be decades before I’d understand the psychological and aesthetic principle known as The Uncanny Valley, I knew that these felt & foam creations were a far cry from the friendly faces found on Sesame Street. Candle Cove is an homage to those unintentionally creepy kids’ shows produced in the psychedelic 1970s.
Related Article: The Childhood Horrors of Sid & Marty Krofft
Thematically, Channel Zero: Candle Cove is about the traumas of childhood that create broken, ineffectual adults. In this respect, it’s a spiritual successor to many of the works of Stephen King and bears many structural similarities to IT. Like the Losers Club, a group of children reunites as adults to battle a terrifying force from their childhoods; bound by disturbing memories of a pirate-themed TV series featuring puppets, forgotten anxieties come crashing back with a vengeance as a nebulous horror returns to wreak havoc on a new generation.
Candle Cove exasperates the “creepy kids” trope in horror and all accompanying anxieties; it’s a popular motif for a variety of reasons: The subversion of childhood innocents, fears of paternity, Oedipus/Electra complexes, etc. In Candle Cove, children are both victims and perpetrators of unimaginable violence. The subtext is rich with explorations on the effects of depictions of violence on developing minds, escapism, and the inability to out-run the horrors of one’s past.
Candle Cove will keep you guessing until the very end as to the exact nature of the supernatural phenomenon at foot; while I suspected an MK-Ultra style mind control exercise, Candle Cove and the concept of a TV show that can warp and control young minds is something else entirely. There are psychological and metaphysical horrors at play, as well as intense mysteries that propel the series forward with relentless intensity.
If you’ve seen Channel Zero: Candle Cove and want to delve deeper into the mythologies explored, check out the video below from The Horror Squad: Channel Zero Candle Cove Explained!
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
Official Synopsis: Let’s get into the new Syfy tv show of 2016 Channel Zero – Candle Cove by Nick Antosca. Which is based on Creepypasta Candle Cove by Kris Straub. Here a quick sum of all 6 episodes. Spoiler alert!!!! We get into the ending and what it means.
About The Horror Squad on YouTube: Welcome to the insanity of Horror Squad. This channel is about scaring people pranks, Halloween, Creepypasta, top 10’s (horror), cosplay and anything Horror related.
We’re less than 2 weeks away from the premiere of Channel Zero: No End House (Season 2) arriving at Syfy on September 20th. Check out the trailer and synopsis below:
Official Synopsis: The Channel Zero anthology series continues with a new story. Inspired by Brian Russell’s Creepypasta tale, Channel Zero: No-End House tells the story of a young woman named Margot Sleator, played by Amy Forsyth, who visits the No-End House, a bizarre house of horrors that consists of a series of increasingly disturbing rooms. When she returns home, Margot realizes everything has changed. Nick Antosca will return as executive producer, showrunner, and writer for the second installment of the series alongside executive producer Max Landis. In addition to Forsyth, series will star John Carroll Lynch and Luisa D’Oliveira.
Bottom Line: Chanel Zero: Candle Cove is the first season of a creepypasta-themed anthology series that was one of the best examples of horror on TV in 2016. The 6-episode season is deliciously binge-worthy and represents an exciting new franchise that will resonate with fans of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Black Mirror. Since the series has already been renewed through Season 4, Channel Zero is likely to become a major force in television horror. Season 2, Channel Zero: No End House, premieres on September 20th.