Channel Zero

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Channel Zero TV Poster Image
Internet-inspired fantasy horror has cursing, violence.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The supernatural exists, and it's not pretty.   

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mike Painter’s psychological well-being is in question. 

Violence

Themes include brutal child murders, an attempted suicide. Knives, blood, dead bodies, scary images abound.

Sex
Language

"Hell," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, beer occasionally consumed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Channel Zero is a horror series inspired by internet stories called "creepypasta," scary tales shared on message boards. It's full of creepy, supernatural events, some of which border on gruesome: Dead bodies, bloody images, suicide, and the murder of children, to name a few. Cursing includes "s--t" and occasionally drink beer and wine. Since lots of teens are fans of the creepypasta trend, they may be interested in this show; however, it's pretty scary, even for adults. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBrendan M. January 18, 2020

Excellent Internet-based Surreal Horror Anthology is Very Scary and Mature

Show (4.5/5.0):

Channel Zero is a horror anthology show similar to American Horror Story, in which It's a self contained story each season. The difference... Continue reading
Adult Written byDavis L. February 17, 2018
Teen, 15 years old Written byoh123 August 22, 2019

Great series!

Season one of channel zero is really entertaining, but may be a little spooky and too gory for children. This show involves gory images, scenes of self harm, cu... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 14, 2019

Scary!

I’ve seen this and man season one is SUPER scary! I can sleep tho :( I don’t recommend this to young kids. So if you young don’t watch (duh it’s a horror show)... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on an online story, CHANNEL ZERO is a show about a man's obsession with a mysterious children's TV show and its link to a series of child murders. Child psychologist Mike Painter (Paul Schneider) is haunted by death of his twin brother Eddie, the only unrecovered victim of the horrific Iron Hill murders that took place 28 years ago. He returns to his childhood home to see his mom, Marla Painter (Fiona Shaw), and to learn more about what happened, including why teeth were missing from the bodies of the recovered children. As he begins to interact with childhood friends, including Gary Yolen (Shaun Benson), now the local Sheriff, and his wife Jessica (Natalie Brown), strange things start to happen, including the random reappearance of Candle Cove, a creepy puppet-driven tv show that only aired during the time of the murders. Soon people question Mike's connection to the odd (and sometimes frightening) happenings, which sparks an investigation led by Deputy Amy Welsh (Luisa D’Oliveira), and forces him to face his monsters head on. 

Is it any good?

This dark series combines fantasy and horror to create a intense, bizarre, and definitely scary viewing experience. This is no surprise, given that it's adapted from creepypasta, or a short, internet-driven, user-generated horror story that's copied and pasted from site to site in order to scare people (think Slenderman). Using seemingly random flashbacks to parallel the events of Mike’s childhood with the present, the show often gives viewers a false sense of understanding, only to surprise them later on.

Channel Zero's story is a solid blend of supernatural scares and real-life mystery -- It also does a decent job at adapting the original creepypasta, which comes with its own unique narrative format and audience. It’s not for everyone, but folks who enjoy these kinds of scares may find themselves getting shivers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Channel Zero's inspiration. Have you ever read any creepypasta? Why do you think some people like to be scared?

  • Families can also talk about how the internet can influence popular culture. Can you think of any other examples of this happening? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

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