Thursday, November 30, 2023

Join the Family

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Two for two, now Joseph Peach has gotten inside the heads of both Woods sisters. Will they free themselves of the Peach influence? Or will they join the family?


Of course, only moments after being presented with a grisly, cannibal feast, the entire dinner table up and vanishes once Alice and Louise have their backs turned. They know the body parts belonged to Izzy’s mother, but there’s nothing to do now. Except Louise doesn’t want to let this go. Recognizing that Mr. Peach has a fascination with Alice, Louise convinces her to help chase this through to the end. To use herself as bait.

Meanwhile, while Zoe bathes, she gets a visit from Mr. Peach. He reassures her that everything is fine. That she is just “changing.” Before he goes, he suggests Zoe would be better if she ate something.

On their way out of the woods, they bump into Officer Luke. He won’t say what he’s up to, but Louise can sense that something has changed. She gives him her card before she’s on her way. Alice and Louise arrive back at the house to find Nathan hanging around outside. He’s got some questions as to why Alice hasn’t been at work that she would rather not answer just now. She checks in with Zoe, while Louise runs distraction. High on drugs, Zoe is cocooned in her bed, clearly in a bad place. Which is when Alice discovers a huge cut on Zoe’s leg, bleeding profusely.

They rush Zoe to the hospital. While the place isn’t exactly fully staffed, they keep Zoe overnight to be safe. It’s around then that Louise gets word from Luke. She brings Nathan along to meet up with the officer in the hospital cafeteria. Luke spills the beans. About the man in the blue suit eating a guy. About how his father, the police chief, is complicit in all this.

Back in Zoe’s room, Alice admits that she’s afraid whatever Peach did to her head awoke her schizophrenia. She tries to leave the room to get some air but is immediately plagued by hallucinations. First of her mother, stabbing herself in the stomach. Then by a weird creature version of herself, which dogs her relentlessly through the abandoned hospital halls. Zoe gets yet another visit from a Peach family member. This time it’s Edie. She’s come with a tray of mystery meat, and yet another invitation to their table. It’s here we learn that Zoe was the one who cut off a slice of her own leg and ate it. Needing to satiate her new hunger, Zoe agrees to go with Edie.

Robert Peach makes an appearance at the hospital, dancing gleefully through the halls. Luke, Louise, and Nathan give chase. But Robert tricks them, trapping Nathan and slashing his throat. Luke arrests Robert, refusing Louise’s offer to bring him to her house. Where the police won’t get involved. Instead, Luke drives Robert away in his squad car. And shoots him several times in the backseat.

Finding Zoe gone, Alice rushes back to the woods. Back to the staircase. She finds Zoe already walking through the door, unable to call her back. So Alice makes the climb and walks in right after her.


When we caught our first glimpse of Alice’s “demon” last episode, it was jarring, almost laughable. Now I’ve been successfully creeped the fuck out. The mix of what appears to be a practical actor doing a backbend with some VFX tracking on the face is pulled off really well. If it’s not an actor we’re looking at or some form of mo-cap, I want to applaud the Butcher’s Block VFX team. As a creature, it seems stunningly minimalistic and weirdly realistic. The body doesn’t bend or contort unnaturally, which gives it an edge that is only the more unnerving.

Sound design was also on point this episode. The effect of the demon’s “sing-song” is distinct, unique, and fucking terrifying. I hope it gets used again, while not overplayed. The bathtub scene had a lot of hype around it, being the sequence that was the most advertised during the series promos. Boy, did it deliver. Watching Zoe cut herself is disturbing and tactile. As always, the visual composition is stunning.

The most exciting part? We’re only three episodes in and have already seen so much of the promotional material. This can only mean that Butcher’s Block has much, much more hidden up its sleeves. Why are the Peaches cannibals? Why is the town covering it up? What is the meat monster that dwells in the Peach house? We’re gearing up for a peek behind the curtain, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Images courtesy of Syfy


  • Shailyn

    Shailyn Cotten is a New York-based novelist, screenwriter, and undergraduate studying film at the School of Visual Arts. If you can’t find her perusing used bookstores, or buying up games in a Steam sale that she likely won’t ever play, you might be able to find her doing something productive, like writing articles for The Fandomentals, creating content for her YouTube channel Shai, or writing blog posts for her website,

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