This Channel Zero interview contains spoilers.
A gruesome plan took shape in the season 1 finale of Channel Zero, but with an anthology series like this one, there are no guarantees everyone will survive. However, as we share our final discussion with executive producer Nick Antosca, the story clearly had a significant amount of satisfying closure, providing the perfect ending to a great freshman season for the show.
We’ve had a blast talking with Nick Antosca and getting answers to the burning questions posed by this season of Channel Zero. It’s been great to get a glimpse into the process used to create this wholly unique horror experience, and we can’t wait for season 2 to arrive.
Den of Geek: Gary was able to pull his kids out and just be a dad. What future do you imagine for Katie, Dane, and the other kids?
Nick: I imagine they will have good days and bad days and many nightmares.
We see Frances Booth praying at one point. What role do you envision religion plays in her perception of the circumstances of the past 30 years?
Frances Booth in 1988 felt an absence in her own life. I imagine she probably lived with quiet desperation and felt trapped, and she was looking for a sense of purpose. Religion gave her temporary relief, but when she sensed Eddie’s power, she gravitated toward it and felt a sense of awe. She caught the fever.
Even though Eddie wasn’t able to take Mike’s body, the Tooth Child is still available to him, correct? And Candle Cove can still appear on TV whether Lily ignores it or not!
Without Mrs. Booth around and with Mike there to push back, I don’t think Eddie can manifest in the real world as the Tooth Child so easily. And while we see that Candle Cove still appears… but then Mike turns it off.
So then would you say Mike’s presence in Candle Cove will temper Eddie’s influence on the real world moving forward?
Yes, I like to think that with Mike’s spirit trapped alongside Eddie’s, there’s a checks-and-balances situation. I think at least for the moment, the children of Iron Hill are safe.
Who was the burning branch creature in Candle Cove mythology, and how was that effect achieved? Those burning embers in the narrow hallway looked so real, we expected the sconces or wallpaper to ignite!
It looks real because it is completely real. There’s no CGI or VFX manipulation in that scene whatsoever. It’s just the performance artist Olivier de Sagazan covering his head with cold wet clay, then wreathing it in dry brittle hay and lighting himself on fire. Then he walked down the hallway on fire, and he really got that close to Paul’s face — there’s no visual trick or forced perspective there. We did it in one take. That’s a version of the Skintaker. As Eddie says, “he’s part of me.” The puppets are part of Eddie, parts of his psyche. And the grotesque, tactile Skintaker we see in the hallway and the skin room is the disturbing “real face” of Eddie’s psyche, behind the playful puppets. The burning and bizarre movements in the hallway are a kind of threat display from Eddie’s psyche.
Would it be accurate to say that Eddie created Candle Cove as a way to conceptualize the dark world he had access to? Was Jawbone/Skin Taker the only creature/puppet pairing?
It would be accurate, but I don’t imagine the creation as conscious or deliberate. Things bubble up out of our unconscious. Who knows why we create the fantasy worlds or coping mechanisms that we do? Eddie’s anger combined with his latent capabilities manifested in this bizarre, childish, sinister show. Yes, Jawbone/Skintaker was the only puppet with a creature counterpart. I had originally intended to do Sagazan-style creatures for Horace and Percy as well — but there is only one Olivier de Sagazan.
What can you tell us about the concept behind season 2, “The No-End House”?
You might describe it as Solaris meets It Follows meets John Carpenter.____
Antosca answered these inquiries from Winnipeg where Channel Zero is currently filming its second season, entitled “The No-End House.” Like Candle Cove, it is based on an existing creepypasta, which are horror tales made popular on the Internet, often with folklore-like origins. You can get ready for Channel Zero season 2 by reading up on The No-End House source material, but let’s be honest: you can never truly be prepared…