As with every season of Channel Zero, The Dream Door has a twisted monster, this time coming in the form of Pretzel Jack, Jill's forgotten childhood imaginary friend: a mute contortionist clown who murders people in order to keep her safe. Troy James is the actor who brings the monster to life -- Antosca previously worked with him on Butcher's Block, where he took on a much smaller role, but the actor left an impression. Unlike other on-screen monsters of a similar ilk, Antosca tells EW he ended up using zero CGI in bringing Pretzel Jack to life. Each and every clumsy step, impossible looking contortionist position and off-kilter facial expression was all Troy’s doing. Nick further confirmed this to us by praising Troy’s abilities, saying, "[He] brings such a deranged playfulness to it. It's so nightmarish."
Keeping with the tradition Antosca began with the first installment of the series, each season of the anthology has been helmed by an up-and-coming genre filmmaker. Names like Craig William Macneill (Lizzie, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Arkasha Stevenson (Pineapple) were given room to flex their creative chops on the small screen -- for Candle Cove and Butcher's Block, respectively. For the show's latest installment, Antosca has tapped indie director E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills) to conjure up an atmosphere Nick refers to as "really bizarre, playful horror."
"It's all grounded in character," Antosca says. "We knew Evan would be great at that stuff, based on the balance he struck between comedy and horror on Cheap Thrills. And our themes this season, around intimacy and the burdens of the past, also really spoke to Evan -- you can see mirrors of the same issues in his own work."