Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block – Review

Channel Zero returns for a third season on February 7th, 10pm on Syfy.

After four episodes that were provided for the press to watch of Channel Zero’s new season entitled Butcher’s Block, I am no closer to having closure or figuring out the story than when I started the season. The beautiful part is that I’m loving every minute of it of being this much in the dark with a television show.

The third season of Channel Zero focuses on the lives of two sisters, Alice and Zoe who relocate to the neighborhood of Butcher’s Block in order to be closer to the community that Alice intends to serve through her new social services job. They are tenants of a local writer, Louise, who quickly gives them the rundown of the dangers of their neighborhood. Butcher’s Block was formerly a meat factory plant owned by the Peaches, a local family with Joseph Peach as the patriarch. After the unsolved murder of Joseph’s two daughters, the entire family mysteriously disappeared never to be seen or heard from again. However, there are still random disappearances in the local park that many attributes to the Peach family. As Alice and Zoe become exposed to the strangeness of the neighborhood, they encounter the various members of the Peach family and begin to understand their roles amongst the neighborhood as well as with themselves. Both Alice and Zoe have a dark family history originating with their mother and passed down to them which makes them special targets of the Peach family.

From there, the story takes many twists and turns that will the leave the viewer in a state of uncertainty and uneasiness throughout the show but one thing is for certain that they will be entertained. Most that are already familiar with Channel Zero, whether through its previous seasons or its online presence with the Creepypasta short stories, will recognize this story right away as being one of the more popular entries in the series. This is a comforting aspect because after a very strong first season with Candle Cove. Channel Zero‘s second season, No End House, left the series with nowhere to go but up. No End House was a solid season focusing on the psychological rather than the physical horror, but the creepiness factor could’ve been better crafted. With Butcher’s Block, there is a return to form as all of the previous concerns seem to be remedied. A perfect example of this takes place within the first five minutes of the premiere as there is an extremely disturbing scene that I found myself yelling out loud during. In fact, I realize that there were more than several times during the first four episodes that I was bothered enough to voice my discomfort while secretly not being able to look away. Without spoiling anything I will say this much; a little person with a meat tenderizer. Needless to say, I was terrified and I’m pretty sure you might be as well.

I have enjoyed Channel Zero from the very first season and am a fan of the short stories that the show is derived from. The show has been able to create a unique space for itself on the TV landscape by having an anthology series that doesn’t extend itself beyond its capabilities and sticking to a tight, well-written story that lasts six episodes which further means that each episode serves as an integral part of the larger story. Channel Zero is a show that needs to be paid attention to in order to fully grasp the complete narrative and Butcher’s Block is a perfect example of that by focusing on a murderous family and the deal they made with the devil alongside the people attempting to stop them. As I stated earlier, I have seen four out of the six episodes and am no closer to figuring out how this story will end than where I was during the first episode and for once, that’s an exciting place to be with a TV show.

I give Butcher’s Block an A-.