Creepshow – Season 4 Episode 3 “The Parent Deathtrap; To Grandmother’s House We Go” Recap & Review

The Parent Deathtrap

In Creepshow Season 4 Episode 3, Lyle Van Johnson was a lonely kid. He grew up with spoiled and overbearing parents who demean and degrade him every chance they get. After the popular girl stands him up for prom, Lyle finally snaps and takes his parents out. He cuts off his father’s head while his father complains that he can’t even kill him right, then takes out his mother.

After dumping their body into the lake behind their house, Lyle returns to bed, finally hoping to enjoy the peace. However, that peace is short-lived when his parents, Gloria and Archibald, return from the dead as nagging spectres.

Four years pass with his parents, and they seemingly fall into a nice routine. While out shopping, his parents once again lambast Lyle for not having a girlfriend and point out every girl they see. Lyle comes across Violet, the popular girl who stood him up in high school.  

The two go on a date much to the annoyance but reluctant reassurance from Gloria and Archibald. The date goes well, with the two catching up. Lyle tells Violet that his parents are dead, while Violet explains that her parents are also dead, having died after her father was exposed as a fraudster.  The two begin a relationship. However, things begin to fall apart when two detectives come to the front door asking about an investment company that Lyle’s parents were a part of. Lyle manages to lie, telling them that they were in Switzerland on vacation, but Violet overhears him and decides to leave.

Heartbroken Lyle confesses his feelings for Violet. Gloria, Archibald and Lyle have a heartfelt moment between them. Soon after, Lyle and Violet are married. In a turn of events, Violet poisons Lyle in order to get his inheritance. She also killed her parents to get their life insurance. Violet’s parents appear as ghosts, revealing that it was the plan all along.

Lyle, close to death, reveals that he never got his insurance because no one knew that his parents were dead. Gloria and Archibald arrive in time to see their son dying and angered, they frighten Violet to death. The noise and lights draw the attention of the police who were pulling the bodies of Lyle and Violet’s parents from the lake behind the house.

The segment ends, with Violet returning as a ghost to torment Lyle, and Lyle getting arrested for the death of both Violet and his parents.

The Episode Review

This was a fun segment, and back is the campy Creepshow nature of the show. This felt like an updated, refined and more light-hearted version of “Father’s Day” from the original Creepshow movie from 1982. In that segment, a woman is haunted by the ghoul of her overbearing father, who wanted a birthday cake.

“The Parent Deathtrap” was pretty campy and goofy in all the right ways. While the twist was pretty predictable. It was still a delight to watch. The chemistry between Lyle and his parents was fantastic, and that between Gloria and Archibald was wonderful too. It was just a delight to watch them be over the top as ghosts.  

It would be fantastic if this was expanded upon and extended into a full movie, but for what Creepshow gave us, this was wonderful. The acting was outstanding, it was light on the scares, but the dialogue was funny. The segment was just a joy to watch.

To Grandmother’s House We Go

In the second segment of this episode, Marcia is a gold digger. She likes to marry men, take their money and leave them. Her latest conquest is an elderly man who soon dies after leaving her with a stepdaughter and a very vengeful mother-in-law who promises to keep her son’s inheritance away from her.

Marcia soon finds herself the stepmother to a young girl, Ruby. Broke with no money to her name and credit card collectors calling up her phone, she’s delighted to receive a call from Ruby’s grandmother stating that she’s sick and would like to see her granddaughter for the final time.

Marcia takes the opportunity to drive Ruby out to her grandmother’s house. However, when something runs out into the road, they crash. It’s revealed that a werewolf is the culprit, as it returns to grab Ruby and run off into the woods. A panicked Marcia flags down the passing truck of Marcia’s ex-boyfriend Benny, who offers to help.

But Benny is killed and Ruby returns just as Marcia fights off the werewolf. Marcia kills the werewolf to protect Ruby and finally gets her to her grandmother’s house. The segment ends with their family together before Ruby turns into a werewolf and attacks Marcia.

The Episode Review

This is one of the weakest segments in season 4. “To Grandmother’s House We Go” starts off on good footing. It shows a flawed main character and gives you a reason to want her to get her comeuppance. It’s a normal setup for Creepshow, but then it does something that changes everything.

The segment gives Marcia an arc through Ruby. Marcia’s reasoning to take Ruby to her grandmother is purely for selfish reasons. She is a gold digger and wants money. Sure, but Marcia’s relationship with Ruby is the focus here. Marcia seems to be indifferent to Ruby at first, telling her not to call her mother, and she does take care of Ruby. She doesn’t really treat the girl badly outside of not telling her to call her mom.

The segment gives Marcia someone who can help her grow and shows that, while she is a bad person, she is still a loving parent to Ruby.

There is a scene before the werewolf attacks when Ruby is upset about her grandmother dying and Marcia tries her best to reassure her. She does it in a bad way, but she does it. They talk about Ruby’s parents dying and Marcia being the only one she has left. It might not be something Marcia likes to think about, but she knows and accepts that.

Further on during the drive, she notices that Ruby is still upset and begins again to console her. The idea of the money doesn’t come up in this scene. The gold digger angle doesn’t come up at all. Once the werewolf comes on the scene, Marcia consoles Ruby when she’s scared, and Marcia is frightened and distraught when Ruby is taken. The first thing she says is “We have to find Ruby” when she flags down Benny’s car.  

The segment puts so much emphasis on her protection and the need to find Ruby when the werewolf attacks. The attack scene even ends with Marcia in a car ready to drive away and get help, but when she sees Ruby, she puts herself between Ruby and the werewolf and kills it. “Stay away from my kid.” “Mommy is here,” she says once she is able to kill the werewolf.

Then there is even a sombre moment in the end. That is quickly cheapened for the sake of a Red Riding Hood reference. It just makes for a jarring experience and smacks of wanting to subvert expectations when it made no sense to do so.

This one was poorly written, with clunky dialogue. We felt bad for Keegan Conner Tracy, who played Marcia. She lost her voice halfway through filming and pushed forward with it. This will be a skip.

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