Monday, October 23, 2017

The Horror Of...Halloween Night, Stan Against Evil Season 1 *UPDATED*

UPDATE: I forgot to mention in this review that IFC will be having a marathon of Stan Against Evil Season 1 this Halloween, October 31, 2017, as a run up to the new season.

I am one for enjoyable horror comedy. It is a subset that some seem to forget, and some seem to look down on it. But for the rest of us, it is a chance to laugh and be startled.

An enjoyable new series started last year on Halloween.

Stan Against Evil.

The show is the mad creation of comedian Dana Gould. He had a funny thought one day, thinking about horror movies. "What if my dad was the one who had to save the day?" Grump. Old. Cantankerous. And the concept was born.

The series is based around a comedic horror feel, spun out over half an hour. In some ways it's like a recent show of covered, Ghosted. It doesn't have the time to sit still, so the horror and humor come fast.

The series takes place in the small town of Willard's Mill, New Hampshire. Classic New England town. Classic small town businesses. Classic old timey witch hunts. Classic old death curses.

Back in the 17th century, the constable of the time burned 172 witches. As they died, the witches conjured a curse. Every constable that enters office shall die soon after.

And that was true for centuries, until Stanley Miller became sheriff. Stan (John C. McGinley) lasted for years in the job, breaking the odds. But he was finally forced to retire.

Stan is a grumpy cantankerous guy. He's set in his ways, and convinced he is always right. He likes things a certain way, and loath to have to admit things should change or that things are out of control.

Now a new young sheriff has taken on his job. Evie Barret, an out-of-towner who has come with her young daughter to start a new life.

She's a friendly lady, eager to get on with her town, and deputy (who doesn't care to do much). She wants to sympathize with Stan, but he is a pain in the ass.

And with this changeover a lot will be happening in Willard's Mill. Evil is afoot.

Stan's trouble began at his wife's funeral, which wasn't a great day already. He was sitting in the cemetery beside his daughter, Denise (Deborah Baker, Jr.), lost in thought.

An old woman across the casket from him was making eyes at him and smirking.

Then she got ugly.

He freaked out and attacked her.

Everyone agreed it was probably time for him to step down. So Evie came to town.

And she got a look at the sheriff's office.

She also found Stan there, half naked/ He had been staying there since the funeral, not wanting to go home. But he finally does.

He ends up startling his daughter when he gets there. She's annoyed that he disappeared for days. She also didn't make food for herself during this time.

Denise is an odd kid. She is a mix of naive, sweet, clueless, and lonely. You wonder what she was like when her mom was around to interact with her.

Stan putters around the house and decides to take a look in his wife's sewing room. He was never ever allowed in their when she was alive. But, now...

Now he sees what his wife did on her own. There are weapons, tools, strange books, and other weird items.

This was not what he expected to see. It is a surreal room for him to be standing in.

On the wall is a collection of images of strange creatures. Included, the woman he fought with.

You have to understand, the reason Stan is still alive is his wife. She walked the city at night. She fought the monsters and demons her whole life. She kept him and the town from going to Hell.

And now, she's gone.

Also, the creepy lady from the funeral is visiting the new sheriff.

She gives Evie a scare and demands the the glass stone, which was owned by Stan's wife.

Stan is still processing everything he's seeing. He looks through a book with strange pictures and a language that is bizarre.

He goes to Dense to find out what she knows. She tells him about the special stone mom used to read the book. Also, mom used to go out every night to do stuff.

Stan didn't notice this. And Denise agrees he was clueless about what her mom was doing most of the time.

So now Stand is processing it all, and annoyed his ordered world is shaken.

Evie comes looking for him and for answers. And being Stan, he is not helpful, mostly wanting to lecture and complain.

But this is just one of many adventures they will have to deal with. All sorts of beings and beast will be coming for them now.

Different terrors and torments await them. They will come for their minds, their hearts, their souls.

And Evie will have to get him out of his comfy chair to get involved.

Because something is coming for them and the town.


The show is returning November 1st of this year for a second season. And I forgive it for waiting until after the season. It just means we all have time to check out season one now, here in the heart of our Halloween marathon.

By the way, it is available on Hulu right now.

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