For those of you who haven't seen the BBC's comedy horror TV series Psychoville, you need to rectify this as soon as possible. From the geniuses behind the dark horrific joy (and I mean that in the best possible way) that is The League of Gentlemen (Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton) , we are treated to some old fashioned freaks and horrors and the scum of the earth. In other words, a delight. The Psychoville Halloween Special is told in a horror anthology style with a bit of found footage thrown in for good measure. It also touches on a more gory and modern version of The Vault of Horror.
It begins with a young man called Drew giving a tour of an abandoned mental asylum to a television researcher working on a Most Haunted rip off. As a boy he was dared to break in to this asylum and while he was there he spied the matron putting pins in to muffins for the Trick or Treaters. Mmm, sharp. She captures him and tells him a selection of frightening Halloween tales to teach him a lesson.
Relying on many British references for some of the humour, it nicely sets up the new series coming next year. You might be thinking, how scary can a TV comedy really be? But it's scary in a circus of freaks kind of a way. And it's a testament to the writing that it draws British acting royalty like Imelda Staunton, Eileen Atkins and Dawn French. And the creepy we're coming to get you feel and all that that brings. Psychoville is character led. They find themselves in frighteningly venerable situations they can't get out of; be it allowing their own family to get too close, going in to a stranger's house or by simply making someone angry. And we all do that in one way or another, don't we?