Channel Zero: Candle Cove (S01E01) "You Have to Go Inside"

Cast: Natalie Brown:( Jessica Yolen) Paul Schneider: (Mike Painter) Fiona Shaw: (Marla Painter) Shaun Benson: (Gary Yolen) Lusia D’Oliveria: (Amy Welch) Cassandra Consiglio: (Tooth Child
Writers, Producers, Creator: Nick Antosca, Kris Straub, Don Mancini, Harley Peyton
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Based on Kris Straub’s creepypasta story, “Candle Cove,” Syfy has once again shown itself to be the thinking persons channel. Created and written by Nick Antocsa (“The Forest”), along with writers Harley Peyton (“Friends with Benefits”) and the wonderful Don Mancini (writer/producer “Child’s Play), Nick has brought this story  to terrifying life.
Now, in case you didn’t know (and I admit it, I didn’t) here is the definition of Creepypasta:      “Essentially internet horror stories, passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers. The name “Creepypasta” comes from the word “copypasta”, an internet slang term for a block of text that gets copied and pasted over and over again from website to website.”
This is why “Channel Zero” is a thinking persons story. Not much gore, but by bringing this story to life, the writers have shown us our monsters under the bed. Much like a Stephen King or Peter Straub novel, the creep factor is in the story, and builds as the story unfolds. Unlike some shows, this one will take more than one episode to fully get it. Pay attention to the flashbacks, as those carry alot of weight.
“Channel Zero” begins with our main character, Mike Painter, a child psychologist. Carving the words “Mike come home” in his arm, he checks into a mental ward for a brief stay. Fresh off his stint in the mental ward, heads home. Plagued by childhood nightmares, and the loss of his twin brother, Eddie, he heads home to find answers. Once back home in Iron Hill, his mother is glad, if puzzled to see him. Mike soon finds things are taking a bad turn, just like they did in the two months in 1988. During those two months,a children’s show called “Candle Cove” aired; the show was about a little girl on a talking pirate ship with super creepy pirate puppets,and a skeleton-man called “The Skin-Taker”. Normally, this wouldn’t raise an adult eyebrow…but, with “Candle Cove,” only the children saw it, the adults just saw 30 minutes of static. During that summer, Mike and Eddie were the victims of bullies, with one breaking one of Eddie’s fingers. The next you see is not Eddie’s finger in a cast, but the twins captivated by “Candle Cove.” It seems this show trumps everything. During this time, Eddie, along with a few other Iron Hill children went missing. They found the children, Eddie included, murdered in an odd way, and missing teeth.
Mike stops by the sheriff’s office to see his old friend Gary Yolen, now the sheriff of Iron Hill. Under the premise of writing a book, Mike asks for the files of the murdered kids. Gary provides them, as long as the book is respectful…Mike promises it will be. Gary then invites him to dinner…of course Mike will be there. He needs to find out if everyone else is as haunted as he is.
 During dinner, he brings up “Candle Cove.” Jessica, Gary’s wife remembers the nightmares the show gave her. Mike also seems to remember that during that time, kids were hurting other kids, and alot had missing teeth. As the dinner winds down, Mike notices Jessica and Gary’s daughter Katie watch what he sees as static, but for Katie it’s “Candle Cove.” When Katie goes missing, Mike, due to his interest in the ’88 murders and “Candle Cove,” becomes the prime suspect. While he does help look for her, Mike goes back to Katie’s brother. Dane tells him she went to “The Crow’s Nest.” He knows where she is. Mike heads to a high cliff, surrounded by rocks, with a sharp drop off into a tree. He finds Katie hiding behind some rocks. Mike picks her up and takes her back to her parents. Gary, in sheriff mode, tells him not to leave town, even though Mike insists this is just the beginning; “Candle Cove” is back.
As they all leave the crow’s nest, a creepy, tooth monster peeks out from behind the rock and grabs a few teeth Katie left, eating them.
This is merely the start of what promises to be one creepy, scary show. Only running six episodes, “Channel Zero” plays on our fears: the unknown, what could be. But it mostly plays on our memories. Your favorite show as a child, looking back on it now, how many odd, creepy, even scary characters did it feature? Does it raise goosebumps now? This show illustrates how our memories change as we grow up. Using kids in scary stories is a hallmark for many shows and authors. Simply because kids don’t have the disbelief that we grow into.
Give “Channel Zero” a chance. Watch the first episode on demand, then settle in for a weekly scare. Remember: “Nightmares come from somewhere.”
Have some thoughts on the show? Feel free to share them with me.
Channel Zero is on SyFy Tuesdays at 9pmest.