Shudder Review: A Creepshow Holiday Special (TV Special 2020)

Directed by: Greg Nicotero. Starring: Anna Camp, Adam Pally, Pete Burris. Runtime: 46 min.

A Creepshow Holiday Special follows Robert Weston (Adam Pally), a man trying to figure out the strange thing that has been happening to him every full moon. Believing himself to be a werewolf, he finds a support group called Shapeshifters Anonymous (also the title of the episode), a group led by schoolteacher Irena (Anna Camp).

He takes the group through what he’s been happening, like finding strange objects in his stool and him thinking he’s been killing people every full moon, as he assumes he’s a werewolf. The clever thing about this support group is that they’re not exclusively werewolves, they consider themselves therinthrope, where they turn into other animals every full moon (like a were-boar). I won’t spoil what everyone else in the group turns into, but the way they play with the fact that there are other options of animals to turn into and that werewolves get all the clout in pop culture is amusing.

This episode finds a lot of its charm in just the support group dynamic and how well that’s depicted as it plays out like a regular support group but what they’re getting support for is a bizarre circumstance. That’s where a lot of the comedy comes from, as the dialogue talking about what every character turn into is great. The rest of the characters, by the way, include Scott (Pete Burris), Andy (Frank Nicotero), the quiet Ryan (Derek Russo) and Phyllis (Candy McLellan). All their character dynamics is what helps make this really entertaining.

Though, with this being a support group for werewolves and were-boars and the like, you might be wondering why this is a Christmas special. I don’t want to specifically spoil that aspect, but how this own fictional history of Christmas works into the narrative is great.

The horror also delivers with some cool practical effects and make-up, and the stand-off that happens during the support group is entertaining. It’s surprisingly brutal and gory, too. I can’t comment on any of the other Creepshow episodes during Shudder’s revival of the series – though I can say that this episode is much more my speed and taste than A Creepshow Animated Special.

Some of this episode’s humour does feel a bit too silly, but with general premise being unique and a bit unbelievable, that’s to be expected. And if you’re willing to accept the craziness that happens here, it’s a nice little Christmas special that has a charm to it.

Score: 75/100

This started streaming on Shudder on December 18, 2020, in all territories in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

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