In Creepshow Season 3, Episode 2, we get two new terrifying stories. The first story is “Skeletons in the Closet,” by Greg Nicotero and John Esposito. Part 2, “Familiar,” is written by Josh Malerman (Bird Box).
The first story focuses on a horror enthusiast obsessed with collecting iconic props from all the classic films, horror and beyond. Fittingly, this episode is brimming with horror easter eggs. However, I feel that this is one of the weaker installments out of all the Creepshow episodes we’ve gotten.
Lampini (Victor Rivera) runs a
Chamber of Horrors
museum. Most of the exhibits he’s gotten from auctions or his father, who shared his passion. He proudly tells anyone who will listen to him about how his father had the “magical” gift of bringing his props to life.
Alongside his girlfriend Danielle (Valerie LeBlanc), Lampini has a special new exhibit planned and can’t wait to show the general public. But before they can open, Lampini gets a visit from his nemesis, Bateman (James Remar). Bateman regularly outbids Lampini at auctions and often gets the most sought-after items before he has a chance. Bateman further cements their rivalry by sneaking a peek at Lampini’s new exhibit, yanking open the curtain the night before it’s due to open while visiting after hours.
Behind the velvet curtains is a collection of the original real skeletons used from films like Poltergeist and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It would be impressive to any diehard horror fan. It’s one specific skeleton that intrigues Bateman because he believes Lampini stole the remains from a grave.
Insulted on her boyfriend’s behalf, Danielle attacks Bateman with her prop boot courtesy of From Russia with Love. She slices his throat open with Rosa Klebb’s shoe (the one with a knife hidden in the toe). With Bateman dead, Lampini and Danielle act fast. They skin him and use an acid bath to clean the meat off his bones, preparing his skeleton as a last-minute addition to Lampini’s sinister new exhibit.
It’s only when Bateman’s skeleton is officially added to the collection that Danielle questions Lampini about that little graverobbing accusation (a bit too late for that, don’t you think, Danielle?). Lampini admits that he hired his co-worker, Burke (Lucas Godfrey), to do it. Danielle freaks out that her boyfriend desecrated a grave. Then he makes it even worse by revealing that one of the skeletons is his father’s. “He donated his body to science…fiction.”
A horrified Danielle goes to shower all of Bateman’s blood and guts off of herself and to seriously reconsider their relationship status. While Danielle is in the shower, Bateman’s skeleton comes to life. I guess Lampini has his father’s magic touch, after all! Bateman brutally murders Burke with one of the Sentinel spheres from Phantasm. Then he goes after Danielle, stabbing her to death in the shower in an ode to Psycho.
With everyone else dead, Bateman’s skeleton sets its sights on Lampini. Before he can slaughter him, Lampini’s father’s skeleton springs to life and decapitates Bateman after an epic skeleton duel.
“Skeletons in the Closet” ends with Lampini proudly opening his new exhibit to great fanfare. His latest addition is not Bateman, but Danielle, who he smooches with a gross and toothy tongue kiss; he does have the magic touch to bring props to life…
Creepshow Season 3, Episode 2 recap: Familiar
Andrew Bachelor (better known as “King Bach”) stars in this story segment of Creepshow Season 3, Episode 2. An episode written by Bird Box author Josh Malerman, I have to say that this is one of the better installments of Creepshow, although Season 3’s premiere story “Queen Bee” is still my favorite of the season thus far.
This story begins with Jack, a lawyer (Bachelor), and his artist girlfriend Fawn (Hannah Fierman) getting a little too drunk and visiting a local psychic for fun. The psychic, Mr. Boone (Keith Arthur Bolden), tells them the regular psychic stuff, nothing too out of the ordinary. It’s the note he slips Jack under the table that is really of interest. It reads, “something bad is following you.” Jack is understandably creeped out by it.
He starts to see a terrifying red-eyed demon with long claws everywhere he turns, lurking in shadows and stalking his every move. Again, the props and monster creations on this show are always a standout; this creature is one of my favorites.
At first, Jack chalks up the sightings to a hallucination. He even tries to tell Fawn about what he’s been seeing, but she doesn’t believe him, though she does offer him a handmade lamb figurine as a consolation. It’s not until Jack is at the office and the demon rearranges his chairs in a stack on top of his desk and starts skulking around the room, leaving hoofprints on the carpet, that Jack realizes he’s in over his head.
Desperate to get rid of this thing, Jack returns to Mr. Boone and learns that the creature haunting him is his familiar. The only way to make it go away is for him to follow a specific ritual: draw a sacred circle on the floor (I love how Boone tells him to “Google it”), fill it with “innocence bait,” and then trap the creature in a crate. Once trapped, Jack should take the container to the deepest lake in town and drown it.
Without any other options, Jack gives Mr. Boone’s advice a chance. The psychic gifts him a necklace his sister made for him to use as the “innocence bait,” which basically means an object without a speck of negative energy in it, something pure. With the trap rigged, all Jack has to do is wait for his familiar to snatch the bait.
Watch Creepshow Season 3 and more horror content with Shudder: Start your seven-day free trial right now.
The problem is when the familiar takes the bait and the crate slams down to trap it, the familiar starts making noises like it’s actually just Fawn’s dog Rudolph. Since Jack hadn’t been watching it happen, he’s unsure if it is Rudolph or if he managed to trap the familiar. Not wanting to risk killing his girlfriend’s dog, Jack lifts the craft to check and the familiar escapes with the bait.
Jack tries again later using the lamb Fawn gifted him, and the same thing happens the second Jack nods off. This time, Jack has set up a camera to film the trap in case he’s distracted when it is triggered. Unfortunately, the camera glitches at the exact moment the crate drops. Jack knows it’s not Rudolph because he’s in the room with Jack, but whatever is in the crate sounds like Fawn crying out for Jack’s help.
Is it Fawn, or is the familiar playing a trick on him again? Jack tries calling Fawn to see if she’ll pick up her phone, but she doesn’t answer. He assumes that the familiar is just playing games with him and takes it to the lake, drowning whatever is inside.
But when he returns home, Jack finds his familiar waiting for him with the lamb, now with a dead, monstrous version of Fawn. It looks like Jack not only killed his girlfriend but now he’s stuck with his familiar for good.
This scary version of Fawn stumbles toward him and hugs him, “I believe you now.” Gulp.
New episodes of Creepshow Season 3 stream Thursdays on Shudder.