Creepshow – Season 4 Episode 2 “The Hat; Grieving Process” Recap & Review

The Hat

In Creepshow Season 4 Episode 2, aspiring writer Jay Statton has writer’s block. With a deadline approaching, he laments to his wife, Astrid, about his favourite writer and role model Stephen Bachman (a nod to Stephen King and his pen name Richard Bachman). Bachman, a dark fantasy writer, was able to write 2-3 books a year, and they were all bestsellers.

In a meeting with his literacy agent Nicole, he voices his frustrations. As a way to cheer Jay up and inspire him, Nicole introduces Jay to a wall of antiques that houses items that supposedly helped famous writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Mathieson with their writer’s block. When Nicole leaves the room to handle another client, Jay is left to explore the antiques and stumbles onto a hat in a glass case similar to the one worn by his favourite author, Stephen Bachman.

Seeing his interest in the hat, Nicole allows him to take it home. At home, Jay is excited to try the hat out and break his writer’s block. However, he soon becomes even more frustrated when he can’t think of anything.

Annoyed, he tugs the hat down onto his head, and immediately his eyes glaze over and he begins to write. In no time, he has finished his first novel, and it is a raving success. Nicole encourages him to continue. And he does, popping out novel after novel.

Unfortunately, this begins to take a toll on not only his personal life, but also his health. His hair begins to fall out, and he loses days and weeks at a time. Astrid expresses her concern about him, but Jay ignores her concerns, and when Astrid asks him to choose between the hat or her, Jay inadvertently chooses the hat, resulting in Astrid packing up her things and leaving their home.

As Jay watches his wife drive out of his life, he gets a call from the assistant of Stephen Bachman, asking him to meet. Excited at the prospect of meeting his idol, Jay accepts. However, upon meeting Bachman, Jay is horrified to find that his idol is a decrepit old man who can only communicate through a notepad. Bachman is furious at Jay, calling him a thief and a hack, and telling him to return his hat that was stolen from him.

Distressed by the situation, Jay heads home and continues writing, determined to be better than Bachman. He ignores calls and keeps himself alive by only drinking milk.

Once he finishes his latest novel, he decides to take a break and tries to take off the hat. However, the hat appears to be stuck to his head. Panicked, he uses a paper opener to pry the hat off his head.

Jay is horrified to see that the Hat is alive. It’s a parasite. The Hat attacks him and bites off his index finger. Jay kills the Hat and discovers that the Hat laid eggs in its hatbox. Jay confronts Nicole about the parasite, and when it is confirmed that she knew, he kills her.

The segment ends with Jay going to see Astrid and discovering that a parasite got to her before he could.

The Episode Review

The Hat was a fun homage to Stephen King and his writing process. By which we mean the unbelieve speed with which he is able to write and publish books. Along with the jokes about how he normally ends novels, it’s one of the most common jokes among King fans.

So, the Hat makes for a fun and campy tribute to King. Jay Statton as a character feels like an everyman who is trying to reach the heights of his favourite author and seems to stumble onto a supernatural means from which Bachman gains his success.

This segment has the classic greatness we have come to associate with Creepshow stories, including the use of lighting, leaning more into the horror comic aesthetic, use of creative camera angles to help build that sense of unease. And since it’s a story that is associated with Stephen King, we know that there was going to be some wacky twist out of left field.

But while we were leaning towards how perhaps Jay got so caught up in his writing that he lived through an apocalypse or something, the twist we got was just as goofy and out of left field.  That’s what we expect from a campy Creepshow segment, and in that, it did deliver.

Grieving Process

In “Grieving Process,” April and Richard have the perfect life. April just got a promotion at work, and Richard is a Michelin chef who loves to cook for his wife.

However, things change when Richard gets a call that his wife was attacked. Rushing to the scene, he finds out that April was attacked on her way to her car, and is in critical condition but still alive.

Days later, April and Richard return home, but she is a changed woman. She doesn’t want to eat her husband’s cooking and goes as far as to kick her sister Jean out of the house. Fed up and worried about his wife starving herself, Richard is relieved when April’s doctor makes a house call to check up on her.

Richard returns home after going for a walk to see that his wife has attacked the doctor and eats her on their bedroom floor. At first, he decides to call for help, but seeing his wife finally eating, he decides against it. He moves her to the basement and turns his culinary skills to good use to ensure that his wife is fed and happy.

Richard begins to descend into madness, attacking and killing people for his wife to consume, including her own sister. While out stalking for another victim, a little girl bumps into his car with her bike, and he offers to help.  When the little girl mentions she doesn’t have any family, Richard decides to bring her home as his next victim.

As he shows her the basement, the investigating detective in his wife’s case shows up to check on them and hears the little girl yelling for help from the basement. Pulling a gun on him, the detective forces him to open the basement door and let out the girl.  However, when the door is open, the girl isn’t there. She forces Richard into the basement, where she is attacked by a monstrous version of the young girl.

Richard is horrified at first, but the little girl explains that she is the one who attacked April, and she’s been searching for her, since she is another one of her kind. The segment ends with April and the young girl asking for food, and Richard is happy that he has the family he always wanted.

The Episode Review

“Grieving Process” is another typical Creepshow segment. Richard is shown as a man who would do anything to keep his wife happy, even when she becomes a human-eating monster. He’s definitely there for the long run. It feels similar to The Santa Clarita Diet (another show about a man who goes to lengths to ensure that his wife is fed and happy when she turns into a monster).

The twist at the ending you can figure out if you know to pay attention to the single clue they give in the episode, and was pretty weak. It might have been better if they didn’t give away what caused his wife’s ailment and just concentrated on Richard doing whatever he could to ensure that his wife is happy and healthy. But, the twist lands flat simply because it was meant to be a way to give him something that his wife wanted at the beginning.

Back is the pop-up aesthetic that Creepshow is known for, with its striking comic panel visuals, something that is unique to the show and is always welcome to see. They serve to highlight the stunned moments of a character and it worked pretty well in this segment.

“Grieving Process” was par for the course when it comes to Creepshow and was a nice segment to end episode two on.

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