Of all of the first wave of internet-disseminated-and-expanded Creepypasta short stories, perhaps none is as terrifying as “Candle Cove.” Penned originally by Kris Straub before being altered by the wider ’pasta community, the story plays with and gradually hones a haunting memory of a 1980s puppet-based children show so grotesque to be anything but a waking nightmare.
Syfy has been doing inspiring more high-profile work recently, so the fact that the station is mounting two six-part miniseries around the story should be cause for celebration. Season 1 of Channel One: Candle Cove is slated to air this October, just around Halloween, and the second part in 2017. Plot-wise, each season will be self-contained.
This will be the most high-profile Creepypasta-inspired film or TV project to date. It’s also a particularly interesting choice since the original piece of micro fiction is built from a series of emails: It offers a lot of possibilities.
The team assembled is an interesting one. It was revealed last year that the series would be written by Nick Antosca — a man who helped shape one of the finest and most surreal TV horror series of all-time, the late and great Hannibal. His film track record has been more varied: He’s writing the script for the upcoming 2016 Friday the 13th remake, but also the misbegotten Natalie Dormer-starring feature, The Forest. Max Landis — the writer and director who kept busy last year, including penning both American Ultra and Victor Frankenstein — is the head producer.
The new development, as reported by Deadline, is that rookie horror director Craig William Macneill is slated to helm all six episodes of the series. His debut full-length horror film The Boy — not to be confused with this year’s blockbuster haunted-doll flick The Boy — was a festival favorite last year. Macneill seems like a strong choice, a young director with a lot to prove and a command of the genre.
Averaging all this out, it’s safe to expect an at-least-servicable product that has some seriously mind-bending moments. The source material for great scares and design is right there in the short story. It seems like something it would be pretty hard to botch, unless the team inserts too much superfluous backstory: Creepypasta gets a lot less scary when it makes too much sense.