'Riverdale' Season 4 Episode 4: The haunting of Thistlehouse, the family man and videotapes makes 'Halloween' a chilling watch
'Riverdale' does a tremendous job when it comes to inducing fear. With enough pop culture references, comic book tributes and a strong plot, 'Halloween' is worth the watch as the teen drama pulls out all the stops to induce the fear factor.
This review contains spoilers for 'Riverdale' Season 4 Episode 4: 'Halloween'
Playing on the darkest fears seems to have been the idea in mind as 'Halloween' clearly succeeds on that front. There's a Halloween treat that comes in the form of a Katy Keene reference right up front and the core four are terrorized on their way as fear manages to creep in.
To begin with, the videotapes that land in front of people's doorsteps are lengthy footages of the residents' houses. Halloween day doesn't get any better for Lili Reinhart's Betty Cooper who has to deal with people dressed up as the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King— the terrorizing two as we'd call them.
Jug (Cole Sprouse) spends his Halloween night locked up in a coffin. Credit to Sprouse as he emanates fear and panic. Before being drugged and locked up, he learns of the mysterious disappearances of four students, and the 'Stonewall Four' as they're called are still not found. Jug buried alive is sickening and can hardly be excused as a prank, but again, this is Riverdale and if it's their first Halloween episode, guess pulling out all stops is the way its meant to go.
For Archie (KJ Apa) and Veronica (Camila Mendes), horror comes in the form of a gang and a serial killer on the loose. While Arch now dressed up as his comic superhero fends off a local gang, Ronnie comes face-to-face with the family man— a serial killer on the loose who goes to houses asking for home-cooked meals and then brutally kills people after he's done. While Archie manages to save a kid from the gang, Ronnie proves she's a badass as she takes down the family man by scalding him with oil.
For Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), this is most definitely a Halloween worth forgetting. In addition to dealing with Jason Blossom's corpse sitting at home, there's this story about Cheryl, Jason, and Julian— who were Penelope's children, except Cheryl absorbed Julian while still in the womb. To make up for it, Penelope brings in a doll, names it Julian and took care of it while Cheryl and Jason grew up. Bizarre enough is the fact that the doll turns up even after putting it in the attic once Nana Rose reveals the triplet secret.
Betty's fears are explored in the form of mysterious calls that have a fleeting resemblance to 'When a Stranger Calls', the horror flick starring Camilla Belle. Jug's coffin scene is from another classic horror trope in 'Buried'. And since we're talking about the sleuthing couple, there's also something shady about the real Charles Cooper (Wyatt Nash). In addition to learning more about Jug, the teen also has to solve the mystery of his missing roommate— Moose. His theory was that Brett and the rest of the bullies would have chased Moose out of Stonewall Prep when he was buried alive. Again, no whereabouts of Moose. Will he meet the same fate as Midge?
'Riverdale' does a tremendous job when it comes to inducing fear. With enough pop culture references, comic book tributes and a strong plot, 'Halloween' is worth the watch as the teen drama brings in a shade of thriller and mystery to it.
Parting note: We may have had the hottest sex scene ever between Cheryl and Toni, except it gets interrupted. Dangit Juniper and Dagwood!
'Riverdale' season 4 airs Wednesdays 8 pm on The CW.