Syfy’s anthology series “Channel Zero” presents a different horror related story twice per season. These are based on the Internet’s very popular creepypastas. The fourth installment (entitled “The Dream Door”) just completed it’s six episode run. See my previous reviews here
Instead of the typical one episode per week release, SyFy released all six episodes of “The Dream Door” on consecutive days (with the finale being on Halloween). I’m interested to see how this approach works. While cable TV is dying out, streaming is the way of the future (with many viewers choosing NetFlix, Amazon, Hulu or other services).
If you havent watched the entire series, turn back now.
Jill thinks Tom is cheating on her. He says her childhood insecurities are being projected onto him. Jill goes over to friend Jason’s house for intel. Pretzel Jack (let’s call him “PJ” for short) sneaks up behind Jason and viciously (I do mean VICIOUSLY) stabs him to death. Is her mind causing these incidents? Maybe. It seems Tom is next on Pretzel Jack’s hit list.
Neighbor (and PhD student) Ian is a bit too friendly. Jill and Ian get closer. He helps her manage the psychic episodes that are causing PJ to attack. We get the feeling that something is not quite right with Ian. Then we find out why.
He is Jill’s half brother (they have the same father). SAY WHAT? Father Bill calls to warn Jill (but is intercepted by Ian). He conjures up his own scary childhood monster (named Tall Boy) who kills his father by sticking it’s fingers in his eye sockets. Ouch! Ian is later cornered by Tom and confesses. Yes he killed his father and some other people (including the owners of the house where he now lives). He’s not too worried about it. He even shows Jill and Tom their father’s body in the garage. The pugs he created (all in different color sweaters) are eating his body. BAD PUGS, BAD!!
The police haul Ian off but we know that was much too easy. He escapes the police when Tall Boy kills the detectives in the car. If that wasnt bad enough, he kills them with a drill. Ouch!
Jill and Tom are beginning a new married life together. They move into Tom’s parents house. Soon they discover a door in the basement where none was before. Nothing can open the door, not a locksmith, not a crowbar, not a shotgun. When Jill is home alone one day, she touches the door. It opens. Inside in the corner is the figure of a strange contortionist clown? He waves his arms and runs screaming by her and into the night. Stranger yet, he seems to be the spitting image of a character she created as a child known as Pretzel Jack. Hmmm.
In the finale, Ian is determined to take out Tom and have Jill all to himself. Uh dude, she is your sister! It that doesnt work, he’ll kill Jill as well. They are chased through an under construction housing development by Tall Boy, Ian and his weird rainbow colored minions. They’re called Crayons because well, that’s what they’re made of. Jill conjures up another Pretzel Jack. Brother and sister psychically combat each other.
I’m not sure anyone will make it out of this show alive. Finally Jill and Jack are able to dodge Ian’s creature and he gets skewered to the wall with a power drill. As he dies, all the doors he has created disappear (as does Tall Boy).
In a flash forward, we see Jill and Tom have started a family. Does their little girl have the same psychic powers? Yep, it’s looks like it. Uh oh. Here we go again.
Grade: 5 Monsters (out of 5). Excellent! I “The Dream Door” is the best “Channel Zero” season yet. In fact, “The Dream Door” is one of the best shows on television. The show definitely went in a direction I didnt anticipate. Kudos on a very creative story. The imagery is brutal and genuinely frightening at times. Who wants to be drowned by a contortionist clown? Not I!!!
Congrats to an excellent cast, Maria Sten as JIll and Brandon Scott as Tom were spot on as a couple we could care about and root for. Steven Robertson was menacing as the slimy Ian. Nick Antosca and director EL Katz brought this terrifying vision to life in a myriad of novel and creative ways. Special congrats to Troy James who played Pretzel Jack. He did all those crazy movements and facial expression without ANY CGI. He is amazing. To see more of his