n the first few episodes that, at first, its failures are elusive. The performances are quiet, intense, and barely off-kilter, with dialogue to match. Relationships and conflicts come across in eloquent gestures, like a finger hesitating over a “Send”button or a glance held a fraction too long. Visually, it’s striking but not showy. Settings are lived-in and distinctive enough to establish different locations and times at a glance. Craig William MacNeill, who directs all six episodes of the horror anthology’s first season, creates uneasy vignettes that make the familiar foreboding. In the first four hours, the most chilling scenes revolve around long, ominous moments of unease. But ultimately, there’s too much static in this story to sustain its tension. Sustaining the story was always going to be the biggest challenge of converting creepypasta—the internet-age equivalent of a campfire tale—to a longer narrative. Unfortunately, Channel Zero: Candle Cove is derivative, but not of Kris Straub’s taut little fiction.
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