SYFY’s horror anthology Channel Zero, aims to bring more dark humor to the series with the third installment, Butcher’s Block. The all-new season comes on the heels of No-End House, a critically well-received follow-up to Candle Cove, which got the series off to an especially creepy start. But where the first two seasons brought about a familiar kind of horror, the third will bring a slightly comical bent, provided you share the same sense of humor as series creator Nick Antosca.
The third season isn’t just a departure in terms of tone or style, either. Based on the creepypasta ‘Search and Rescue’ woods, Butcher’s Block also represents the series’ biggest departure from the source material. That move likely played a part in Antosca and season director Arkasha Stevenson having the leeway needed to infuse the dark and frequently disturbing story with a little off-kilter humor.
But that was part and parcel with what Antosca and Stevenson set out to do with the new season. In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Antosca says he actually conceived Butcher’s Block as a “comedic installment” and that went along just fine with some of the inspiration he found in the films of Dario Argento, as well as Nicolas Roeg, and even David Lynch. Antosca said:
“Each season has a totally different flavor. The first season has a Stephen King meets Michael Haneke aesthetic. Season 2 [is] sort of John Carpenter. Season 3, I think of it as Argento meets Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me. I have an unusual sense of humor and so does Arkasha, but I think that -- I conceived the third installment as the more comedic installment of Channel Zero. And with that kind of very dark humor comes a place to be a little bit more exaggerated and extreme."
The new season definitely proves Antosca right when it comes to things being “more exaggerated and extreme”, but it does so in a way that will likely be an exciting change of pace for fans of the series. As Antosca puts it, it’s more about being consistent in tone throughout the season than the series, and for those who dig the darkly comical vibe in season 3, there’s sure to be plenty of it.
“It's a matter of consistent tone throughout the season and restraint versus confrontation in terms of what you give to the audience. I think in the previous seasons we've leaned more towards extreme restraint, particularly in season 1. And in this season it's a bit more confrontational. And it's just sort of a matter of the voice or tone of the season.”
Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block premieres Wednesday @10pm on SYFY.