Nov 8, 2018

The Heteronormative Creepypasta of "Dream Door"

I was conned into buying Season 4 of Channel Zero, "The Dream Door."  First, it got lots of excellent reviews: a triumph, a visual delight, the best horror tv series of the decade, and so on , and so on. 

It's about secret doors that pop up out of nowhere.  Where do they lead?  Another universe?  The land of the dead?  I was in intrigued.

Turns out that the series is based on creepypastas, a sort of internet urban legend.  This particular storyline comes from "I've Found a Hidden Door in My Cellar."   A husband and wife find a doorway hidden behind the wallpaper in their cellar.  It leads to a stairway and another cellar, where they find a man with strange jerky movements.  They rush out and call the police, who find nothing in the secret room but some dried blood and weird symbols.

Ok, a real secret room, but it still sounds intriguing.  So I bought the season.

Uh-oh.  The writers expanded the briefly mentioned "husband and wife" into Tom and Jillian (Brandon Scott, Maria Sten), a newlywed couple, although they both look like they've passed 40.  They're moving into a new house, so there are bouts of stereotypic playful fixing-up (one puts paint on the other's nose) juxtaposed with bouts in the bedroom.

Gross.  I didn't sign up for all this heteronormative garbage.  Fast forward.

The secret door opens, without a secret room, and a very scary contortionist clown named Pretzel Jack emerges.  Why didn't they name the season "The Contortionist Clown"?  He turns out to be Jillian's childhood imaginary friend (like she would really have someone so scary as a childhood friend!).  Right now his job is to kill people who make her upset or angry.

Like one of their friends, Jillian's therapist, and Tom, who acts like a jerk a lot.

Meanwhile next-door neighbor Ian (Steven Robertson) tells Jillian that she has conjured up the clown, and can control it.

At first I thought that Ian and Jillian would become romantic partners, fighting against the evil Tom. 

Then, when no one even suspects that they have a romantic bond, I thought that Ian know.

He turns out to be the Big Bad of the series, creating the monster out of Jillian's subconscious.  And he has some scary creations of his own, Tall Boy (Stephen R. Hart) and some multicolored boogies, who are pitted against Tom and Pretzel Jack. Why?  I have no idea.

Tom gets a lot of physique shots.  So the show has that.

The contortionist clown is scary, even though most of the contorting is not strictly necessary, but just for effect.  He wasn't CGI;  he was the creation of real-life contortionist performer. "Twisty" Troy James.

But the sinister queer villain trying to thwart True Hetero-Love?  I've seen it all before.


  1. When you say "heteronormative creepypasta" I think "But there are SO MANY!" The real question being, who was phone?

    1. You are making out with your girlfriend, when the phone rings. The voice says "What are you doing with my daughter?" You hand the phone to your girlfriend. "I think it's for you."


No offensive, insulting, racist, or homophobic comments are permitted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...