Horror TV HoneyBuzz with Addison
Following in the steps of Candle Cove, Syfy’s Channel Zero anthology series is taking on another creepypasta favorite for its second season: Brian Russell’s No End House. The original story, which follows a young man’s attempt to complete a haunted house in order to win a large cash prize, will be expanded into a multi-episode arc for this new chapter of the Syfy miniseries.
Set to premiere in 2017, No End House will follow a young woman named Margot (Amy Forsyth), whose life permanently changes after a visit to the strange and disturbing No End House. The show will also star John Carroll Lynch and Jeff Ward, and will have the same writer and showrunner as Candle Cove.
Syfy released a teaser for No End House on the official Channel Zero page in order to pique the interest of the audience already reeled in by Candle Cove. The teaser is only 25 seconds long, but they cram each moment to the brim with creepy. We start off with an eerie rattling soundtrack, as an unknown young man explains the house: “It’s six rooms, each one is scarier than the last” over shots of the sort of horrors waiting for us within the house’s walls. The voiceover continues: “most people don’t even make it to the sixth room, and the people who do? Never seen again.” If that isn’t ominous, I don’t know what is. Plus... suburbia... *shudder*
Like Candle Cove, the teaser for No End House plays with corruptions of traditionally idyllic, small-town imagery. This time, the cornfields and lush forests are replaced with a classic suburban neighborhood. Rows of uniform, beige houses with crisp green lawns are juxtaposed against images of people on fire, a girl running, and someone emerging from a full bathtub, their face an expression of primal terror. Unlike the Candle Cove trailer, this teaser keeps anything distinct or specific hidden from us. Whatever horrors lurk within the house itself, we’ll have to wait and find out. It’s a smart, strategic move; the teaser for Candle Cove was exciting, but showed the production team’s hand a little too early for its own good. This keeps the show’s biggest scares under wraps, leaving the audience’s unease up to the imagination (with just a little prompting from the teaser’s voiceover).
As someone whose favorite season of American Horror Story was Murder House, I look forward to the Channel Zero team’s take on a haunted house narrative. The original story already has a unique take on the haunted house, setting this particular house far above your garden-variety spooky shack in the woods or decrepit Victorian manor. Obviously, one would hope that the showrunners take what made the story good, hold it tight, and run with it as far as they can.
In terms of predictions, the teaser gives me very little to work with. However, there is an implication in the teaser that I find extremely interesting. We are shown a young woman, presumably our protagonist, running through the streets of the aforementioned suburb. It’s possible that the house, once all of the rooms have been completed, acts as a sort of portal to an alternate world. There is something distinctly Twilight Zone about the shots of the young woman outside of the house, a sort of unreality to the way they look. Combined with the implication that no one returns to whence the came after entering the house, but that our protagonist seems to have made her way out, tells us that she may not have truly escaped the house’s hold at all. However, Candle Cove subverted many of the initial expectations for its story, so we will just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully, this installment will maintain a greater sense of faithfulness to the original story’s tone than Candle Cove did.
It is far outside my jurisdiction to assign required reading in order to watch a television show, but I feel that I must make a recommendation. Before the show airs in 2017, take some time to read Russell’s original story. It’s a quick, heart-pounding piece of work, and a true in a world of played-out creepypasta knock-offs. It may even give you some clues about where the show is headed, but I wouldn’t bet on it. So far, the Channel Zero team knows how to keep us off balance and in suspense.
Are you stoked on another installment of Channel Zero?