Channel Zero season 2 is about to premiere, and as a horror anthology series that reinvents itself each year, it’s impossible to predict what will happen with this new story. Last year, showrunner Nick Antosca took us through each episode of Candle Cove, and now he’s back to break down No-End House, which like season 1 is based on a “creepypasta,” a type of online tale of terror that can occasionally reach folklore status.
“No-End House is based on Brian Russell’s creepypasta which is one of the most popular ones,” says Antosca. “There’s fan fiction, sequels, fan-made video games based on it, and ever since we got the show ordered, ‘NoEnd House’ was at the top of my list for stories to adapt.” Russell’s story can still be found online, and it even has further installments to enjoy for those interested in looking at the source material.
“It has everything that we look for in a creepypasta,” Antosca says of the Internet tale. “A great horror concept, an open-ended world, the suggestion of a greater mythology. So we reached out to Brian Russell and told him what we had in mind, and fortunately, he was excited about it. And so it became something really interesting and terrifying, I think.”
The original creepypasta merely serves as the jumping off point, and Channel Zero takes it in entirely new directions as the six-episode season progresses. “We get through the concept of the story mostly in the first episode,” Antosca explains. “There’s a series of rooms; each one is scarier than the last. You finally get out of the house and go home and think that you’re free, and then you start to wonder if what you perceive to be reality is in fact still the last room of the house. That was the twist that most attracted me to the original story, and it opened up the possibilities for an entire season.”
Part of the re-invention for this season includes telling the story through completely different eyes. “We created new characters for the show, so I think even people who love or are familiar with the story will get a totally fresh experience out of the Channel Zero version of No-End House,” assures Antosca. Instead of a single narrator, the show will include an ensemble cast of characters befitting the televised format.
Along with the teenagers who brazenly enter the No-End House, a central character will be played by John Carroll Lynch, who is no stranger to horror anthologies having played Twisty the Clown in American Horror Story. “John was kind of our dream casting,” Antosca praises. “He is such a pro, and he had just come off of directing his first film, Lucky, starring Harry Dean Stanton and David Lynch, so he was in a really cool, collaborative place, and he was a great mentor to the rest of the cast who are much younger actors.”
No-End House, because it comes from different source material, has a very different flavor from season 1’s Candle Cove, and this versatility is part of Channel Zero’s appeal. “Candle Cove had a very specific Stephen King vibe,” admits Antosca. “No-End House is much more of a suburban John Carpenter vibe, and so we wanted to start with that feeling of teenagers doing something unwise and things get turned around. But we wanted to go to a much richer psychological plan than traditionally a movie like that might.”
That being said, there are some commonalities that spring from having Antosca at the helm. “The sense of dread, I think, is consistent from season to season,” he says, “and both season 1 and season 2, both Candle Cove and No-End House are about characters dealing with a personal tragedy and struggling with whether to move forward, to face the past, and they deal with it in different ways. But both seasons deal with similar themes and use horror to explore those themes.”
Fans of Channel Zero won’t have long to wait for season 2’s No-End House to return. Syfy begins airing the tale of terror on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 10pm ET. For the full audio of this interview with Nick Antosca, subscribe to our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast or simply listen below (at 49:40).